On the practice architectures of instructional leadership

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Petri Salo, Jan Nylund, Else Stjernstrøm
Publisher: Sage Journals
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Educational Management Administration and Leadership
Journal acronym: EMAL
Start page: 1
End page: 17
eISSN: 1741-1440


This paper explores the concept of instructional leadership and principals’ perceptions of the

practices of instructional leadership. Despite the emphasis on the effects of school leadership

regarding teaching practices and learning outcomes, research on direct instructional leadership is

scarce. It is focused either on identifying overall leadership practices or on measuring the effect of

various intangible school level variables, such as school climate, on student learning. The concepts

related to instructional leadership are ambiguous and vague, and challenged by contemporary

understandings of school leadership (transformative and distributed leadership). The data consists

of narratives written by principals from Norway, Sweden and Finland on successful and unsuccessful

efforts of guiding teachers’ work in the classroom. These narratives are used for enabling

principals to communicate their experiences of the complexity of interacting with teachers in

instructional matters. A theoretical framework of practice architectures is used to elucidate the

material, discursive and relational aspects of instructional leadership. A three-step analysis of the

data suggests that successful instructional leadership is characterized by solidity, co-production

and direction. Interestingly, principals’ narratives on instructional leadership lack an explicit

vocabulary of didactics, examples of face-to-face guidance of teaching as well as direct professional

relationships for strengthening teaching practices.

Last updated on 2020-26-09 at 02:56