Jim Spillane Addresses Asia Leadership Conference

Jim Spillane Addresses Asia Leadership Conference

Jim Spillane

The instructional leadership role of the school principal was professor James Spillane's topic when he gave a keynote address at the Asia Leadership Roundtable 2012 in Vietnam on March 12.

Held in Ho Chi Minh City, the international conference was organized by the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change in Hong Kong and the Institute for Research on Educational Development in Ho Chi Minh City. This year's theme focused on “Leadership and Learning in Asia Pacific: Challenges for Research and Practice.”

The purpose of the leadership event was to share research findings related to instructional leadership globally and in East Asia and to highlight perspectives from researchers, policymakers and school leaders on the development of instructional leadership both in primary-secondary schools and in higher education. The conference also shares methods of studying instructional leadership and highlights policy tools being used to foster instructional leadership.

In addition to Spillane, the four other invited keynote speakers were Gian Tu Trung, director of PACE/IRED, Ho Chi Minh City on “Trends in Developing Leadership Capacity in Vietnam”; Chip Barder, head of the United Nations International School, Hanoi, on “Instructional Leadership: A View from Inside the School"; Wendy Pan, professor at National Taiwan Normal University, Republic of China, on “Instructional Leadership in East Asian Schools: Issues in Taiwan”; and Philip Hallinger, professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, on “Initiating a Research Project on Instructional Leadership in East Asia.”

Spillane’s talk emphasized understanding leadership practice as part of the instructional leadership role for the school principal. Spillane, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change, has written two books on leadership practice: Distributed Leadership andDistributed Leadership in Practice.

Spillane's research explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. He has worked to develop a cognitive perspective on the implementation process, exploring how local policy makers, both administrators and teachers, come to understand state and national reforms. He is also interested in organizational leadership and change; his work conceptualizes organizational leadership as a distributed practice involving formal and informal leaders, followers and a variety of organizational tools and artifacts.

His most recent projects include a social network analysis of mathematics advice structures in elementary schools, an evaluation of how kernel organizational routines can develop leadership practice and improve student achievement in schools, and an examination of the preparation, recruitment and retention of school principals. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/12/12