Education Leadership Training

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Education Leadership Training


Education Leadership Training for School Directors and Instructional Coaches


Ecuador’s Ministry of Education, Fundación Scalesia and the Simmons School of Education and Human Development


Launched in February 2016; ongoing through through 2021


Galapagos teachers

Photo © Buró Comunicación Integral



Two of the most important lessons learned by Galapagos Conservancy and Fundación Scalesia during the Listening Phase Needs Assessment and subsequent research associated with the design of the Education for Sustainability Program are: 1) The impact of professional development workshops is minimal if teachers do not receive support (mentoring and coaching) between the workshops, and 2) Education reform efforts are not sustainable without enlightened school directors who are committed to and capable of cultivating a sense of shared responsibility for school improvement. Thus, training for school directors and peer mentors/instructional coaches forms a central component of Education for Sustainability Program.

Nature of the Training

For school directors, we don’t address all aspects of a director’s job (such as the director’s role in budgeting, staffing, community relations, etc.). Rather, we focus on five domains of work that focus squarely on teaching and learning with schools:

  • Accepting responsibility for improving the quality of teaching with a school
  • Helping teachers to develop effective educational practices
  • Learning to coach teachers and provide feedback
  • Strategies for building communities of practice
  • Supporting continuous educational improvement

Originally, we envisioned two separate tracts of training for school directors and instructional coaches. However, most of the items listed above are also essential skills for instructional coaches, whose work involves supporting their peers in various ways (observation-feedback, demonstration classes or co-teaching, providing access to support materials, etc.). Therefore, directors and coaches-in-training participate in much of the same training, with each group receiving some specialized attention focused on their different roles.

The two-year program for school directors and coaches consists of one week-long (50-hour) workshop each year, plus additional coaching and short workshops, at other times during the year. The workshops for both directors and coaches-in-training address topics such as:

  • Roles and responsibilities of coaches.
  • Characteristics of adult learners/learning.
  • Communication and building trust.
  • Effective questioning techniques.
  • Utilizing standard-based formative assessments.
  • Optimizing classroom visitations, learning walks and looking at student work.
  • Designing personalized PD plans.

Training specifically for school directors will focus on:

  • Articulation and implementation of an effective vision for a school.
  • Creation of a culture supportive of teaching and learning and commitment to ongoing educational improvement.

Current Needs:

  • Travel and professional fees for education leadership trainers.

For more information, please send us an email.

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