The mission of the Indiana Principal Leadership Institute is to provide building level principals with the skills and tools needed to increase their personal leadership capacities, as well as to increase the learning capacities of their schools.
A research-based approach to decision making in educational settings is imperative. The tendency to not use research can be due in part to educators’ reluctance to deploy findings from settings unlike their own. Thus, IPLI teaches participants to do action research. They collect data, analyze data, practice, and adjust their practice as they reflect on their progress. Educators own the research they create.
In year one, principals focus on increasing their leadership capacities utilizing the action research process. During the Summer Seminar, they are introduced to action research and select a mini project to complete before the September Seminar. At the seminar, they share their results and their reflections on the action research cycle. Guided by highly trained mentors, principals then develop and implement a year-long action research project. The process culminates with the IPLI Action Research Showcase, where principals present the findings of their projects in a conference-style format. Summaries of their work are then published on the IPLI website.
In year two, principals invite two teacher-leaders to attend the IPLI seminars and engage in a study of their schools using the Marzano High Reliability Schools™ framework. Teams review the action research process during the Summer Seminar, conduct a mini action research school project between July and September, and present their results at the September Seminar. Guided by their mentors, principals then lead their teams in a year-long action research project focused on improving the learning capacities of their schools. At the April Seminar, teams present the results of their projects in a conference-style format. Summaries of their work are then published on the IPLI website.
In addition, the research being generated by IPLI participants is shared with a variety of audiences through presentations and publications.