Esther Dominique Klein

Instructional Leadership in den USA – Ein Modell für Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter in Deutschland?


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In the German school improvement literature, instructional leadership by the principal is perceived as a relevant factor of success, but this estimation is deduced from the US research on leadership. So far, there are very few systematic, theoretically sound studies describing instructional leadership in Germany. The article uses qualitative data from two successful principals in California to exemplify what instructional leadership can look like in the USA. The goal is to illustrate instructional leadership from an outsider’s perspective that helps to understand the institutional context that frames the work of principals. The results demonstrate the relevance of this context, which is mostly evident in the rights of the principal and the autonomy of teachers, in the actual leadership in instructional improvement, and in the role the principal plays for the learning climate. The article closes with a discussion about the extent to which the instructional leadership model can be helpful for principals in Germany.