James P. Spillane
James Spillane

Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change
Professor, Human Development and Social Policy
Professor, Learning Sciences
Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research
Professor of Management & Organizations (Courtesy)

Print Overview

James P. Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is also professor of Human Development and Social Policy, professor of Learning Sciences, professor of Management and Organizations, and faculty associate at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research.

Spillane has published extensively on issues of education policy, policy implementation, school reform, and school leadership. His work explores the policy implementation process at the state, district, school, and classroom levels, focusing on intergovernmental and policy-practice relations. He also studies organizational leadership and change, conceptualizing organizational leadership as a distributed practice. Recent projects include studies of relations between organizational infrastructure and instructional advice-seeking in schools and the socialization of new school principals. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, Spencer Foundation, Sherwood Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

He has authored several books including Standards Deviation: How Local Schools Misunderstand Policy (Harvard University Press, 2004), Distributed Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2006), Distributed Leadership in Practice (Teachers College Press, 2011) Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement (Teachers College Press, 2011), and numerous journal articles and book chapters. In 2013 he was awarded the Ver Steeg Research Fellowship at Northwestern University.

Print Vita
Baccalaureate, 1984, Education & Geography, St. Patrick's College of Education, National University of Ireland
Ph.D., 1993, Curriculum, Teaching & Educational Policy, Michigan State University
MA, 1985, Education, California State University, Chico

Academic Positions
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Chair, Consortium for Policy Research in Education, 2005-present
Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2004-present
Faculty Fellow/Associate, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 1998-present
Chair, Human Development and Social Policy Program, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2010-2013
Associate Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2001-2004
Assistant Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 1996-2001
Research Associate, Educational Policy and Practice Study, 1993-1996
Principal Investigator, Policy and Program Review, Michigan Statewide Systemic Initiative, 1993-1996
Post-doctoral Fellow, Michigan State University, 1993-1996
Research Assistant, Michigan State University, 1988-1993

Print Research

Print Teaching