Forms of capital and the construction of leadership: Instructional leadership in urban elementary schools

James P. Spillane*, Tim Hallett, John B. Diamond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using data from observations and interviews with 84 teachers at eight Chicago public elementary schools, this article examines how, through a process of social construction, forms of capital are a basis for instructional leadership. The authors argue that teachers construct influential others as leaders on the basis of valued forms of human, cultural, social, and economic capital. Moreover, the construction of leadership for instruction is often situated in various types of interactions (e.g., subject area) and varies by the leaders' position. Although the teachers in the study constructed school administrators as leaders largely on the basis of cultural capital, they constructed other teachers as leaders on the basis of human and social capital as well as cultural capital. Understanding the role of different species of capital in the construction of leadership will help researchers specify mechanisms that support professional learning and change in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSociology of Education
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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