Jim Spillane Addresses Singapore Early Childhood Conference

Jim Spillane Addresses Singapore Early Childhood Conference

Jim Spillane in Singapore

Professor James Spillane gave the opening keynote address at the Early Childhood Conference presented by the government of Singapore recently. An audience of 2,500 early childhood educators and policy makers heard Spillane's talk.

Spillane discussed “Leading and Managing Human Development Practice: A Distributed Perspective” at Singapore's Early Childhood Development Agency conference. His address focused on the challenges of leading and managing teaching in preschools.

Following this session, Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan-Jin opened the conference with a speech announcing several new government initiatives to support early childhood education.  

Earlier in the week, Spillane travelled with several senior policymakers from the Early Childhood Agency to visit three different preschools. The Early Childhood Agency is part of both the Ministry for Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education.  

In his keynote address, Spillane emphasized the distributed perspective on preschool leadership. According to Spillane, a distributed perspective provides a framework that draws attention to certain aspects of leadership and management work while it also guides improvement efforts. “Practice is all about interaction,” Spillane said, “not just actions of individual leaders.”

Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change and the chair of the Human Development and Social Policy doctoral program at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. He is also a professor of Learning Sciences and a faculty associate at the Institute for Policy Research.

Spillane’s work explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. An expert in school leadership and educational policy, he is the author of several books, including Distributed Leadership and Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement, as well as numerous journal articles.

In addition to his policy research, Spillane also studies organizational leadership and change, looking at organizational leadership as a distributed practice. Recent projects include studies of instructional advice seeking in schools and the socialization of new school principals.

Recently named the director of the Office of Global Initiatives at the School of Education and Social Policy, Spillane is leading the School’s efforts to develop a more global perspective. Global initiatives are a priority for the School to extend its resources and address critical issues worldwide.

Photo: Professor James Spillane with Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/13/16