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Why Writing Matters

The Advanced Educational Studies Department has two programs:

  • Educational Leadership (outlined below):


Why Writing Matters in Educational Leadership

Can you imagine a newsletter from the local school with spelling and grammar errors?  Or worse, a school administrator speaking to parents and community members and using incorrect grammar?  Writing matters in educational leadership because the leader is the model for everyone else.   He or she defines the standard for the rest of the school community.  If the leader exhibits poor writing and speaking skills, s/he gives the message to everyone else that this is acceptable in the school community – in the classroom, in emails, and in messages that are distributed. 

In the Advanced Educational Studies Department, professors who teach the educational leadership courses all require that candidates for administrator certification have strong written and spoken language skills.  Specific rubrics are used to grade student work and intense attention is paid to these skills.  Everyone makes mistakes; but leaders are role models and, as such, must be close to flawless in their written and spoken work.

Candidates for leadership positions have a number of opportunities to practice and perfect their written and spoken language skills.  Assignments like case studies, article reviews, reports, papers on select topics -- all require strong writing skills and are graded against the Graduate Student Writing Rubric.   In assignments like course projects and role-playing certain administrative duties, candidates have an opportunity to perfect their speaking skills as they assume the role of a school leader. 

Typical Writing Assignments in Educational Leadership

  • Common writing assignments include writing and reviewing learning objectives, preparing reflections on readings and administrator activities, and writing abstracts of relevant articles and books.
  • Case Studies, proposals, and descriptions are frequently required, to allow in-depth and intense study of various administrative responsibilities and to problem-solve a variety of typical issues that school leaders face in their buildings and districts.
  • To encourage candidates to incorporate technology into their leadership style, students experience asynchronous discussions, online collaborations, writing blogs, developing wikis, preparing presentations using a variety of technology formats.
  • Candidates are also required to prepare research proposals and conduct action research in several courses.

Helpful hints for Educational Leadership students and candidates for Administrator Certification

  1. Get a copy of the Graduate Student Writing Rubric (available on this website) and use it.
  2. Always prepare written material ahead of time to allow time for editing and revising.
  3. Use APA (American Psychological Association) style for all written work.  Handouts are available on the Writing Center website.
  4. Most written work should be prepared in third person.
  5. If you need assistance with preparing professional assignments, see your instructor and/or visit the Writing Center.

The leader is the model for everyone in the school community, and candidates who aspire to school leadership positions must have superior written and spoken language skills.  Candidates should use the time in the degree programs to improve and perfect these skills.

Citation Conventions in Educational Leadership

Graduate students in the Advanced Educational Studies Department need to use APA format.  Students also need to know how to use technology to help with writing such as

Faculty Perspectives 
on Writing:

Why Writing Matters in Educational Leadership

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