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  • Dr. John Tharp

Distributive Leadership in Education

There are different approaches to leadership in schools and the term distributive leadership is a current popular term used and for good reason. Distributive leadership describes a collaborative method of working in a school district that is based on a core mission of providing an excellent education for each student. This leadership approach organizes staff to work together more so than in the past and gives each person the decision making power in their area of expertise. 

Working in a collective way provides people with a stake in decisions that affect them most and it is also a necessary approach in a complex system like a school district. Collective problem solving always beats decision making done in silos.  Distributive leadership also guarantees accountability throughout the system as the leadership team knows the work of staff and respects what each person contributes. This respect is built on the foundation that all district staff members are practicing and modeling the qualities of hard work, collaboration and respect for one another.

Student learning is our core business and we must provide the best educational experience to each student in order to produce graduates who are equipped with critical thinking skills, interpersonal competencies and work habits to guarantee their future success as democratic citizens.

Using our collective depth and breadth of knowledge in an aligned method is the best way to operate a school district that ensures high performance by all.

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