Syllabus for EDL-540



This course provides students with multiple opportunities to critically analyze and apply various contemporary theories of effective school leadership to their professional practice. All theories are aligned with the national ISLLC standards and the NJDOE state standards, research-based frameworks informing the knowledge base, dispositions, and performances of effective school leaders. The course focuses on the performance aspects of effective leadership including empowering others, building collaborative organizational cultures, making informed decisions and communicating them skillfully, and resolving conflicts (ISLLC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; NJDOE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).


On successful completion of this course, you should be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Comparatively analyze the research-based knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of visionary twenty-first century school leaders codified in the ISLLC standards, in national school leadership organizations, and in the theoretical literature.
  2. Analyze the culture and climate of a school (or educational organization) and assess the extent to which high academic expectations for all students and the professional development of all staff is the core purpose.
  3. Apply various communication and decision-making models, group processes, and professional community-building techniques to resolve organizational problems.
  4. Evaluate the utility of various conflict management strategies for reducing social conflict and evaluate strategies, plans, and policies to facilitate school cultures of continuous improvement.
  5. Apply contemporary leadership theories and empirical research data as a way of determining how supervisors and instructional leaders can affect continuous school improvements in instructional, curricular, and assessment practices to increase achievement for all student subpopulations.
  6. Reflect on and critique the extent to which you are acquiring an understanding of yourself and developing your competencies as a prospective supervisor and instructional leader.



You will need the following materials to complete your coursework. Some course materials may be free, open source, or available from other providers. You can access free or open-source materials by clicking the links provided below or in the module details documents. To purchase course materials, please visit the University's textbook supplier.

Required Textbooks

Electronic Portfolio Registration

As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you will prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course. To this end, you are required to purchase an electronic portfolio registration code upon your entry into the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. Basic directions for purchasing access to and using your electronic portfolio are posted within the Educational Leadership Students Organization (online community).


Curriculum Leadership and Supervision is a three-credit, graduate course, consisting of six modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objective covered in this module: 1

Course objectives covered in this module: 5, 6

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 4, 5

Course objectives covered in this module: 3, 4, 5, 6

Course objectives covered in this module: 5, 6

Course objectives covered in this module: 2, 5


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final paper on a theory of effective leadership. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Promoting Originality

One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.

Discussion Forums

Each module in the course has one or more online class discussion forums. All Discussion Forums take place asynchronously. Post your robust reflections on the assigned readings for each module and interact with your peers through discussion and dialogue to build a hospitable online learning community.

Discussion Forums provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion Forum interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

Written Assignments

Each module in the course includes one or more writing assignments. The writing assignments require you to write well-reasoned and thoughtful papers on questions derived from the module objectives, making reference, as appropriate, to the readings and other sources of information. You are required to use APA format for your work and for all references.

Theory Paper

As a capstone experience in the Educational Leadership program, you are expected to prepare an electronic portfolio that demonstrates your incremental achievement of the program standards. Each course in the program helps you to identify artifacts to place in your portfolio on completion of the course.

In this course, you are required to write an 8–10 page paper analyzing one theory of effective supervisory leadership of your choice to be selected from the “ISLLC Standards and Scenario Correlation Chart” on the inside front cover of the Practicing the Art of Leadership textbook. The chart groups the educational leadership theories for each chapter and links them to the standards. If you would like to select an educational leadership theory that does not appear on the list, you may do so with permission of your mentor. Select one theory that you would like to explore more deeply in a theory-to-practice reflective paper for inclusion in your electronic portfolio at the end of this course.

You will complete your work on the paper incrementally in three steps throughout the semester. See the Course Calendar for the due dates for each step and for submitting the final paper to your mentor. You are required to use APA format in organizing your paper and for any citations.

Portfolio Artifacts and Reflective Narrative

The principal artifacts for this course are the final theory paper and the change model developed for Written Assignment 6.1.  Accompanying each artifact is a reflective narrative that describes the process and how the artifact meets specific standards and prepares you for school leadership.

Upload your artifacts to your electronic portfolio, and be certain to indicate their alignment to the applicable ISLLC standards.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


To ensure success in all your academic endeavors and coursework at Thomas Edison State University, familiarize yourself with all administrative and academic policies including those related to academic integrity, course late submissions, course extensions, and grading policies.

For more, see:

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