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ILA Creates Framework for Crafting a Learning Culture

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Jul 03, 2019
june-llb

The lead learners and chief architects of culture and instructional programs at their schools, principals are uniquely positioned to promote equitable practices that nurture students’ self-efficacy and academic growth, according to ILA’s latest brief, Principals as Literacy Leaders.

ILA presents a framework composed of three influences—challenge, clarity, and feedback—that are essential ingredients in a high-quality instructional program.

  • Challenge: When teachers provide students with challenging activities, students grow their capacities for learning, problem solving, and overcoming difficulties. These students feel a sense of accomplishment and are willing to try new things.
  • Clarity: When lessons are grounded in relevance—or an understanding of how the learning might connect to a larger purpose—students are more likely to “become attached to a learning goal and engage meaningfully in class activities and discussions.”
  • Feedback: Students who receive and act on feedback learn to monitor their own progress and identify gaps between what they currently understand and what needs to be learned next, instilling a strong sense of autonomy.

Reform efforts are most effective when principals build the capacities of staff to work collaboratively toward a shared vision, says ILA.   

“For so long, schools have maintained a hierarchical structure, in which one person—the principal—exercises exclusive decision-making power,” says ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We hope to see more schools move away from traditional siloed, disconnected efforts and embrace a more cohesive approach to school leadership centered on a strong partnership between principals and teachers/classrooms.”

This framework, coupled with a commitment to collaborative leadership, can help to bridge the academic divide and level the playing field for students, says ILA. The brief ends with tangible next steps for fostering collective action.

Access the full brief here.

Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily. 

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