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Teachers College Columbia University

Building Capacity by Supporting Adult Development — Leadership Institute for School Change

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This two-day interactive workshop provides leaders and educators of all kinds—principals, assistant principals, teachers, professional developers, curriculum specialists, coaches, district leaders, policymakers, professors, community college leaders, administrators, and for- and non-profit leaders who support others—with an opportunity to more deeply understand how to support one’s own and other adults’ growth by learning about adult developmental theory, a developmental model of leadership for supporting adult growth, and promising, capacity-building practices that can be implemented in your school, district, or organization.

Participants will have multiple opportunities during and after each seminar day to apply their learnings, develop action plans, and enhance their noble practice of leading in support of adult development—including supervision for growth, coaching, and practices that support adult development.

During the Institute, participants will learn about:

  • Adult developmental theory and its practical applications for supporting growth and capacity building (Drago-Severson, 2004a, 2004b, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2016; Drago-Severson & Blum-DeStefano, 2016, 2017; Drago-Severson, Blum-DeStefano, & Asghar, 2013; Drago-Severson, Roy, & von Frank, 2015; Kegan, 1982, 1994, 2000)
  • A developmentally-based model for leadership and professional learning comprised of four pillar practices—teaming, collegial inquiry, providing leadership roles, and mentoring—that you can employ to enhance collaboration and PLCs, grow teacher leadership, and give and receive effective feedback ((Drago-Severson, 2004a, 2004b, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2016; Drago-Severson & Blum-DeStefano, 2017; Drago-Severson, Blum-DeStefano & Asghar, 2013; Drago-Severson, Roy, von Frank, 2015).
  • Practical strategies for building successful teams, differentiating professional learning, building a culture of collaboration, and supporting instructional improvement in both groups and individuals.
  • Takeaways for applying and implementing learnings in practice through action plans.

Who should attend

Everyone really! This Institute is designed for leaders and collaborators of all kinds—principals, AP’s, teachers, professional developers, curriculum specialists, coaches, superintendents and other district leaders, policymakers, and anyone interested in building capacity across non-profit and for-profit sectors. All are welcome!


Ellie Drago-Severson is Professor of Education Leadership and Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. A developmental psychologist, Ellie teaches, conducts research, and consults to leaders and organizations on professional and personal growth and learning; leaders...
Jessica Blum-DeStefano earned her PhD in Education Leadership Teachers College, Columbia University after nine rewarding years as a teacher and school leader in alternative education settings. She teaches at Bank Street College of Education and, for the past seven years, has co-taught adult devel...
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