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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Educational Leadership's course, Using Research to Lead School Improvement

As of the Fall 2007 term, students in the Education Leadership Master's program are required to enroll in a newly designed course, Using Research to Lead School Improvement. In this course, prospective school leaders learn the variety of ways leaders use research knowledge in decision making and planning. In a series of performance-based activities, students analyze evidence of instructional problems in their schools, develop research knowledge about the likely causes of these problems, and identify actions that have been shown to impact the causes of problems like theirs in comparable schools. Students develop a comprehensive school improvement proposal based on this work, which is then implemented and evaluated as a part of their internship in the program. As a result, students learn to lead school improvement teams in authentic school settings and schools in our region benefit from additional efforts at implementing high-quality, research-informed school improvement projects.