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AACTE Launches New Podcast on Principal Preparation

AACTE is excited to launch a second podcast dedicated to supporting the often-unsung heroes in our education system: our principals. With support from the Wallace Foundation, Preparing and Sustaining Principals will dig into research from the Wallace’s Knowledge Center for School Leadership through interviews with researchers like Linda Darling-Hammond Ed.D., as well as the practitioners and principal preparation leaders who are implementing findings from that research to utilize. The learning objectives covered in the podcast, as well as many of the experts you’ll hear from, were provided by AACTE’s Principal Preparation Support TAG.

While last year’s podcast, The University Principal Preparation Initiative, covered a major collaborative redesign initiative between seven prep programs and their state and district partners, this podcast will dive deeper into the experiences and multi-faceted roles of principals and how their preparation did or could have better-prepared them to be school leaders. Over the next six episodes, we will discuss topics like how to prepare principals to be equitable in a climate of censorship, what type of preparation matters when principals are called to be crisis leaders, and how principal candidates view their preparation and future roles as school and community leaders.

Our first episode sets the stage by discussing the report, Developing Effective Principals: What Kind of Learning Matters with its lead author Darling-Hammond. She provides context on the critical themes in the report which synthesized two decades of research on principal pre-service preparation and professional development. We then talked with a practitioner, Daniel Gallegos, and preparation expert, Ron Cabrera Ph.D., who connected the critical themes to their experiences and shared their perspectives and advice for the principal preparation field. The greatest takeaway from all speakers was the same: equity and diversity need to remain centered throughout principal preparation and when engaging with students, families, communities, and districts.

The podcast can be listened to on AACTE’s website or any major streaming platform.