Content Coverage in the Role of Instructional Leadershipby: William H. Schmidt and Neelam Kher

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The variability in content coverage is likely to produce differences in student learning outcomes. The authors use this variability to reinforce their view that the management of content coverage, including association time allocation, is among the most important tasks for educational leadership. The authors reviewed 53 districts (within two states) by grade level and then analyzed coherence and consistency within districts and within the individual schools. Their method, instrumentation, results, and conclusions are detailed in this chapter.

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Reviews (1)
  • on Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:41 PM

This is a very powerful book chapter with data to demonstrate why science education in the United States is failing to address the needs of many of our students. Data was provided between schools in Michigan and Ohio, and it was found that even schools within the same district did not teach the same science content for the same amount of days or time. The article highlights reasons for these discrepancies – such as high stake testing in reading and math and the lack of leadership in directing, mapping and monitoring science curriculum with the schools or districts. One factor noted in countries, in which students were excelling in the sciences, was there is a set “map” for what students will learn at what grade level, and a relatively consistent amount of time dedicated to each concept spiraling into higher level concepts. This article provides a tremendous amount of data, documentation and argument for any one interested in researching and/or investigating the achievement gap in science education within the United States. The proposed solution was leadership at the principal and superintendents level. However, the book chapter did not outline how or by using which tools, principals and educational leaders could come together to create a uniform system of standards – which would outline exactly what concepts are covered at which grade and how science is taught at each grade level. Currently most standards are too wide or broad and do not allow for any depth in content coverage due to the great quantity of material expected to be covered. Perhaps that is in another chapter.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

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