National Writing Project

The Philadelphia Writing Project’s Leadership Inquiry Seminar: Continuity Linked to Site Mission and Local Context

By: Teri Hines, Bruce Bowers, Vanessa Brown
Publication: National Writing Project at Work
Date: October 22, 2009

Summary: This monograph examines the strategies and practices that define the Philadelphia Writing Project's Leadership Inquiry Seminar, a yearlong institute designed to support urban educators in examining practices of leadership and their own growth as leaders.


The Leadership Inquiry Seminar (LIS) was developed as a response to the uncertainty of what teaching and learning might look like in the midst of challenges that teachers were facing during a turbulent era of school reform in the School District of Philadelphia.

Through the site's commitment to inquiry and with a goal of being proactive in nurturing leadership, LIS, one of the Philadelphia Writing Project's most valued continuity programs, continues to provide a space for teacher-consultants to share an inquiry into the topic of leadership, while empowering their sense of personal agency.

Uncertainties at other writing project sites may be different, but change, whether in funding, in leadership, or in district policies, is likely to affect all NWP sites. This publication—which offers a comprehensive look at the LIS design, chronicles the hands-on development of materials by teacher-consultant facilitators, and includes a case study of the impact of LIS on one of the participants—will provide a model that can inform continuity programs at all NWP sites.

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