MASSP: Module 2

Visionary Leadership for Educational Change and Improvement

Richard Kerry Thompson


Facilitator: Ben Mainka


Skype ID: bmainka

MASSP Module 2

This problem-based module provides a theoretical and research base for understanding leadership,schools as organizations, and most importantly, the role of the school leader in driving change and improvement.

Emphasis will be placed on the concepts of organizational change and building a productive school culture with a capacity for continuous improvement. Knowledge and skills are enhanced in the areas of communication and consensus-building within the context of developing a school vision for learning.

Throughout this module, candidates are provided opportunities to self-assess and examine their leadership styles, personal dispositions, professional behaviors, and skill levels related to communications, consensus- building, and human relations as a basis for professional growth.

As strong focus on practical implementation of these topics will be used, and participants will develop skills they can begin to use in their roles as school leaders.

The objective of this course is to develop a practical as well as a research and theoretical base for understanding leadership in schools.

The objective is met through job-embedded experiences designed to enhance candidate’s knowledge,skills, and dispositions as visionary leaders who are constantly focused on improvement and positive change in learning organizations

Week 1 - Knowing Your Leadership Style


We'd like to know some information about you. Please tell us:

  • Your full name
  • Your nickname or preferred name
  • Where you work
  • Your role in your job

Now, let's have some fun getting to know each other by answering the following scenario questions!

  • You are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean.
  1. You must select three people to be with you on this island.
  2. Each of the three people may be dead, alive, or imaginary.
  3. You must provide a rationale and reasons why you picked each person.

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Mini Activity 1 - Leadership Style Self-Assessment Week 1 - Knowing Your Leadership Style

Mini Activity 1 - Leadership Style Self-Assessment

After reading about the three types of leadership styles, you will take a very brief self assessment and analyze your results.

The assessment can be taken here:

After you have taken the assessment, analyze your results and compare the types of leadership styles to the three that you read about. Determine if the description fits for you or not and compare it to the article you read from the U.S. Army.

Please post your results and brief reflection on this forum.

Mini Activity 2 - Stakeholder Interview Activity - Week 1 - Knowing Your Leadership Style

Mini Activity 2 - Stakeholder Interview Activity

This activity will require you to interview at least three other people who interact with you on a professional level.

The questions for this interview are as follows:

  1. What do you feel best describes my leadership style now or what it would be if I were in a leadership role?
  2. Based on what you know of me, what would you say I value or care about?
  3. What is one challenge that you could foresee me having as an educational leader?
  4. What is one area where you think I would be very successful as a leader?

The intent for this activity is that you would be interviewing people who you oversee, however, if you are not yet in a leadership role, select people who would have a good insight into your style and personality.

If you feel that the participants will not be entirely truthful with you in a face to face interview, you could ask them to complete it anonymously.

If you would like to interview more that three people, you will probably get a more beneficial insight into your own leadership style. When you finish this activity, and collecting your responses, please include a brief analysis of your responses.

What stood out to you? Were you surprised by anything? Did you agree with their take on your leadership style? When finished, please submit your responses as a PDF file, approximately 1-2 pages in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single-spaced.

Discussion Board - Week 1 - Week 1 - Knowing Your Leadership Style

Discussion Board - Week 1

Please discuss your new learning after reading the material for this week.

Please also compare the two articles, Transformational Leadership and High Impact Leadership.

Where do you stand after reading these two articles? Offer a brief reflection on the topic.

My submission below..

Simon Sinek - Start With Why - TED Talk Short Edited

Week 2 - Vision and Power


This week we will continue by reading our first book, The Art of School Leadership as well as several other resources. The files can be clicked below to the individual articles while the URL links to several resources are posted here.

  1. Hoerr, 2005 pg. 68-86 and 106-118
  2. Developing a Vision and Mission - Farmer and Gabriel
  3. Back to Square One - Wilms
  4. Visionary Leadership - Lashway
  5. What is a Professional Learning Community

Back to Square One - Wilms.pdf

Developing a Vision and a Mission - Farmer and Gabriel.pdf

Visionary Leadership - Lashway.pdf

Mini Activity 3

Mini Activity 3 - Personal Power Inventory

This activity will help you determine your personal power, and the power that you use in leadership situations. To complete this activity, follow the steps below:

  1. Take Power Inventory on page 70 in the Hoerr text.
  2. Tally your results on page 84 in the Hoerr text.
  3. Reflect and then answer the three questions (bullet points) at the bottom of page 84. Then you should submit your answers and a brief reflection as a PDF file, approximately 1-2 pages in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single-spaced.

My Submission below...

Five Kinds of Power

Five Kinds of Power

The classic model of social power, set out by French and Raven (1959), identifies five different sources of power: reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert. Each of these stems from a different power base. Whenever people do what we have asked or acquiesce to our demands, they are doing so in response to our having one or more of these power bases.

Typically, leaders possess more than one type of power and use these powers in combination with one another. None of us can ever possess all five kinds of power in any situation or with any individual, but an awareness of the power bases is helpful as we think about how to supervise teachers and move a school forward.

Leaders provide as much positive support as possible. ~Barry

  1. Reward Power
  2. Coercive Power
  3. Legitimate Power
  4. Referent Power
  5. Expert Power

Mini Activity 4 - Articulating a Vision for Learning


  1. Read the article on Visionary Leadership, by Larry Lashway.
  2. Watch the screencast: Vision on a Page
  3. Complete one of the two options below for creating a vision for learning in a school.

Option 1 – A real life scenario, using real people, in a real school setting

For this option, you will go through the process of pulling together a group of stakeholders in your school.

This should include,

  1. parents,
  2. students,
  3. teachers, and other
  4. administrators.

Then, you will take the group through the process of establishing a vision for learning in your school.

Option 2 – Hypothetical scenario

For this option, you will outline the plan that you would go through to establish a vision for learning.

You need to include detailed steps on

  1. who you would include,
  2. how you would pull the team together,
  3. and ultimately your finished product for a vision for learning.

Submit your final Vision for Learning along with

  1. the details of how you came up with your vision.
  2. Along with this, please submit your reflection on
  3. how this process went for you and
  4. several things you learned in the process.

Submit your reflection and your learning highlights as a PDF file, approximately 1-2 pages in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single-spaced.

My Submission below

Case Study 1 – Developing a Vision

Case Study 1 – Developing a Vision

By Ben Mainka

You have been given an opportunity to take over a new building in a small town in northern Michigan. After being a principal of a school in an urban setting, you decide that you are ready for a more relaxed setting and accept the position. The superintendent and board are very excited about the experience that you bring to their district. They hope that you will come with a new perspective to what has been an extremely traditional approach to education.

You know from the research that you did before taking the position that the building consists of teachers who are very veteran. In fact, 80% of the staff has been teaching for 12 or more years. You also know that they take great pride in the way that they do things and have struggled with their last principal who was just removed from his position because the school was designated as a focus school for the third straight year. Scores are low, parental support for education is low, but they have a tremendous sports program in their area and are looking forward to your first address to the football team in the fall.

Formulate a Response:

*Answer the following questions on this forum.

What steps would you take to build a vision in your new job?

How would you attempt to make this vision shared between your staff, parents, and the community?

Are traditions and resistance to change always negative? Explain.

My submission below...

Discussion Board - Week 2

Discussion Board - Week 2

This week you will be posting one new topics which are as follows:

1. Please discuss your new learning after reading the material for this week. What did you like/dislike about the reading or take away from it?

my submission below...

Week 3 -

Leadership is a verb

John Maxwell The 5 Levels of Leadership
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Mini Activity 5 - Collaborative Decision Project

Mini Activity 5 - Collaborative Decision Project

Collaborative Decision Project

This activity will require you to identify a problem or situation in your place of work that could use a solution. You will then apply what you have learned from the reading and select several individuals to work collaboratively through shared-decision making. The idea here is to work collaboratively with others. This task does not need to be large, but should give you an opportunity to apply the principles that you have learned thorugh the reading.

A one page paper will be submitted describing the problem solved, the people involved in the decision, and an analysis of how you applied your skills to the situation. The paper should be submitted as a PDF file, approximately one page in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single-spaced.

My Submission below...

Mini Activity 6 - Communication Plan

For this activity, you will be using your knowledge and skills plus any new learning to create a communication plan for yourself. This plan should include how you will communicate with variuos stakeholders including parents, students, staff, and other administrators. The Principal Communication tips will be useful for this activity, and you probably have thought about these things prior to now. You will apply your learning to the development of your own personal communication plan. The plan will need to address the following questions and components:

  1. What are some basic principles you believe in or will use when communicating with any person?
  2. How do your stakeholders currently get their information?
  3. What types of things can you add or change in order to get information to your stakeholders in a more productive way?
  4. What are the methods/mediums used to communicate? (technology, paper, phone, etc...)
  5. How will you respond when people do not understand or receive your communication?

Please post your responses to these on this forum

Link to my submission below...

with supporting links below as well...

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Case Study 2 - Supporting and Growing Teacher Leaders

By Ben Mainka

You are a principal of a large middle school (1200 students) in a very large school district. Due to the size of your school, you are realizing that things are slipping through the cracks and that you cannot possible attend to all of the needs in the building. One thing you notice is that both of your assistant principals are burdened with teacher evaluations and student discipline. On top of all of your other responsibilities, you are charged with instructional leadership in your school. Knowing that the task is overwhelming, you would like to get some of your staff members to take a bigger role in leading some of the initiatives.

Moving forward, you approach three of your staff members about helping lead some of the curricular initiatives from a "grassroots" level. You naturally select three people who are outstanding in their respective teaching areas and do an amazing job teaching and connecting with kids. However, you notice that each of them is very apprehensive to take on any leadership responsibilities. One of the teachers tells you that they really enjoy their job, but that they would never want to be in a position where their peers felt they had to "listen" to their advice. Another teacher shares that she really is not interested in the opportunity because she just likes to be told what to do and then she does it the best that she can, but she does not want to be in a position where she has to focus on telling others what to do. The third teacher is excited and interested to help, but is young and very nervous about being labeled by her colleagues as a "know-it-all" or some sort of "administration kiss-up". Finally, a day after you approach these individuals, the union president (who is also a teacher in your building) comes into your office and wants to chat about the new evaluation legislation. He wants you to know that he, nor the union, would support any sort of teacher input or interference in the process. This includes staff members who are labeled "teacher leaders" who may provide opinions on how a teacher is progressing instructionally. Additionally, he would expect any teachers who work outside the scope of teaching students get paid additional stipends which need to be negotiated and offered by seniority.

In light of the many issues that you face, you know you need help. However, you also see that it is not as simple as having someone do it. There are many stakeholders and also circumstances such as personality traits and qualities that affect a teacher's ability to effectively lead.

Formulate a Response:

1. How do you find, develop, approach, and encourage teacher leaders?

2. How would you deal with your teacher union in this case?

3. What is your plan of action for this school?

My submission below...

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Discussion Board - Week 3

This week you will be posting one new topic, and responding to at least one other submission from colleagues.

Please discuss your new learning after reading the material for this week. What did you like/dislike about the reading or take away from it?

my submission below

Week 4

Week 4 - Ethics and Initiating Change

Case Study 3 - Ethical Leadership in a Diverse and Complex Society By Kevin Mowrer

You are a principal of a medium sized school district. It is your first year as principal. Your building’s enrollment is 600 students. It is you and a counselor, with a part-time athletic director in another building. Discipline was a need the faculty and staff identified in the interview process, as the outgoing principal took a long leave of absence (because he was going to be released at the end of that year) and no one really took care of student discipline.

Early in the school year, a young man named William Bonham entered your school district and school. William is of Native American heritage and comes from the Suquamish tribe. However, his family does not live on a reservation, and both parents work in the construction industry in the metropolitan area your school borders. William was homeschooled for the previous two years and his class record was written by the family member on a waded up sheet of paper. He was on an IEP, when he attended another area school two years ago, but the family did not receive services when he went to home school. He is both emotionally impaired and learning disabled.

It is now October, and Will’s teachers are reporting behavior they describe as “strange.” Will is staring at them, wearing a black overcoat, and has a ring that looks like it has a gargoyle knife coming out of it.

In several conversations with Will, he sounds like he is having a hard time adjusting to being back in the school setting. At home, he was allowed to follow his passion of investigating his heritage as well as work a lot with music. With the music program cut badly last year, getting music into his program looks limited. Project based learning is only a hopeful figment of your imagination.

The months roll by and now it is November. Will is telling other students he is going to commit suicide. When he comes down to the office, he denies saying those things. He refuses to talk to the counselor or social worker in the district. Will also took apart a pencil sharpener in art class and told another student he was going to cut himself after school with the blade from the pencil sharpener.

Because of these incidents and a possible theft, where Will was in the vicinity when an I Pod and some money came up missing, the parents call you and say the school, you, and the faculty/staff are discriminating against their son. Because of his heritage and background, he is being singled out and targeted. According to the parents, it is a violation of Will’s civil rights. They want to talk to your district coordinator for Title II, Title IV, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is your superintendent.

Before you call them back, a teacher sends Will down to your office and reports he punched another student, Ricky, in the back of the head during a science lab. Will says Ricky was using slurs.

Formulate a Response:

  1. How do you react to this situation?
  2. How do you deal with students, parents, superintendent, and staff?
  3. What is your plan of action?

My Submission below...

Mini Activity 7 – Personal Ethics Paper

Mini Activity 7 – Personal Ethics Paper

After the selected readings, you will develop your own set of personal leadership ethics using your own understandings and experiences. You will then write a position paper on which qualities you will exhibit as a leader and what types of ethical behavior you will display. This should be submitted as a PDF file, approximately one to two pages in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single spaced.

My Submission below

Week 5

Week 5 - Data and Technology: Key Tools for School Leaders

Reading and Resources

I hope you enjoyed be begnining half of the Reeves book as much as I have. This week we will read the final parts of his book, and a few other resources. This week, we really dive into the topics of data and technology. Both data and technology play a huge role in education today and should be a part of every school leader's vision for school improvement and success.

In addition to the Reeves readings, we will be reading some excellent work by about data and how important it is. This will be extremely practical and useful information. Additional readings include:

  • Reeves, 2009 pg. 85-146

  • 7 Habits of Tech-Leading Principals, Demski
  • Salman Kahn: Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education - Click Here
  • Transforming Education with Technology, Cator
  • Walkthrough Screencast - Click Here

Mini Activity 8 - Project

MASSP Activity: Project

ISLLC Standard 1.2


  1. Read the required articles from the Reading and Resources folder.
  2. Watch the screencast: Walkthrough
  3. Using the school district your work in or reside in, go to the website and pull student achievement data. You could choose to focus on a school (typical) or you could look at district-wide data.
  4. Analyze the data and answer the following questions:
    1. How does this school or district compare to other similar districts in the area? (pull data from 3 other school districts nearby to help answer this question)
    2. What areas of strength does this school or district exhibit?
    3. What are some areas where growth needs to occur in this school or district?
    4. Is there a way that the areas of strength could help support the areas of growth?
  5. As a current or prospective leader in this school or district, create a plan to use this data to drive change that will lead to improvement in one of the areas that need growth. The plan should include the following:
    1. Area that the plan is addressing
    2. Timeline
    3. Strategy(s) that will be used to address the area of concern.
    4. Stakeholders involved in executing the plan
  6. Submit your plan along with the answers to the above questions as a PDF document.

my submission below...

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Mini Activity 9 - Using Technology to Promote Learning

Mini Activity 9 - Using Technology to Promote Learning

MASSP Activity: Using Technology to Promote Learning

ISLLC Standard 1.5


  • Watch the video by Salman Kahn – Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education
  • Read the article 7 Habits of Tech-Leading Principals
  • Explain how you as a leader will utilize technology to promote a shared vision for learning. This could include how you would promote and establish classroom technology use and/or how you would use technology to improve organizational and learning efficiency. In your explanation, you need to include how you would use social media as a leader (i.e, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, EdModo, etc…) explanation can be made by using one or a combination of the following options (PowerPoint is not an option because you probably already have a working understanding of that software):
    • Screencast
    • Prezi
    • Glogster
    • Podcast
    • ZohoShow
    • Other – Share something new
  • You may get creative with this project and explain your use of technology using a variety of methods. This is why I have included “other” above so that you may select your own or presentation tool
  • For submissions, please submit instructions (in the online text box) with a link or instructions on how to access your media presentation. If you can submit the media file directly, that is fine too.

My Submission below...

Discussion Board - Week 5

This week you will be posting one new topics, and responding to at least one other submission from colleagues. Your one required topic is as follows:

1. Please discuss your new learning after reading the material for this week. What did you like/dislike about the reading or take away from it?

My Submission below

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Week 6

Reading and Resources

This is the final week, and I did not include a heavy burden of reading this week to ensure that you can get your final paper submitted and focus on that. This week, there will be a few articles to read about strategic planning and improvement. In addition, there is a screen cast on using ASSIST for school improvement. They are:

  • Screencast: Using ASSIST. Click here.
  • The Tipping Point, Schmoker
  • Making Strategic Planning Work, Reeves
  • Strategic Plan on a Page, Freeport Schools

Making Strategic Planning Work, Reeves.pdf

Strategic Plan on a Page - Freeport Schools.pdf

Tipping Point, Schmoker.pdf

Summative Portfolio Assessment 2.1

Personal Leadership and Education Platform

The goal of this paper is to create a platform that embodies your own personal vision and platform for both leadership and education. Resources from within and from out of the course should be used to strengthen your work. The platform should consist of your educational and leadership philosophy that reflects your personal dispositions, philosophy, and vision of school leadership. This platform should be submitted in PDF format, approximately two to three pages in length, 12-point font, one inch-inch margins, single-spaced.

my Submission below

Mini Activity 10 - School Improvement 101

MASSP Activity: School Improvement 101

ISLLC Standard 1.3


  • Watch the screencast: Using ASSIST (AdvanceEd). This screencast will provide you with the main source of information as you navigate this project, and you will need to refer to it frequently.

  • Choose one of the options below:

Option 1 – Real plan and real school

This option is reserved for people who are in formal leadership positions and want to use their actual school in this project. You will use your actual ASSIST login and provide information about your actual school improvement plan.

Option 2 – This option is for a prospective leader or community member. You will use the screencast to help provide information to create a plan about a hypothetical school that does not exist. You could also use a real school that you work in even if you do not have an ASSIST login.

  • After reviewing the screencast or logging into ASSIST, answer the following questions:
    1. What are your general perceptions and thoughts about the ASSIST website and how it is laid out?
    2. Do you think that the school improvement process should be completed by a small group or large group of individuals and why?
    3. How much time should be allotted to complete this process?

  • After answering the questions above, devise a plan for how you will complete the school improvement plan. This is NOT creating an entire actual school improvement plan, but HOW you would go about completing it. Your “how-to” plan should include the following:
    1. Stakeholders or people involved in the creation of the plan
    2. Timeline and how you would allocate time (how much time and when)
    3. How you plan to complete the following components of the school improvement plan in ASSIST:

i. School Data Analysis

ii. Interim Self-Assessment

iii. Executive Summary

iv. Improvement Plan Stakeholder Involvement

v. Goals

vi. Objective

vii. Strategies

viii. Activities

Case Study 4 - Analyzing District Plans

MASSP Case Study 4: Analyze District Plans

ISLLC Standard 1.4


  • Review the Strategic Plan on a Page – Freeport Schools
  • Read The Tipping Point by Schmoker
  • Briefly analyze the process for development and alignment of your district‘s vision, mission, goals, strategic plan, school improvement plans, technology plans, and district policies with district goals for student achievement. This will be based on your own district or a district near you. This process analysis should be posted on the forum for this assignment.
  • Participants are assessed on :
  1. Identifying the key concepts from the readings and applying those concepts to the analysis activity.
  2. Critically comparing and contrasting key ideas from the readings to the district plan being analyzed.

My submission below..

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Discussion Board - Week 6

This is the final week of Module 2, and I have scaled back much of the work. The idea for the discussion board this week is to reflect on the last 5 weeks and provide a brief reflection of the course for the others to see.

my Submission Below...

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More supporting Articles and items below

Leadership is a CHOICE not a RANK !

Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe
Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
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Links of Interest - RKT

Links from MASSP # 1 - Culture and Climate

Act Like A Success: Taking the lid off the jar