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Educational Policy, School Administration, and the Technical Core: The Local Infrastructure and Instructional Improvement Challenge

Presenters: Megan Hopkins
Drawing from The Distributed Leadership Studies at Northwestern University (James Spillane et al), this session examines the relationship between school infrastructure and the practice of leading and managing for instructional improvement. We argue that leadership practice emerges from the social interactions among school leaders and followers, as mediated by the situation in which the work occurs. As such, our session will explore how both formal and informal structures can shape school staff interactions. We will also describe collaborations with schools in using these data to reflect on, diagnose, and design their infrastructures to support instructional improvement in mathematics.


About the Presenter:
Megan Hopkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Northwestern University
Megan Hopkins is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She works with Dr. James Spillane on the NSF-funded NebraskaMATH Project, a longitudinal study that examines the impact of the project’s professional development program in mathematics on teacher practices, attitudes, and leadership, with an overall goal of improving achievement in mathematics and narrowing achievement gaps for struggling students. In her other work, Hopkins investigates teachers’ implementation of language policy and the ways in which schools and classrooms are organized to meet the needs of English language learners and immigrant students. Prior to moving to Northwestern, Hopkins was the evaluation research associate for Project Secondary Online Learning (SOL) at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, a bi-national initiative that delivers rigorous primary language math and science curricula to recent immigrant high school students. She is a former bilingual elementary school teacher and has also worked as a supervisor and instructor for pre-service and novice teachers in Los Angeles. Hopkins was awarded the 2011 Dissertation of the Year Award (second place) from the Bilingual Education Research Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. She serves as the coordinator for the Working Group on ELL Policy, a group of nationally recognized researchers in the education of English language learners. Hopkins received her PhD in education from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and she holds a MEd in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in Spanish from Indiana University.