According to the research brief, Leaders as Learners: The Case for Continued Professional Developmentprepared by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) on behalf of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) with funding from The AVI CHAI Foundation and The Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation – the participation of day school leaders in continued professional development improves teachers’ instructional practices. Researchers from AIR asked day school teachers about the frequency at which they:

  • Teach Jewish values
  • Make connections between general and Jewish studies
  • Embed Jewish or Hebrew terminology into lessons and conversations
  • Discuss current events affecting the Jewish community or the Jewish world
  • Talk to students about their questions related to their Jewish identity
  • Encourage students to participate in the broader local Jewish community

Data showed that the more the Heads of Schools learned within the last five years on these or related topics, the more likely those ideas ended up in the classroom.  While this is important for the Jewish mission of the school, it also applies to any aspect of any school life.

The findings of the AIR study add to a growing body of research suggesting that school leaders are able to provide leadership to improve teaching and learning only if they themselves receive this relevant training. Lack of participation in continued professional development is associated with less feedback and guidance to staff, regardless of the strength of leaders’ background.

Read this eJewishPhilanthropy post in its entirety here

Read the entire Research Brief here