Case Study Development
Beginning in the 2012-2013 school years the Ontario Institute for Education Leadership (IEL), the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) and the Ministry of Education commissioned Dr. Ken Leithwood to conduct a study on the characteristics of Strong School Districts and Their Leadership.
The purpose of conducting this evidenced-based study was to identify the key practices that district leaders strive to implement in a successful school district. The Strong Districts and Their Leadership document was published as a result.
The first phase of the study was inclusive of the development and field-testing of learning modules connected to the nine characteristics of Strong Districts. Case studies from school districts across the province were gathered to demonstrate how school district practices were aligned to these characteristics.
The second phase of this study, commissioned by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE) and the Ministry of Education, was intended to deepen and extend the results of the 2013 research. It included the revision of the eight learning modules in addition to the providing a research strand. Phase two of this work assesses not only how the Strong District characteristics influences student success but also the extent to which the nine characteristics influence student success through their impact on schools, classrooms and families.
A valuable component of this work is the level of professional development that the project has continued to develop and foster. The goal is to urge school districts to de-privatize their practices and share their approaches during the learning modules, through the provision of case studies and ongoing application to their work.
School districts are invited to share their learning by using the following questions as a guideline in reflecting on their use of the Strong Districts and Their Leadership research in the development of a case study.
1. Which one or two characteristics does your case study address?
2. How did you decide this characteristic needed more attention in your district?
3. What was the state of this characteristic when you began to work on it?
4. What did you do to improve the condition of this characteristic (who was involved, what actions were taken, how did you respond to unexpected events along the way)?
5. Were there significant turning points in your efforts to improve this characteristic? What were they?
6. How would you describe the condition of this characteristic in your district now and what evidence do you have to justify this description?
7. What advice would you provide others, given your experience with improving the condition of this characteristic?
The Ontario Institute for Education Leadership invites you to share your case study by contacting the IEL coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* indicates supplementary information since 2016
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