Scaffolded Apprenticeship Model (SAM)
The Scaffolded Apprenticeship Model (SAM) focuses on supporting school leaders in building a team of school professionals who are collectively responsible for school improvement. This program directly addresses the need to create a pool of capable, certified, future school leaders. Ultimately, this approach to leadership development creates a critical mass of change agents at every level within a school, each accountable for advancing the work of improving instruction and student outcomes while developing a viable succession pipeline for staff.
The Scaffolded Apprenticeship Model (SAM) is made possible through the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. Jointly developed by New Visions for Public Schools and the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at Baruch College, CUNY, this collaboration with the NYC Leadership Academy is an approach to comprehensive school reform that seamlessly integrates school improvement with leadership capacity building, teacher professional development, and succession planning.
Goals and Objectives
SAM employs an apprenticeship model in which cohorts of participants from selected schools are partially released from their responsibilities in order to learn and practice the skills required for effective leadership. The program's goal is to strengthen current leadership capacity within each participating school, as well as to develop a viable succession pipeline for staff.
The SAM program aims to put into play within each school a critical mass of strategically placed change agents who:
- Work independently and in teams
- Share a common language and goals
- Share a common approach
- Think from a systemic perspective to address problems and their underlying cause.
The program employs an apprenticeship model in which teams of participants are partially released from their current responsibilities to learn and practice the skills required to lead effective school improvement.
- Weekly Focused Seminars throughout the school year are co-constructed and co-taught by university faculty and participating school principals to provide structure and support for apprenticeship work.
- Daily Apprenticeships throughout the school year partially release participants from their current responsibilities to learn and practice effective leadership and school improvement skills.
- Monthly Inter-visitations provide opportunities for participants to broaden their experience of what is possible.
- Monthly On-site Coaching by site facilitators provide individual and team support for leadership challenges.
- A Four Week Summer Intensive Course introduces participants to the program's core beliefs and values and begins the process of team building.
- Activities, Readings and Assignments are organized around tasks participants encounter in both the positions they currently occupy and those to which they aspire. Performance is assessed based upon research-based competencies for effective instructional leadership practice.
SAM utilizes an innovative approach to developing leaders. This approach:
Redefines the Unit of Participation- In this program, the applicant is a school team, rather than an individual candidate, consisting of the principal and a group of faculty members.
Redefines the Role of the Principal - Principals traditionally focus their attention on leading their schools. By using the SAM approach, principals shift their focus to building leadership capacity within their schools and to improve instruction and student outcomes systematically.
Redefines Leadership Roles - Leadership is often viewed as the authority invested in a position. Through SAM, and its focus on distributive leadership, each participant, regardless of position, is held accountable for the work of school improvement. It is the responsibility of every individual to take an active leadership role in order to advance the work of improving instruction and student outcomes.
Redefines the Subject of Study- Leadership programs typically study the literature of leadership and school improvement. In this program the participating schools are the subject of study and the professional literature is used to shed light on and broaden their inquiries and practices. Seminars are organized around research-based competencies for adaptive leadership and focus on instructional improvements embedded in the participating schools.