PLE 5: Module 3

PLE 5: Leadership Development

Printable Version: PLE #5 Teaching Notes

Printable Version: PLE #5 Rubric               

In order to see how much students know about existing structures and resources that affect ELLs, we provide a simple organizational reflection/assessment that highlights some basic structures that must be modified to support ELL success.

The focus of this activity is to emphasize the structures that reflect the organization’s level of preparedness to meet the needs of ELLs.

Instructor Notes
  • Understand how leaders need to prepare for leading for ELLs.
  • Identify knowledge base(s) necessary for leading for ELL success.
  • Reflect upon leadership strengths and areas for growth.

This module is called “Leadership Development” because it focuses on the personal and professional growth of the principals as they developed and maintained responsive – and inclusive – school communities.

This PLE requires an analysis of leader strategies,

Because many leaders are unfamiliar with the needs of ELLs, the need to turn to other local and academic “experts” becomes important.

This is a tool for individual reflection on candidates emerging leadership styles. It is thoroughly non-scientific and Lewin’s frame may be slightly dated. However, this short questionnaire does provide a springboard  The questions address the underlying theory of ELL education regarding language acquisition, instructional programs, and policy issues.

The assessment can be given “whole class” (rather than individually) to spark a discussion about what candidates do/do not know about their own school structures and how these interact to foster or undermine ELL education.

If you are able to integrate this more into your class, the areas highlighted in the assessment can be used as “study questions” in which students break into small groups and discuss these issues in their school/district. Response can be presented in class or through an on-line discussion board.

Do not be surprised if students do not know the answers to many of these questions. Schools rarely respond to ELL needs in systematic and systemic ways, mostly focusing on curriculum or instruction. If this is the case, then this activity should help candidates begin to think more holistically about ELLs and school improvement.

Video can be assigned independently or in-class as part of a guided discussion.

If viewed independently, discussion/reflection questions are embedded.

If viewed in-class, clip can be paused for discussion. Discussion can be whole class or in small groups.


Video Length ~ 7:26

These clips address the how school structures and resources were developed and aligned to more effectively meet ELL learning needs.  The video also highlights the multi-strategy approach employed by the school and the district. The principal did not rely on the one, “right” strategy but engaged with the district and teachers to   develop several strategies that were tightly aligned.

The principal introduces,
Professional development  (both in terms of the theoretical knowledge of Second Language Acquisition and specific strategies for ELLs)
Teacher observations (understanding the classroom context and needs of ELL students)
Building Staff Knowledge (role of ESL teachers in instructional planning)
District support (aligning programs district wide and developing responsive programs)

Personnel assignments (effective placement of ESL professionals)

Guided Discussion

There are discussion questions embedded in the video after every segment.  For example,

  • How does this build organizational capacity?
  • What resources were identified in the process?
  • What other school structures support organizational learning?

If candidates are completing this PLE independently, then students can write short responses to the discussion/reflection questions. These can then be submitted for professor review and/or an on-line forum or brought to class for group discussion.

If students are watching the video in class, the video can be stopped after every segment and questions can be used to foster class discussion.

These discussion questions can also be modified to reflect the local context, including constraints and needs.

Questions can also focus on the larger issue of leading school reform. Many of the structures discussed here affect teaching/classrooms and require reallocation of resources (i.e. time, personnel). These are organizational changes, which highlights both a systemic approach AND how making curricular changes alone will not foster school improvement.


Evans, A. (2007). School leaders and their sensemaking about race and demographic change. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43(2), pp. 159-188. [Not open-source]

Coady, M., Hamann, E.T., Harrington, M., Pacheco, M., Pho, S. & Yedlin, J. (2003). “Claiming Opportunities: A Handbook for Improving Education for English Language Learners Through Comprehensive School Reform,” Chapters 2 & 3.

These readings highlight the role of school structures in ELL achievement. Rather than “blaming” ELL students for, assumed low achievement, these articles force students to address issues in schools and leadership.

Claiming Opportunities is a free on-line text. The whole book is relevant to this module. For this PLE, we recommend Chapters 4 and 5.
Supporting Materials

Gándara, P., Rumberger, R., Maxwell-Jolly, J. and Callahan, R., (2003, October 7). English Learners in California Schools: Unequal resources, unequal outcomes. Education Policy
Analysis Archives, 11(36). Retrieved [2012] from

These materials can be used in conjunction with or instead of the articles suggested.

Related Websites

Teaching Tolerance

Office of English Language Acquisition

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition

There are numerous websites but these offer both research and policy information on ELL students and second language acquisition.
Reflective Journaling

Reflective journals are an important part of individual leadership development. It allows students to capture their thinking and underlying assumptions. Periodically, students can analyze their journal and see how their thinking evolves over time, both in terms of sophistication and skill development.

Candidates journal about of their experiences in changing contexts and their feeling about it, as well as strategies that were used to “manage the change.”

One way to maximize the journaling experience is to give students time in class to share what they are learning about themselves/their leadership. This serves to highlight the value of the journal and also give you insight into where their learning needs are.

These journals can also be done on-line via individual discussion boards, blogs, etc.
Assessments Level One

Level One: Candidates reply to the discussion questions in written form based on Dr. Baralié’s responses.

Level Two: Candidates write a brief case study of the school based on Dr. Baralié’s responses incorporating background information and identifying challenges.

Level Three: Candidates respond to guiding questions (provided in video or identified by the professor) based on their local context.

These assessments reflect the different levels of integration into existing course. Each “level” becomes increasing more complex and will require more time on the part of students and professor.

The extended activity described below requires extensive work outside of class and reinforces data collection and analysis skills.
Extended Activity
  • Option A: Candidates write an in-depth case study of GMS, addressing all the leadership areas, based on Dr. Baralié’s responses.
  • Option B: Candidates write an in-depth case study of their own school, addressing all the leadership areas and based on their own context. This requires that candidates interview their principal – or any principal – on some/all the leadership areas and write an in-depth case study based on the data.


PLE #5 ELL Leadership Vision & Development Rubric

Standard 2: A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to ELL student learning and staff professional growth. 

  •  Leadership personal platform, vision and mission statements

Standard 4: An education leader promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse ELL community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

  •  Leveraging external and internal support structures to support ELLs

Standard 6: An educational leader promotes the success of every ELL student by understanding, responding to and influencing the political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.

  • Interpreting and enacting  local, district, state, and national legal documents  affecting ELL student learning


Candidate Goals
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
What processes do candidates use to develop and embed a shared vision and mission inclusive of ELLs?
Candidates are able to articulate the elements of an effective personal platform.
Candidates develop a personal vision statement  as a  guide by which   personal and professional activities are coordinated to bring them closer to their stated goals.
Candidates develop a Leadership vision statement  as a  guide by which  professional activities are coordinated to bring them closer to their career  goals.
Candidates  develop school a vision statement and mission statement for a school with a substantial ELL population.
Candidates provide a plan for establishing staff consensus for the implementation of an ELL inclusive vision and mission for a school/district.
Can candidates obtain, allocate, and align human, fiscal and technological resources to meet the needs of ELLs?
Candidates identify the human resource, fiscal, and technological elements that affect ELLs.
Candidates identify and explain their ability as leaders to influence/control of human, fiscal and technological elements to support ELLs.
Candidates identify and explain as leaders the inter connectedness  of human, fiscal and technological elements that support ELLs.
Candidates identify the potential changes in school structures of  that the human, fiscal and technological elements will impact.
Candidates provide a strategic plan for the implementation of  human, fiscal and technological elements to support ELLs.
What are the strategies used in the school community to promote productive patterns of leadership distribution for ELL success?
Candidates can identify

Candidates identify the individuals, groups, teams that directly and indirectly impact ELL success.

Candidates identify the leader role in supporting individuals, groups, teams in meeting ELL goals.
Candidates are able to select and organize groups and teams based on the needs of ELLs.
Candidates are able to apply Argyris and Schoen Model II assumptions to an array of ELL challenges.
Can candidates demonstrate that the school budget reflects equitable distribution to support ELLs?
Candidates identify the need to distribute or redistribute fiscal resources based on ELL needs.
Candidates interpret ELL school budget by line items. They can distribute funds by function: salaries, supplies, etc.
Candidates interpret budget by program identifying ELL instructional activities ;by subject area.
Candidates interpret budget using zero based budget.  Incremental allocations based on ELL activities.
Candidates use ELL performance criteria to establish allocations based on measured results, objectives, ELL needs.
How do candidates assess and analyze emerging trends, initiatives and pressures from the ELL community?
Candidates identify educational paradigm shifts relative to ELLs.
Candidates identify change strategies and the role of leaders in creating change for ELLs.

Candidates understand education as a complex policy ecosystem with the growth of ELLs as a point of debate.

Candidates identify barriers to change for ELL population using four frame analysis.
Candidates using four frame analysis identify the essential strategies required to create change for ELLs.


Assignment: Candidates will read the following article: Madhlangobe, L. & Gordon, S.P. (Sept 2012). Culturally responsive leadership in a diverse school: A case study of a high school leader. NASSP Bulletin, 96(3), 177-202. Candidates in a written report will identify the leadership practices of culturally responsive leaders in the personal, environmental and curricular domains. They will include how their behaviors would be modified to demonstrate the areas of caring, building relationships, being persistent/persuasive, present/communicative, modeling cultural responsiveness, and fostering a culture of responsiveness.