An Exceptional Approach
NISL’s Executive Development Program emphasizes the role of principals as strategic thinkers, instructional leaders and creators of a just, fair and caring culture in which all students meet high standards. It ensures that school leaders have the knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively set direction for teachers, support their staff in improving instructional practices, and design a high-performing school organization that is rooted in professional learning.
The program combines best practices in teaching and learning, subject-area content knowledge, and leadership knowledge and practices, including:
- Leadership knowledge and skills: Strategic thinking; strong school culture and team building; data-driven organization; importance of systems; turnaround leadership competencies.
- Best practices in teaching and learning: Coaching and teacher supervision; use of standards-based classrooms; formative assessment; instructional teams; compelling school vision; differentiated instruction; and professional learning communities.
- Subject-area knowledge: Creating excellent school-wide programs in English language arts, mathematics and science; identifying and coaching towards strong instruction in the content areas.
- Best practices for delivery of adult curriculum: 360° assessments; cohort-based; job-embedded learning; simulations; case studies; group discussion; and extended period of study.
Through our train-the-trainer model, districts can deliver the program in-house, minimizing costs and maximizing the impact on instructional leadership in the district.
This approach has proven results in preparing top-flight instructional leaders.
Best Practices in Adult Learning
The NISL program builds in best practices from the leading research on adult pedagogy, including:
- Direct instruction with highly interactive methods, such as Socratic questioning, group discussions, role-playing, video case studies and technology-assisted simulations
- Sustained, job-embedded learning, with smaller doses of training over an extended period of time, allowing for application and review bridging the acquisition of new learnings.
- Action Learning Projects that empower practicing principals to take on the real challenges they face in their buildings
- A Professional Learning Community that fosters powerful peer-to-peer interactions in a safe environment—a network of support that often continues long after the training is complete
Time Well Spent
The EDP supports school leaders by developing strong foundational skills through job-embedded and applied learning which school leaders can immediately begin implementing in their schools. School and district leaders discuss the critical importance of allocating sufficient time for principals to improve their practice and the benefits of doing so.