Leading for Instructional Improvement

How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise

By Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt With a Foreword by John Bransford

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Educational experts agree that quality teaching is the single most important factor in improving educational outcomes for all students. This book shows how teacher, school and district leaders can cultivate the expertise of teachers to deliver high quality instruction for all students. Leading for Instructional Improvement captures the nationally acclaimed work conducted by the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington in its effort to improve the quality of teaching and leadership in schools across the country. The book provides extensive practical guidance grounded in theory and research, along with powerful stories and examples from classrooms, schools, and districts.

Topics covered include:

  • The principal’s role in building teacher expertise
  • The 5 Dimensions of Teaching and Learning™ instructional framework
  • Observing and analyzing lessons
  • Conducting effective classroom walkthroughs
  • Providing useful teacher feedback
  • Orchestrating professional learning
  • The role of instructional coaching in improving teaching practice

Read Introduction and Chapter 2 from the book


What educational experts are saying about the Book

"In this age of intense focus on how we evaluate teachers, we have to remember that any evaluation is only as good as the evaluator. This extremely useful book provides an excellent roadmap for how principals can become more effective in the most important aspect of their work, instructional leadership.”

— Jerry D. Weast, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools,
Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland

"With this insightful and empirically grounded book, Fink and Markholt offer practitioners a guide to effective teaching. Leading for Instructional Improvement asks us to heed the lessons within and support the kind of teacher education that will improve student achievement for today’s schools and those of tomorrow. "

Barnett Berry, President
Center for Teaching Quality


"Amid growing recognition that it is powerful and effective teaching that will advance the learning of every kind of student, Fink and Markholt bring us their field-tested framework for developing higher expertise, and therefore greater capacity, among teachers and school leaders.  This well-crafted, thoughtful and pragmatic book shouldn't be filed in bookshelves -- it should be open and in use on the desks of principals, teachers, and district leaders across the country who intend to drive better policy through better practice."

Jill Powers Kirk, Vice President
Oregon Business Council


"As our nation faces the challenges of the 21st century, equal opportunity in education is an irreplaceable pillar of a just and stable society.  The methods and strategies outlined in Leading for Instructional Improvement have the potential to raise the standards for both teaching and learning.  The National Urban League has set a goal for 2025 that every American child is ready for college, work and life.  Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt can help set the nation on the path to empowerment by ensuring that every teacher is engaged,informed and aware."

Marc H. Morial, President and Chief Executive
National Urban League