Case study: Instructional leadership (Mongolia)
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Case Study: Instructional Leadership

Introduction: Instructional Leadership in Mongolia

School leadership in Mongolia has historically been guided by civil service regulations and leaders have not been formally prepared for their roles specific to the educational context. Therefore, instructional leadership as a newer approach is a shift from a more management-oriented perspective to a learning outcomes perspective.

How to learn from this case study

Potential critical thinking questions:

How might school leaders think about student learning?

What do school leaders need to know about student learning in order to support it?

How would school leadership look if it centers on student learning?

Suggested class activity protocol:

This is a protocol that can be used as a whole or in parts.  Three parts are shown by theme: Factors that affect learning, Supporting teachers and teacher professional development, and Leadership attributes.

Goal: Exchange views with participants on instructional leadership and school principal’s role in supporting learning

Intended participants: School principals

Theme 1: Factors that affect learning

  • THINK-PAIR-SHARE: (15 min)
    • Participants are asked to think for a couple of minutes about the factors that affect learning
    • Then in pairs discuss about their thoughts
    • Then ask (at least three) participants to share with the large group
  • Video interview with a principal (20 min)
    • Give the participants the guiding questions:
      • What are the factors that affect learning according to the principal?
      • How does the principal support student learning?
    • Show the video to the participants (Video 1 – 12 mins)
    • Discuss with the participants:
      • whether they agree with the principal and reasons for agreeing or not agreeing
      • what they are doing to address the learning loss caused by the school closure and other measures during/after COVID-19 and to support student learning

Theme 2: Supporting teachers and teacher professional development

  • Video interview (20 min)
    • Ask the participants to notice the following while watching the video
      • how the principal supports teachers and teachers’ professional development
      • how teachers affect student learning and learning outcomes
    • Show the video to the participants (7.20 min)
  • Discuss with the participants what they are doing to support continuous professional development of teachers in their schools (innovative ideas, experiences) (30 min)

Theme 3: Leadership attributes

  • Using ask participants to enter up to three leadership attributes they think are important to them (5 min)
  • Show the word cloud and discuss briefly about the attributes that are more frequently mentioned (5 min)
  • Ask participants to notice the leadership attributes that the principal describes
  • Show the video (7.20 min)
  • Discuss with the participants (30 min)
    • what leadership attributes they think are important for instructional leadership
    • Share Murphy and Hallinger’s Model of Instructional Leadership and Murphy’s Model of Instructional Leadership
    • Discuss Instructional Leadership and its importance especially linking with Covid-related learning loss

Ask participants to fill in the Feedback form (10 min)

Thank the participants and close the session

The reality of school leadership in Mongolia: Video interview with a school principal

Factors that affect learning

Supporting teachers and teacher professional development

Leadership attributes

For more detailed information on school leadership and education in Mongolia


Magno, C. (2013). Perspectives from Mongolia: Standards spreading and structures sticking: Leadership Accountability in Mongolia

Magno, C. (2013). Perspectives from Mongolia: Standards spreading and structures sticking: Leadership Accountability in Mongolia. In Comparative perspectives on international school leadership: Policy, preparation and practice. New York: Routledge, Inc.

Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2007). Mongolia country case study

Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2007). Mongolia country case study. (PDF) Country profile commissioned for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 2008, Education for All 2015: Will we make it?

Policies regarding school leadership and community schools:

Scholarly articles and guidebooks regarding community schools

Heers M., Klaveren C., Groot W., Maassenvandenbrink, H. (2016). Community Schools: What We Know and What We Need to Know. Review of Educational Research 86 (4)


Community schools offer children an integrated set of educational and social services, but sound scientific evidence on their effectiveness is lacking. Therefore, this study reviews the literature on community schools. First, we characterize community schools and find that their key activities are cooperating with other institutions, involving parents, and offering extracurricular activities. Second, we describe an exemplary community school for which causal evidence shows improved academic achievement. Third, we explore whether the three main activities of community schools influence academic performance, dropout, and risky behavior. Academic performance does not appear to be influenced by extracurricular activities. On the other hand, extracurricular activities do appear to be related to reduced dropout and risky behavior. In addition, there is a positive association of cooperation and parental involvement with academic achievement, and a negative correlation of these two factors with dropout and risky behavior. However, more causal evidence is needed before it can be concluded that community schools are effective.

Oakes, J., Maier, A. & Daniel, J. (2017). Community Schools: An evidence-based strategy for equitable school improvement.

National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved from


This brief examines the research on community schools, with two primary emphases. First, it explores whether the 2015 federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) opens the possibility of investing in well-designed community schools to meet the educational needs of low-achieving students in high-poverty schools. And second, it provides support to school, district, and state leaders as they consider, propose, or implement a community school intervention in schools targeted for comprehensive support. The brief is drawn from a larger research review, available at This review shows that the evidence base on well-implemented community schools and their component features provides a strong warrant for their potential contribution to school improvement. Sufficient evidence meeting ESSA’s criteria for “evidence-based” approaches exists to justify including community schools as part of targeted and comprehensive interventions in high-poverty schools. This evidence also supports community schools as an approach appropriate for broader use. Policymakers who want to incorporate a community schools strategy into their ESSA state plans–as well as other plans for state and local school improvements–can benefit from the research-based lessons presented in this brief.

Blank, M. J., Melaville, A. & Shah, B. P. (2003). Making the difference: Research and practice in Community Schools.

Coalition for Community Schools, Institute for Educational Leadership. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from


This study reviews the research on community schools and reports on evaluations of community schools initiatives across the United States. It explains that community schools are important solutions in improving student learning. It uses research and evaluation data, as well as local school experiences, to illustrate why community schools are important to the education and development of all students. Five chapters address: (1) “The Community School Advantage” (e.g., building social capital, providing learning opportunities that develop academic and non-academic skills, and leading an effective school environment); (2) “The Conditions for Schooling” (e.g., students are motivated and engaged in learning, both in school and in community settings, and there is mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents, families, and school staff); (3) “The Impact of Community Schools: A Review of Current Evaluation Findings” (e.g., the impact of community schools in youth, families, schools, and communities); (4) “From Research to Practice” (e.g., connected learning experiences and community partnerships); and (5) “An Action Agenda” (e.g., a motivating vision and strategic organization and financing). Five appendices present: community school profiles and narrative overviews; community school evaluations (description, design, and findings); additional resources; national and local community school networks; and coalition for community school partners. Also appended is an executive summary.

Dryfood, J. G., Quinn, J. & Barkin, C. (Eds.) (2005). Community Schools in action: Lessons from a decade of practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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