The Distributed Leadership Study NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY



In the last decade, the Distributed Leadership Studies have conducted various projects with the goal of improving teaching and learning in schools such as:


The NebraskaMATH study, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The project aims to improve achievement in mathematics for all students and narrow achievement gaps among at-risk populations. To view the survey instrument designed by the DLS team to collect data for this study, please view the Instruments page.


The Principal Policy and Practice Research Study examines the preparation, recruitment, retention

and career paths of school principals through an in-depth look within Chicago Public Schools. Supported by funding from the Spencer Foundation, this work is undertaken in collaboration with the Consortium for Chicago School Research.


The Distributed Leadership for Middle School Mathematics Education Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, seeks to make the day-to-day practice of school leadership for instruction more transparent by examining how school leaders -- administrators, specialists, and teacher leaders -- work to manage and improve instruction.


The Educational Leadership Collaboratory, which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation, introduces school leaders to the distributed leadership perspective and identifies ways they can use this knowledge to create a community of practice that will foster improved teaching and learning in the schoolhouse.


The National Institute for School Leadership project assesses the effects of principal participation in the NISL professional development program. Working in conjunction with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, the evaluation focuses on areas that are thought to support instructional improvement, particularly connections between principals’ practices, improvements in teachers’ practices, and gains in student achievement.


The Educational Excellence and Equity study, with the support of the Searle Fund for Policy Research, examines the ways teachers’ motivation, support, and knowledge are related to the type and organization of the school.


The Distributed Leadership for Elementary School Leadership project was a longitudinal study of urban school leadership funded by the National Science Foundation and by the Spencer Foundation. This study was designed to explore and understand leadership as a practice of instructional improvement and to examine the relations between leadership practice and teachers’ classroom work.

Northwestern University | School of Education & Social Policy

Distributed Leadership Studies | 2120 Campus Drive | Evanston, IL 60208

Phone: 847-491-5968 | Fax: 847-491-8999 | Email:

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