How can Rural School Leaders be Developed?
This chapter discusses the rationale for focusing on rural school leader's professional development. It examines the characteristics of effective professional development. The chapter presents three avenues for providing rural school leaders with professional learning opportunities. These opportunities include leadership coaching, professional communities, and research-practice partnerships. There is a large amount of research illustrating the connections between school leadership practices and student academic outcomes. That school leaders are able to influence student outcomes, in part by creating and sustaining collaborative and supportive learning environments for students and teachers, has caught the attention of policy makers in countries around the world. In recognition of school leaders' contributions to student learning, and the need to ensure their ongoing growth and development, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) affords states increased flexibility to foster leadership development activities.