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Buffone, Robert (2017) TEACHING TEACHERS TO WRITE: A DISTRIBUTIVE LEADERSHIP APPROACH TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Teachers who write proficiently are more likely to possess the skills to teach students to write proficiently. This study examines how a principal recognized the condition behind poor test results; limited professional development in writing, which was a contributing factor in weak student performance in writing. As a result the principal facilitated/initiated teacher led writing labs that engaged teachers in the writing process while at the same time developed and made use of teacher leaders to create a philosophy that the teachers of proficient student writers are proficient writers. In other words, before teachers were asked to implement writing instruction in the classroom, they first had to learn how to write. Facilitated by the principal and led by teacher leaders, the lab is a collaborative planning environment where job-embedded professional learning occurs. The principal implemented the solution, professional development writing labs, and is now evaluating its outcomes based upon the perceptions and feedback of the teacher participants.
Professional Development grounded in distributive leadership formed the foundation for the writing labs. The writing lab approach afforded teachers continuous, meaningful and directly applicable practice in a safe space that instigated commitment, growth, change, and outcomes. A two-fold approach fostered the outcomes: teachers teaching teachers and teachers doing the work they were asking their students to do. Both approaches resulted in proficient teachers as writers and proficient teachers of writers. As a result of these approaches, three specific actions are discussed in this evaluation: teachers developing their skills as writers, teacher leaders emerging as a result of job embedded professional development, and the principal assuming the role of a learner in the process. If students are to become better writers, it was theorized that teachers needed to practice writing and study writing pedagogy to determine how and where to implement an improved writing curriculum.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Buffone, Robertrrb34@pitt.edurrb340000-0002-2098-7127
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorLongo, R.
Committee MemberRussell,
Committee MemberTrovato,
Date: 29 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 June 2017
Approval Date: 29 August 2017
Submission Date: 1 July 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional development; distributive leadership; writing; leadership; principal
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 22:08
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2017 22:08


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