Leadership for School Improvement SIG 101
Leadership for School Improvement SIG 101
SIG Purpose
Welcome! The purpose of the Leadership for School Improvement Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association is to examine how leadership of teachers, principals and superintendents influences instructional capacity resulting in improved student outcomes and how policy guides this collaborative effort. In addition, the Leadership for School Improvement SIG encourages discussion and development of the philosophical, theoretical and empirical tenets guiding school and system renewal. We invite you to join us as we seek to advance this purpose. If you have any questions or comments, please contact any of our officers. 

Message from SIG Chair

Dr. Kristin Shawn Huggins

Due to the succession of officer roles on the LSI-SIG Executive Council, I have been a part of the group of individuals who have led the SIG the past four years. Enthusiastically, I have moved into the role of LSI-SIG Chair this year. Several initiatives have been put in place in the past few years, including further development of the newsletter, the beginning of a book series, and the expanded leadership role of graduate students. This year, the LSI-SIG graduate student leaders have begun the Researcher Development Program in conjunction with the UCEA Graduate Student Council (GSC), which will provide opportunities for graduate students to be paired with research mentors. Additionally, we have added the leadership role of Web Manager to the Executive Council in hopes of having an up-to-date and expanded online presence.

The last three years, I have served alongside outstanding leadership for school improvement scholars who have dedicated themselves to the progress of the group – Angela Urick, Hans Klar, Jennifer Clay-ton, and Kristina Hesbol. My hope is to sustain and advance the work of the LSI-SIG during my time as Chair.

In 2018-2019, we will continue the initiatives that have been put in place as well as provide support to our new initiatives as they begin. We hope that you will participate in our events throughout this year at UCEA and AERA. You can keep informed of what is occurring through our listserv, newsletter, and AERA website. We encourage you to contribute announcements for the listserv, content for the news-letters, inquiries about the book series, and new ideas to the Executive Council. Please know we want your involvement in the LSI-SIG.


We welcome new leadership to the Executive Council. Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, Fordham University, was elected as Dissertation of the Year Chair. She will remain on the Executive Council over the next few years and move through the other ongoing positions – Secretary/Treasurer, Program Chair, Chair, and Past-Chair. Also, DeMarcus Jenkins, University of Arizona, has become our new Web Manager. He will be responsible for LSI-SIG presence on the AERA website as well as other media outlets. Tamilah Richardson, a graduate student at George Washington University, has joined Alison Wilson, a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, to assist with the UCEA GSC and LSI-SIG Researcher Development Program.

Pam Angelle, University of Tennessee, is our book series editor with the first volume in press and a new call for editors for the second volume of the book series. Doug Wieczorek, Iowa State University, is the newsletter editor with Brandon Clark, an Iowa State University graduate assistant, serving as the editorial assistant for the newsletter.

With our succession of elected officers that provides sustainability for current initiatives and continuity in new efforts, Rebecca Thessin, George Washington University, has become the AERA Program Chair and David DeMatthews, University of Texas, has become the Secretary/Treasurer. Angela Urick, University of Oklahoma, has become the immediate Past-Chair and continues to be involved in the leadership of the SIG. I am thankful to serve alongside such thoughtful and dedicated individuals.

With all best wishes,

Kristin Shawn Huggins

Chairperson, LSI-SIG


Who We Are

SIG Officers

Chairperson, Dr. Angela Urick, University of Oklahoma

Immediate Past Chairperson, Dr. Hans Klar, Clemson University

Program Chairperson, Dr. Kristin Huggins, Washington State University, Vancouver

Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Rebecca Thessin, George Washington University

Dissertation Award Committee Chairperson, Dr. David DeMatthews, University of Texas, El Paso

Book Series Editor, Pamela Angelle, University of Tennessee

Newsletter Editor, Douglas Wieczorek, Iowa State University

Newsletter Managing Editors, Amber Graeber & Brandon Clark, Iowa State University

Graduate Student Representatives, Alison Wilson, University of Oklahoma & Lee D. Flood, University of Tennessee

Structure & Government

Each year we elect a Dissertation Award Chair which rotates through the executive council positions. The committees are ad hoc and appointed by the chairperson. Please contact the chairperson if you would like to be involved.


Dissertation of Year Recipients

2016: Romy DeCristofaro, A Multi-Case Study Reflection within Collaborative Teacher Inquiry, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, Advisor, Shelby Cosner

2015:Elizabeth Leisy Stosich, Learning to Teach to the Common Core State Standards: Examining the Role of Teachers’ Collaboration, Principals’ Leadership, and Professional Development, Ed.D., Harvard University, Advisor, Susan Moore Johnson

2014: Doug Wieczorek, A Repeated, Cross-sectional Analysis of Principals' Professional Development and Instructional Leadership Behaviors in the First Decade of the Educational Accountability Era, Ph.D., Syracuse University, Advisor, George Theoharis

2013: Emily Palmer, Talking about Race: Overcoming fear in the process of change, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Advisor, Karen Seashore Louis

2012: Angela Urick, To what extent do typologies of school leaders across the U.S. predict teacher attrition? A multilevel latent class analysis of principals and teachers, Ed.D., University of Texas at San Antonio, Advisor, Alex Bowers

2011: Kerri J. Tobin, Identifying Best Practices for Homeless Students, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, Advisor, Joseph Murphy

2010: Hans W. Klar, Laying the groundwork for distributed instructional leadership in urban high schools: How principals foster department chair instructional leadership capacity, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Advisor, Paul V. Bredeson

2009: Jennifer K. Clayton, Changing diversity in U.S. schools: The impact on elementary student performance and achievement, Ph.D., Old Dominion University, Advisor, William Owings

Key Initiatives

Newsletter Issues

 FALL 2017

 SPRING 2017

 FALL 2016

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