Introduction to Educational Leadership

EdL 701-- Spring 2012
Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership
College of Education and Human Services, UW Oshkosh
Dr Susan Cramer

Autumn leaves
Autumn leaves

MS Educational Leadership

Excellence in Preparing Educational Leaders

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction and overview to the MS Educational Leadership program (and other associated programs). Students will explore program options and requirements, set professionals goals, and explore current educational issues. This course should be taken before or immediately after acceptance into the MS Educational Leadership program. Required course for all students entering the program Fall 2006 or later. (2 credits)

Course Objectives

The graduate student will:
  1. Explore Educational Leadership program options and goals as well as navigating UW Oshkosh resources;
  2. Explore leadership needs and roles in schools;
  3. Set personal/professional goals and accompanying program plan;
  4. Understand change and people’s reaction to it;
  5. Explore the future and how it impacts current educational issues.
The primary focus of this course is on Program Goal 1 and COEHS Model component Change Agent. You are also demonstrating you are a Lifelong Learner by enrolling in this graduate program and writing a program action plan. ELPA students, you will focus on your professional vision. Save materials from this class to demonstrate your excellence in these areas.

Required Texts, Materials, Expectations, and Policies

  1. Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat. Any edition. Purchase online or at any local retail store or obtain a copy from your local library.
  2. A sense of adventure, humor, and cooperation.
  3. Attendance - expected. When you find yourself unable to attend due to illness or other professional commitment, please contact me via email alerting me that you will be missing and why. After 2 absences, 5% of your grade will be deducted for each additional absence.
  4. Plagiarism - see University rules When in doubt, reference your work.
  5. If an assignment does not fit your needs, see the instructor to arrange an alternative. Push yourself to master new information. This is your degree and your learning. Make it count!!!
  6. Program Navigation Guide

Tentative Weekly Schedule

January, before class starts
Getting Started
  1. Check your UW Oshkosh email.
    If you have trouble, contact the Help Desk, 424-3020. D2L messages to the entire class will be sent via TitanMail. Note: The University considers email to be official communication and should be checked at least twice per week. You may forward your email to another address if you wish (log in to TitanMail, select Options tab, with the Mail tab selected click on Settings, scroll to Mail Forwarding section and fill in information, reclick on Mail tab to return to TitanMail inbox).
  2. Log in to D2L (D2L is the university's content management system and where you will access most course materials.)
    -- Post a message telling us a bit about you by Monday, January 30, noon.
    (Okay, but how do I make a post?!?)
    -- Reply to someone else under the Welcome thread in the discussion area by Wednesday, February 1, noon.
    -- Purpose: To demonstrate you can make a post and reply; gain familiarity with D2L.
    -- D2L directions (MS Word)
  3. Read and bring to class (paper or electronic) the following two articles:
    How to Thrive as a Teacher Leader, chapter 1
    Warriors to Advance Equity
    Optional -- Locate other resources which suggest leadership roles in your career area.
  4. Read and bring to class (paper or electronic) the following materials:
    -- MS Educational Leadership Planning Sheet (follow link on advising page)
    -- Educational Leadership Matrix of Course Offerings (follow link on advising page)
    -- Program goals, dispositions and class participation self assessment
    -- Program Action Plan details (listed below in syllabus)
  5. Be aware of important program resources (you don't need to bring them to class)
In-class, week 1, February 1
Welcome, Resources to Start Your Graduate Program

  1. Welcome, the importance of networking, introductions
  2. What is this graduate program all about? Why are you here? What do you hope to learn? What will others expect of you? Discuss program goals, dispositions and expectations as well as in-class and online participation. Discuss what constitutes a "good" post. View D2L stats on introductory postings. Complete self assessment. (objective 1)
  3. Discuss posts for next week (divide into discussion groups, select posting responsibilities).
  4. What are your questions? ID cards, D2L, email, parking, food, scholarships, financial aid, etc. (objective 1)
  5. Photos, Break
  6. Review Program Action Plan assignment details, scroll to bottom of page (objective 1)
  7. If time, discuss leadership opportunities:
    How to Thrive as a Teacher Leader, chapter 1
    Warriors to Advance Equity
    Other resources which suggest leadership roles in your career area.

Bonus Materials
  1. What are you reading to keep up-to-date on the general trends in your field? Subscribe to several useful publications and make a habit of reading the headlines and interesting articles.

    Everyone, I'd recommend subscribing to one or more of the SmartBriefs available. The Leadership one is most interesting and found under business.

    PK-12 teachers, I'd recommend subscribing to the following free email resources:
    Higher Education folks, I'd recommend these resources:
    • Sign up to receive The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights as an email. Go to and sign up for a free account and the type of newsletters that most interest you.
    • University World News is also interesting and free. It is interesting to compare higher ed issues around the globle. Sign up at:
    • Higher Ed people, you may want to join the Wisconsin College Student Personnel Association (WCPA). As of 5/5/08, membership is free to all professionals and graduate students in Wisconsin. Check out their website
    • For those of you interested in ResLife, check out the Association of College and University Housing Offices. Their journal is Talking Stick. It looks interesting, check it out!
    • Overall, consider joining or at least looking at the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. They list standards, characteristics of excellence and outcomes.
    • Looking for a job in higher education? Check out or the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's career opportunities website
    • Also available is a new resource you might want to explore: The Graduate Junction, This is the first website to bring together Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral researchers from any discipline around the globe. It aims to provide an easy way to meet and communicate with others who share common research interests in a global multi-disciplinary environment. Through The Graduate Junction you can learn about current research being undertaken by other graduate researchers all over the world. The Graduate Junction also aims to become a central source of relevant information.
  2. Wondering how much demand there might be for someone with your interests and expertise? Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( and other employment websites like
  3. Not sure what you want to do? Complete career interest inventories to assess your talents and interests. One such website is My Next Move.
  4. FYI -- You can access Polk Library materials off campus. Don't know how? Below is a link to a short film showing you how to access library resources from off campus using your 16-digit Titan ID number.
Online, week 2, see due dates for postings

1. Start creating your Educational Leadership portfolio.
  • View sample Ed Leadership Portfolio Wiki --
  • Signup for a free blog or wiki (or you can use one you already maintain) that you will use for your program portfolio. I'm using Wikispaces but you can select any blog or wiki you desire. View wikispaces tutorial if you are using wikispaces.
  • Create your homepage and three other pages titled: Leadership, Goals, Dispositions. Put one sentence on each page as a placeholder for more text to come.
  • Send me the address of your portfolio once it is created. (due by next class)

2. Start drafting your Program Action Plan components 1 and 2. Bring draft to next class.

3. D2L: Discuss Seth Godin interview (listen to MP3 from top of page or read transcript) and Introduction/Chapter 1:While I was Sleeping in The World is Flat.
  • Post Question or Summary by Sunday, Feb 5, midnight
  • Reply to someone's Question or Summary by Tuesday, Feb 7, midnight
  • Reply to someone else's post by Friday, Feb 10, noon
  • Post once in each of the three areas. (Interview, first half ch 1, second half ch1)
  • 3 posts minimum, 5 posts preferred maximum
  • See guidelines and rubric for posting at end of syllabus.
In-class, week 3, February 15

1. Tentatitve -- Guest Speaker: Greg Wypiszynski - Director, Office of Graduate Studies (objective 1)

2. Shaping Your Program (objective 1)
  • Take True Leader Quiz (handout in class). Discuss.
  • If not completed during class 1, discuss distributing leadership (Warriors to Advance Equity), How to Thrive as a Teacher Leader and career ideas/goals/dreams (objectives 2, 3)
    • Use findings from quiz and optional leadership packet (pdf) when writing leadership philosophy.
    • The Marines have some good information on leadership traits too. Read them if you wish.
  • Explore program/career options and associated coursework, program planning sheets, course offerings matrix. What questions do you have?
  • What questions do you have regarding your program portfolio and wiki? Questions on making and embedding a video in your wiki?
  • Peer review draft of Program Action Plan (components 1 and 2). Discuss ideas for remainder of paper.

3. The Future
Online, week 4, see due dates for postings
  • Contribute to class Environmental Scan (10 sources AND 2 TED videos). Entries due by Friday, Feb 24, midnight. Synthesize findings and bring (electronic or paper) to next class meeting.
  • Download then read and bring (electronic or paper) to our next class meeting.
    • Saffo -- Six Rules for Effective Forecasting by Paul Saffo, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2007. I was able to locate full text of article using Polk Library resources. Search first for the Journal title on the bottom of the Polk Library homepage, log in with your UW Oshkosh username and email password, then you can get to Business Source Elite which carries the journal, select "Full Text: 01/01/1985 to present", search for Saffo's article (be sure to get article not a letter to the editor or a review of it).
    • 2011 Horizon Report -- key trends in technology related to education.
      Or, 2012 Horizon Report Preview (or synopsis from SchoolCIO)
    • Bacal's Cycle of Change
    • Print Rogers Adoption and Diffusion of Innovations Model (available on many websites)
    • View Think Big -- In a world defined by change, says Baratunde Thurston, you need a sense of mission that’s much bigger than the desk you happen to be sitting behind at any moment.
  • Continue working on your Program Action Plan.
In-class, week 5, February 29

1. Tentative -- Guest Speaker: Marisa Finkey, Polk Library -- what's new in libraries, effective searching.

2. Change

3. Discuss posts for next week (divide into discussion groups, select posting responsibilities). The World is Flat -- Flatteners 1-10

4. How are your projects coming along?
  • Program Action Plan
  • Portfolio
  • Change paper
Online, week 6, see due dates for postings

D2L: Discuss The World is Flat -- Flatteners 1-10 (objectives 4, 5)
In-class, week 7, March 14

1. D2L: Discuss The World is Flat -- Flatteners 1-10

2. Insights into Change, the Future, and My Future. Share what you have learned about yourself, leadership, the world, change, the future and how this impacts your program and career plans. Tell us where you go from here.
Individually, weeks 8-9, due April 1

Complete and submit course projects as attachments in one or more emails (
  • Program Action Plan
  • Portfolio
  • Change paper

Grading and Due Dates

Grades will be based on quality of work submitted.
Due Date
% Grade
Grading Scale
Attendance/Active Participation
each on-campus class
A = 95-100%

A- = 93-94 %

B+ = 91-92%

B = 87-90 %

B- = 85-86 %

C+ = 83-84 %

C = 79-82 %

C- = 77-78 %

Below 77% = Inc.
D2L Discussion
each online class
Environmental Scan Synthesis
February 29
Program Action Plan
April 1
Change: My Thoughts on It
April 1
February 15 (address),
April 1 (all entries)
Class Presentation
March 14


Program Action Plan

Due no later than April 1 (I'm always happy to look at drafts)

35 points
objectives 1, 2, 3
Starting a graduate program is an exciting time. It is also a good time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go in life. That is the purpose of this paper. In narrative format, (single spaced, line between paragraphs) please discuss the following areas. Give each section of your paper a title corresponding to the topics to provide focus and structure. Please focus on the professional aspect of your life/goals. However, because lives tend to be complicated and messy, discuss personal, family, and civic-recreational goals if you wish. Typically they are important and should be figured into your plans and dreams. Life is an adventure. Hop into the drivers seat and make those dreams come true.
  1. Where have I been?
  2. Where am I going? (3-5 years, 10 years, 20 years)
  3. What type of leader/manager am I now?
  4. Leadership philosophy statement (same as in portfolio entry)
  5. Program goals and dispositions self assessment (address 4 goals and 6 dispositions separately, same as in portfolio entry, identify what you do well as well as areas for growth)
  6. Select A or B
    (A) Career paper -- required for all people who are looking to change jobs/positions
    -- Tell: name of career/leadership position desired, demand/availability, salary, location, requirements (knowledge, experiences, special talents, etc.)
    -- Use APA citation format. Include 3-5 references including interviews, paper sources, and web resources.
    -- Demonstrate you know where you are going and what you need to do to get there (2-3 pages)
    -- Graduate level writing expected.
    (B) Leadership Opportunities paper -- for people who are not looking to change jobs
    -- Interview 2-3 administrators and veteran colleagues to uncover what leadership opportunities they see for you. Reread Teacher Leaders chapter and consult other resources.
    -- Use APA citation format. Include 3-5 references including interviews, paper sources, and web resources.
    -- Demonstrate you know where you are going and what you need to do to get there (2-3 pages)
    -- Graduate level writing expected.
  7. PDP -- required for PK-12 educators but not others. If you already have written one, use it! If you don't know anything about PDPs, download and read but don't print because it's too long the PDP Toolkit. I am an IHE rep if you need one on your team, fee $0 for program students. You will probably include this as a separate attachment when you submit your Program Action Plan.
  8. Program Planning Sheet -- fill out with projected program courses and semesters
  9. Reference list. APA format
  10. Attend to writing mechanics, single space with blank line between paragraphs, use headings to separate sections of paper, submit electronically as an email attachment (PDP can be separate attachment) to
Grading Criteria -- above list fully addressed/discussed, graduate level writing

Formatting your Papers!!!

Line Spacing and Subtitles
I prefer single spaced papers with a line between paragraphs. This makes you work look more like a journal article and saves paper. Use subtitles within your paper to identify sections and help the flow of the paper. This also makes it look more like a journal article.

APA format (quick and dirty)
Within your paper citations -- Quote vs Paraphrasing: Remember, if it’s a direct quote use quote marks and tell the page number. Use n.p. if there is no page number (think websites). If you are paraphrasing, tell author and year but not the page number. Note that the sentence's punctuation goes after the citation if the citation falls at the end of the sentence. Note that in examples two and three the author's name was used in the sentence as part of the sentence. Spell out numbers zero to ten and those that appear as the first word of the sentence.
  1. "There were 97 white pelicans in that flock" (Cramer, 2009, p. 57)
  2. Cramer (2009) exclaimed "there were 97 white pelicans in that flock" (p. 57).
  3. According to Cramer (2009), 97 white pelicans live in the local area.
  4. If one looks closely, one is likely to find nearly 100 white pelicans around town (Cramer, 2009).

Tell who the interviewer is in your paper, do not include them in your reference list.
Liz said "we generally hire one to two people for that position each year" (personal communication, August 12, 2010).

Reference List
Lastname, F.I. (2009). Book title here. City, ST: Publisher.

Lastname, F., Smith, B., & Jones, A. (2007). Article title here: Note what is capitalized. American Research Journal, 21(5), 15-20.

Cite like a book or journal giving as much information about the author, year, article name, etc as possible. End with the website and date you accessed it.
When in doubt, use your best guess and give as much information as possible.
Use an online citation generator to make your life easy.

Ask your local library/media specialist for help. They love this type of question!!

Underlining vs Italics
Welcome to the electronic age. Underlined items are hyperlinks. Book/journal titles are italicized. Please don’t confuse the two!

Environmental Scan

Due June 21

5 points
objective 5
We use environmental scans to gather information on what issues are hot (current), what is emerging, and what is falling from importance. We use this information as a way to predict, prepare for, and position ourselves, our organizations, our schools and our classrooms to meet current and emerging needs/issues. We complete the scan by examining a large amount of information specifically for the purpose of identifying trends. With an eye to the future, it is less likely to catch us by surprise.
  1. Identify 10 different resources/data sources (journals, newspapers, etc). Each data source should look at the world through a totally different set of eyes. Select sources you typically don't read. Read/scan the entire source not just one article to tease out what issues/ideas the editors have identified as important.
  2. Additionally, review two TED speeches/videos looking for issues being discussed. [TED stands for the Technology, Entertainment, Design conference. The website calls itself TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. It also says -- Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers]
  3. Compile a list of the issues/ideas in each resource (see chart below). Fill in your information on our class Environmental Scan Google Document. If you find the same issue/idea as someone else, combine your data with their entry.
  4. In your list, identify each topic as current, emerging, or waning (has it been in the news for a while, is it gaining attention, or is it close to being solved so is old news).
  5. After chart is filled in examine entries and synthesize findings. What are the REALLY BIG ideas? What do these ideas mean for ourselves, our jobs, our families, our work places, our communities, our state, our country, the world, education locally, education globally, etc? What is this scan telling you? Bring these ideas to class on Feb 15.
Tell if Idea is Current/Emerging/Waning
Your Name

Grading Criteria: Environmental scan as described above is completed, insights shared in class.

Change: My Thoughts on It -- due no later than April 1 -- 15 points

(objective 4)
How do you react to change? What do you think the future holds and why?
Write a paper exploring the following. Please use/type single space and include a blank line between paragraphs. Do attend to mechanics and use APA format for all citations. Headings within your paper add structure and focus.
(1) How you react to change?
(2) How you help your students/collegues handle change?
(3) How you might incorporate thriving with change more in your office/classroom/life?
(4) What do you think the future holds and why?

In your paper include insights you gained from all of the following sources (cite these sources in your paper):
  • The World is Flat
  • Who Moved My Cheese
  • Environmental Scan/SWOT
  • Rogers Diffusion of Innovations Theory
  • Bacal's change cycle
  • Saffo's effective forcasting
  • Your life experiences
  • Class discussions
  • Two other sources addressing change
Grading Criteria: Comprehensive discussion of topics 1-4, reference to all of the above materials, APA citations, graduate level writing

Electronic Portfolio -- address due by February 15, remainder by April 1 -- 10 points

(objective 3)

Create a blog or wiki (or add this to your personal blog/wiki) to show your growth during this program.

You will create three levels of entries:
(1) Intro/Beginning of Program,
(2) Middle/Admission to Candidacy, (currently suspended)
(3) End/Seminar.

For each level self-assess your achievement of the
(1) four program goals,
(2) six program dispositions, and
(3) a statement of your leadership philosophy.
You will also include a bit of text and a movie about yourself at Intro time.

Include ideas on what you need to do to grow.
See rubric for Seminar level expectations sp12 (docx, pdf)

The Intro level is due in this class (EdL 701),
the Middle entry is due in the middle of the program when you apply for Admission to Candidacy -- entry temporarily suspended,
the End entry is due in Seminar (EdL 794).

Sample wiki --

Send email address of blog/wiki to Dr. Cramer each time you submit it.

Grading Criteria: Portfolio is completed at Met level (program goals, dispositions, and leadership philosophy included, self-analysis evident, growth ideas included). You should be able to cut and paste from your Program Action Plan. You might want to attach your Program Action Plan to your blog/wiki so you have it for future reference.

Class presentation: Insights into Change, the Future, and My Future -- Due March 14 -- 5 points

(all objectives)
Prepare a short presentation for the class entitled Insights into Change, the Future, and My Future. Share what you have learned about yourself, leadership, the world, change, the future and how this impacts your program and career plans. Tell us where you go from here. You may support your presentation with media but that is not required.

D2L Discussions -- 15 points

(objective 5)
Discussion questions will be posted on D2L.

Electronic Discussion Rules:

  1. Say something of substance rather than echoing other peoples’ responses. If you wish to agree with someone, that’s okay but also add another thought to deepen the conversation.
  2. If you disagree with someone, state why and offer a rationale. Remember to address the issue, not attack the person.
  3. Add a new topic to the discussion when you change thoughts. Otherwise, reply to the post.
  4. Online discussions are not a competition to see who can post the most. They are a thoughtful, considered discussion of critical issues. State your point then back it up with information from readings, life events, etc. Push for deep understanding.
  5. Discussions take place over time, don’t wait until the last minute to make your posts.
  6. If you are going to have a long post, type it in MS Word or something then paste into D2L.
  7. If you think the electronic discussions are taking too much time, bring the issue up with the group and instructor. Negotiation of expectations is typical.

Online and In-class Discussion Rubric

Push yourself to be a leader!

5 -- leader
I met the minimum assignment posting requirements and read most postings. My initial posting was original and substantive as were my replies. I helped keep the conversation moving along by adding thoughtful, relevant, contributions beyond my initial post. I was constantly involved in multiple discussion streams and I went above and beyond to introduce additional relevant readings, materials, experiences, etc.
4 --

emerging leader
I met the minimum assignment posting requirements and read most postings. My initial posting was original and substantive as were my replies. I helped keep the conversation moving along by adding thoughtful, relevant, contributions beyond my initial post. I was constantly involved in multiple discussion streams.
3 --

I met the minimum assignment posting requirements and read most postings. My initial posting was original and substantive as were my replies.
2 --

I met the minimum assignment posting requirements and read some postings. My initial posting was original and substantive but my replies were minimal.
1 --

I met the minimum assignment posting requirements and read few other postings.
0 --

I didn’t participate.

Daily Class Participation -- daily -- 15 points total

(all objectives)
Come to class, be actively involved.
Share your ideas, ask questions, probe to gain deeper understanding.
Get to know your fellow classmates. Let them know you. Network, network, network.
Demonstrate program dispositions.
If you must miss class, alert instructor or other class member so we don't think you are lost and injured.

Grading Criteria: see online discussion rubric

MS Educational Leadership Program

Excellence in Preparing Educational Leaders

To prepare engaged, caring, skillful educational leaders

The MS Educational Leadership degree program serves educators or other professionals who want to assume formal or informal leadership roles in their organizations.
To develop educational leaders who will assume formal or informal leadership roles in their organization

Through our program, we seek to develop the individual's capacity to:

1. Envision and guide organizational change.(CA - these initials refer to the components around the outside edge of the college model "Educator as Caring Intellectual")
2. Communicate effectively, engage constituents, develop people and build community.(LL, SP, CA)
3. Advocate and promote equity for diverse populations, and respect for individuals. (SP, RP, CA)
4. Integrate theory, data, research and ethical standards into the context of one’s practice through continual learning. (SP, PR, LL, CA)
Throughout our program, we actively encourage individuals in developing the capacity to:
1. Value change as the source of opportunity for improvement.
2. Display the ability to understand people and relations and be receptive to the ideas of others.
3. Show a willingness to implement non-discriminatory access, accommodations and assessments.
4. Demonstrate empathic understanding of diversity in all domains.
5. Regularly reflect upon the philosophical assumptions, ethical principles, and rationale that guides one’s practice.
6. Understand oneself as a learner, and value learning as a core capacity.
Link to COEHS Model
We focus primarily on the four outer components of our COEHS model -- Change Agent (CA), Reflective Professional (RP), Lifelong Learner (LL), and Skillful Practitioner (SP)

COEHS logo
COEHS logo

WI Teacher Standards
Course content will addres many of the Wisconsin Teacher Standards. However, there is a significant and primary emphasis on standard:
9. Teachers are able to evaluate themselves.