Preparation for Montessori School Leaders: A Look at Current Standards

Wood, Kathryn, Curriculum and Instruction - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Mintz, Susan, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

School leaders have been shown to make an important difference in the success of a school (e.g., Coelli & Green, 2012; Grissom & Loeb, 2011; Leithwood, Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008). Research on the preparation of school leaders has grown tremendously since the 1980s, leading to the adoption of formal standards for school leaders in the mid-1990s (Young & Crow, 2017). Preparation for school leaders is often driven by standards (Young, Anderson, & Nash, 2017), and while one set of standards for the preparation of Montessori school leaders currently exists, it was unknown how well such standards aligned with the work of Montessori school leaders in a variety of school contexts. This descriptive mixed-methods study addressed this problem of practice through surveys of Montessori school leaders and surveys and interviews of directors of Montessori school leader preparation programs. Findings provided insight into the current preparation status and needs of Montessori school leaders, stakeholder perspectives regarding the knowledge and skill needs of Montessori school leaders, and stakeholder perspectives regarding the role of standards related to the preparation of Montessori school leaders. From these results, I provide recommendations for any organization concerned with the preparation of Montessori school leaders. These include: incorporating content and language from the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders into Montessori school leadership standards, utilizing change facilitation practices to support necessary changes, allowing for increased customization of preparation content for diverse Montessori school leaders, partnering Montessori school leader preparation programs with institutions of higher education, and strengthening the Montessori school leadership pipeline.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
leadership preparation standards, school leader preparation, Montessori schools, Montessori school leaders, national standards, teacher leadership, equity
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