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Standard 3: Curriculum Content

The content of the curriculum has a strong conceptual base and is organized to address principles of administrative practice in the thematic areas defined below:

• Facilitating the development, articulation, implementation and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community

• Advocating, nurturing and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth

• Ensuring management of the organization, operations and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment

• Collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources

• Modeling a personal code of ethics and developing professional leadership capacity

• Understanding, responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context


The principles outlined in these broad thematic areas are intended to suggest a holistic, integrated approach to instructional leadership and to the design of a curriculum intended to produce such leaders.  Each set of principles interrelate in important ways and are expected to be woven throughout the curriculum.

Factors to Consider

The following factors serve as a guide for initial program design and ongoing program evaluation:

• The curriculum themes are incorporated into the program in ways that include systematic study, application of key concepts in job settings and opportunities for personal reflection and integration of thematic study into a personal vision of administrative responsibility.

• These themes are reflected throughout all courses and induction support activities, rather than only in one or two specific courses or activities.

• The program emphasizes the importance of inquiry into these thematic areas as a part of all experiences in the program.

• Activities in the clear credential induction plan include and reflect an integration of these thematic areas.

• The program meets other factors related to this standard of quality brought to the attention of the team by the program sponsor.

The curricular themes, based on the CPSELs, are reflected in activities throughout the program. Candidates are required to regularly reflect upon and take part in activities that incorporate the elements and a deep understanding of the standards.  Besides activities incorporating the standards that take place during the classroom sessions, professional development activities, mentoring sessions, and in the course of applying the learnings to the candidate’s work place, the candidate is required to reflect upon the standards in written reflections on a regular basis.  For coursework, the reflections are included as part of the course assignments and requirements.  For other activities, the candidate is required to present the reflections to the mentor and file them in the appropriate section of the portfolio.  Please see the individual course syllabi in Section 2 for further details.

In the mentoring and coaching component of the induction plan, that is present in virtually all aspects and activities of the program and formalized in EAD 279 Administrative Fieldwork and Mentoring, the CPSELs are incorporated in many ways.  The initial assessment, which takes place during the first phase, utilizes the Descriptions of Practice (WestEd, 2003), which provide great detail regarding the elements of the CPSELs.  As mentioned earlier, candidates self-rate themselves and the district mentor rates the candidate.  Thus, ensuing conversations used to construct the induction plan are based largely on the CPSELs themselves.  The Descriptions of Practice may be found in the initial assessment instrument (See Appendix 13).

The incorporation of the curricular themes include examples such as the following:

In the  EAD 278T Transforming Schools (or doctoral substitutions EDL 201 Organizational Theory in Complex Organizations and EDL 202 Educational Reform) course, candidates participate in activities that demonstrate transformational leadership and mentoring.  They are then required to share in class and then write how they will use the learnings from the course to bring about transformational change in their own educational setting.  In this overarching series of assignments, candidates must bring in all pertinent aspects of the CPSELs.

In the  EAD 278T Interpersonal Relations (or doctoral substitution  EDL 280T Conflict Resolution Education: Theory, Research and Application for Educational Leaders) course, candidates gain new understanding of conflict resolution skills and learn tools to build broad consensus.  Class exercises and activities as well as assigned work seeks to enhance candidate’s understanding and use of the principles found within the CPSELs.

The three courses: EAD 264 Legal Aspects in Education (or doctoral substitution  EDL 280T School Law), EAD 266 School Business and Finance (or doctoral substitution EDL 280T Resource Management & Fiscal Analysis), and EAD 275 School Personnel Relations (or doctoral substitution  EDL 280T Human Resource Administration) similarly incorporate the CPSELs in course instruction, activities, and assignments.  See the course syllabi in  Section Two for further details.

Program activities, determined in the induction plan, which are non-university based activities, require the candidate to reflect upon the CPSELs in written form.  The written reflection is then placed in the candidate’s portfolio.  See Standard 5 for the requirements for non-university activities.

The final activity in the program, which is the culminating assessment of candidate competency, involves a final assessment of the candidate, again based on the Descriptions of Practice, which are themselves based on the CPSELs.  Thus, the CPSELs are present in all phases and activities of the program.

It is an important aspect of the program that individual courses and activities do not necessarily incorporate specific portions of the CPSELs, but rather incorporate the overarching elements and concepts of the CPSELs, to the extent possible in all coursework and activities, so that the candidate may acquire a deep understanding and appreciation of the framework provided by the CPSELs in the formation of a personal vision of leadership, as illustrated below.

">Graphic illustrating the relationship between the overarching principles of the California Standards for Educational Leaders and the formation of a personal vision

CPSEL Diagram

Inquiry is at the center of all program courses and activities.  The Cycle of Inquiry is utilized throughout all aspects of the program, with the inquiry mentoring from the lead and university mentors being the “glue” that binds the entire process together into a cohesive program of leadership development.  Please see Section Two for course syllabi, which contain further information.
Cycle of Inquiry
As in all program activities, ongoing evaluation, as well as an annual review, serves to ensure that the program not only meets the standards as required by the CCTC, but by the local school districts that depend on our program to prepare their educational leaders.

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