RETA Distributed Leadership for Middle School Mathematics Education: Content Area Leadership Expertise in Practice Series

The goal of this project was to design and validate a series of research instruments to identify leadership for mathematics instruction in middle schools and for documenting instructional leadership practice. Adopting a distributed perspective on leadership, this work focused on both formally designated and informal leaders and their leadership routines. The objective was to develop valid and reliable instruments that make the day-to-day practice of school leadership for mathematics instruction more transparent, as well as measure changes in this practice over time. This project utilized Social Network Surveys, Experience Sampling Methods (ESM), and Daily Practice Logs. To validate these instruments a combination of shadowing, end-of-day cognitive interviews, and semi-structured interviews was used. These instruments were used to describe and analyze when and how teachers and other educators solicit or provide instructional advice and the degree to which these resources influence their work. This was a mixed methods series involving both quantitative and qualitative methodologies designed to investigate content leadership knowledge and practice for middle school mathematics.