Implementation of new literacy practices based on the science of reading: a relational leadership approach
Sullivan, Nichole Daines
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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how literacy leaders describe their roles and responsibilities in relationship with each other as they lead the implementation of a new literacy curriculum based on the science of reading through the lens of relational leadership. Further, the study sought to understand how literacy leaders include multiple perspectives and empower others in a purposeful, ethical way through the process of the science of reading curriculum implementation. Specifically, this paper examined how literacy leaders led change in literacy instruction in response to student achievement data that did not exemplify the excellence and potential they believed their students could achieve. A single case study design was chosen for this study, so that the focus of the study would be on the process and relationships of literacy program interactions. The results of this study found that the antecedents for relational leadership and the development of relational leadership during the implementation of a literacy curriculum based on the science of reading are multidimensional and comprised of five themes: (1) trust and mutual positive regard as antecedents for relational leadership, (2) intentionally developed vision building takes time, (3) knowing people and teams through regular interaction, (4) consistent messaging of fidelity to the implementation of literacy curriculum, and (5) intentional support and effort of teachers and administrators. These factors connect to what relational leaders know, their state of being, and their actions, and these factors work together to create a context where a deep change in the teaching of literacy can take place within a school system.