Graduate English Education

Leadership Project Overview

The English Education Leadership Project aligns with those produced by other M licensure candidates at UNCP.  Students have the option of undertaking the Leadership Project as an extention of work in a Core Course, or as an entirely independent project. If undertaken as part of one of your core courses, the Leadership Project must pertain to the subject matter of that course (Teaching of Literature, Teaching of Writing, or Literacy). MA candidates may also develop ideas for a Leadership Project as part of EDN 5490—Effective Educational Leadership.

All candidates must produce a leadership project in order to be recommended for M licensure in accordance with Standard 1: Teacher Leadership:

Teacher leaders assume the roles and responsibilities of collaborative leaders in schools and communities. Teachers demonstrate leadership in their classrooms, schools and professional organizations; they advocate for students and effective educational practices and policies; and they are role models for ethical leadership. Teacher leaders will know and be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective ongoing communication, collaboration, and team-building among colleagues.
  • Facilitate mentoring and coaching with novice teachers.
  • Set goals and establish priorities while promoting educational initiatives that positively affect student learning.
  • Participate in professional learning communities.

Many of you already undertake leadership roles in your department, school, system, and/or community.   For the purposes of this project, the definition of leadership and the expectations for the leadership project are as follows:

Leadership implies guiding or directing the activities of others, the thinking of others, the development or reconstruction of an initiative, the identification of a problem, the solution to a problem, and/or the delivery of a service.  Your leadership project must enable you to demonstrate your ability to take on a leadership role with other educators and must relate to the improvement of student learning in direct or indirect ways.  For example, a curriculum improvement project has direct impact on student learning, while a professional development project may have an indirect impact on student learning via nurturing teacher effectiveness.

If you start this project as part of one of your Core Courses, you must adhere to the schedule in that course. For example, your professor may require a prospectus with a bibliography, a researched proposal, a presentation on your proposal, and so on. If you undertake this project as an independent project, you must produce a formal proposal fitting the following guidelines:

  • It must be thoroughly researched. The accompanying bibliography should be comparable to that of a final paper in a graduate course. 8-10 sources would represent a minimum. You are welcome to consider a research paper from a non-Core course as a starting point for this process, if it raises issues that can be appropriately pursued in a Leadership Project.
  • It must articulate a problem, issue, omission, or need for enrichmentthat you perceive among your students or in your school, school system, or community.
  • It must articulate a larger professional context for this necessary intervention; that is, show some indication that your proposal is coming out of a larger intellectual context in the profession (it has been tried elsewhere, suggested before, follows logically from current scholarship, and so on).
  • It must effectively balance this larger professional context of your project with the local situation that makes the project necessary. That is, present a solidly-researched pedagogical rationale for the project, and show that it is particularly appropriate for your school or other professional context. This task should take at minimum 8-10 pages.
  • It must lay out a realistic schedule, and list all required resources. If you will require extensive support to complete the project, you should show some indication that you will receive that support.
  • It should set clear, achievable goals, and indicate some method by which to evaluate its success. You are encouraged to structure this project as an Action Research Project.

Once your proposal has been approved and you have completed a Leadership Project Proposal Form (.doc - requires Microsoft Word) , you will need to implement the project:

1. Execute the Plan of Action.  This may be easier said than done. We anticipate that once your Proposal has been approved, you will take steps to execute your plan before you conclude the M licensure program.  Perhaps your plan might require resources not immediately or readily available. You might need to submit a request – which then must be approved – to  your chair, principal, or School Board.  You may decide to seek funding through a local, state, or national funding agency.  You might need to obtain the collaboration of one or more colleagues.  You will need to identify, sequence, and document all steps taken to implement this Plan of Action and describe in detail how the success of the project will be evaluated.   

2. Evaluate and Disseminate the impact of your Leadership Project upon your target audience, connecting this impact with students’ learning and their meeting DPI objectives in English/Language Arts.  This evaluation will appear in Capstone Portfolio. 

A. Evaluate the Leadership Project to determine if the Plan of Action resulted in the intended Goal.  Consider such factors as any obstacles to implementation; changes in future implementation; methods for assessing impact on student learning (either directly or indirectly); foreseen and unforeseen benefits and disadvantages; other? If you followed an Action Research methodology, you should present a meaningful analysis of your data.

B. Disseminate the results in through an appropriate vehicle, such as staff development workshop or professional presentation; or publication in NCETA or English Journal, or professional newsletter, local newspaper, local television station, school faculty meeting, monthly school board meeting; annual School of Education Poster Session, or some other venue.

For your Capstone Portfolio, you will need an artifact containing the following:

  • Leadership Project Proposal and accompanying materials. If you proposed the Leadership Project as part of a core course, include all supporting materials (annotated bibliography, instructor and peer comments, etc.). If you proposed the project independently, include the full documentation that was submitted to the Program Director
  • Leadership Project Proposal Form (.doc - requires Microsoft Word)
  • Evidence of implementation and/or dissemination. This can include supporting documentation for gathering resources, gaining institutional approval, a presentation, minutes of a meeting, or some other indication that you have shared your results.
  • Document evaluating the Project as a whole (see 2A above).