Running on empty: Finding the time and capacity to lead learning


Research output: Book/ReportBooks


In recent years, policy changes in American education have refocused a spotlight on principal instructional leadership. Although in previous eras the professional literature exhorted principals to ‘be instructional leaders’ there were few sanctions if they failed to do so. In the current policy context, however, instructional leadership has assumed a central rather than peripheral place in the hierarchy of roles played by principals. Today principals who fail to engage this role proactively and skillfully, do so at their own risk. Yet, history suggests that neither policy mandates nor good intentions to lead learning have sufficient power to penetrate the ‘force field’ that stands between the principal and classrooms. A more concerted approach is needed by principals who would seek to enact this role in practice. This article reviews the evolution of instructional leadership as a model for principal practice, examines barriers to its successful enactment, and proposes strategies that school leaders can employ to reduce the gap between intentions and reality. Copyright © 2012 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Institute of Education
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Hallinger, P., & Murphy, J. F. (2012). Running on empty: Finding the time and capacity to lead learning. Hong Kong: The Joseph Lau Luen Hung Charitable Trust Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change, Hong Kong Institute of Education.


Dive into the research topics of 'Running on empty: Finding the time and capacity to lead learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.