Leadership magazine March/April 2018 V47 No. 4 | Page 10

Creating a system that encourages coaching, inquiry and reflection results in leadership development that is sustainable and enduring. learning needs of specific students. Simulta- neously, district leaders learned how to sup- port the learning of school leaders to support teachers. The result is the ongoing develop- ment of a culture of learning and collaboration within and across schools that addresses spe- cific learning needs of students. For Newhall, the primary focus was English learners. School and district leaders learned how to engage in inquiry cycles to both support and deepen the adult learning necessary to address the identified problem of practice, with the ultimate goal of eliminating the achievement gap. In the inquiry cycles, principals exam- ine both quantitative and qualitative data – test scores, formative assessments, classroom observation data, student work – to deter- mine a student learning need. This need cre- ates a focus for the problem of practice. The examination of data compels a leader to identify a specific group of students and their teachers to follow over the course of the inquiry cycle. Examples from Newhall’s work include student discourse for fourth grade English language learners, second and third grade English language learner vocab- ulary development during core instruction and first grade students assessing their own learning in math. Each principal frames his or her think- ing around a traditional problem of prac- tice model using the stem, “If the principal ____, then teachers will ____ which will result in students ____.” The answers to the prompts from this stem form the basis for the learning the principal will engage in throughout the inquiry cycle. The principal and his or her coach engage to learn the leadership skills necessary to 10 Leadership support the teachers’ learning and explora- tion of new instructional practices. At the end of the cycle, the principal and coach look at freshly collected quantit