Leadership, Organizational Routines, and Innovation: A Study of the Implementation of Project Based Learning in Three Elementary Schools

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0001-8784-0798
Hertzberg, Jennifer, Administration and Supervision - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Eddy Spicer, David, CU-Leadshp, Fndns & Pol Studies, University of Virginia

This study examined how school leaders, including principals and teachers from three elementary schools, translated a district aim, Project-Based Learning, to promote new pedagogy within their buildings. Each school utilized organizational routines and practices, such as School Innovation and Improvement Planning (SIIP), Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs), and school-embedded Professional Learning and Development (PLD). However, the ways in which these practices were specifically used to further the implementation of Project Based Learning were quite varied.

Findings revealed that principals and teachers perceived professional learning as integral to PBL implementation, while CLTs were not typically used to plan for PBL; rather, teachers used common planning time outside of CLTs to create and refine inquiry-based, authentic learning experiences. SIIP goals were developed to target a specific number of PBL experiences, but these goals did not appear essential to the uptake of PBL. Furthermore, SIIP goal targets were not well-known to all staff, nor consistently revisited throughout the year.

As a result of inconsistencies in schoolwide implementation of new pedagogy, recommendations were made to strengthen principal leadership and teacher efficacy through targeted professional learning and development that supports system, school, and individual growth.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
curriculum implementation, program implementation, active learning, instructional improvement, instructional innovation, teaching methods, teacher professional development, professional learning communities, organizational routines, instructional practice, instructional leadership
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