Feedback and the Role of Practice in School Leader Preparation

In April 2017, Alder’s Director of Research, Kristin Smith Alvarez, presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Alvarez presented as part of the paper session “Educational Leadership Preparation: Propositions for More Effective Training Programs.” Her paper, “Feedback: Preparation and Practice for School Leaders,” offered findings from a case study of a school supervision course within one graduate-level school leadership preparation program.

Dr. Alvarez utilizes the work of scholars of practice-based teacher education, including Pam Grossman, Magdalene Lampert, and Deborah Ball, to consider the ways in which leadership preparation could become more practice-based. Specifically, she argues that feedback is a high-leverage domain of practice for which leaders ought to be prepared. Alvarez explores how feedback practice could be broken down into component parts that could be learned by novices and how those parts could be practiced so that leaders could demonstrate competence in this domain of work.