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Educational Leadership

Sue Feldman

Assistant Professor

Rogers Hall

Dr. Sue Feldman is a mixed methods researcher. Sue combines her background in cognitive psychology and education leadership and policy to form an interdisciplinary research agenda focused on how people learn to lead new practices. Sue has worked as an education researcher with the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the University of Washington, and as a research scientist with FACET Innovations, a learning sciences research group, in Seattle Washington, focused on how people learn science. Most recently, Sue created a new research center at Education Service District 112, in Vancouver, Washington where she has been conducting research for and with school district leaders.

In addition to ten years of experience working in teacher education, Sue brings a wealth of school and district leadership experience to her research including ten years working in school improvement administration at the school, district and regional levels. All of her work stems from a deep interest in learning and an abiding commitment to the promise of public education to equalize recognition and participation in generating democracy.

Personal Statement

Focusing on the social practice of learning and leadership, my research aims to produce knowledge for the successful implementation of policies that increase and improve equity in education systems. I am a mixed methods researcher, combining interactional analysis, case study, inferential and spatial statistics methods to study how leadership practices in the classroom, school and school district central office enact equity policy interests.

I believe teaching means creating the circumstances for mutual inquiry into topics of interest for the intellectual and professional development of students. My teaching philosophy rests on four foundational ideas: 1) development is the aim of education; 2) education is activism and activism is education; 3) learning engages identity development; 4) learning is a social practice. 

Areas of Expertise

Learning-Focused Leadership, The Generation and Use of Equity-focused Education Policy and Practice Interactional Analysis, Qualitative and Quantitative Research and Evaluation

Current Research

Sue’s research concentrates on equity issues in leadership and policy:

  • Learning-focused leadership
  • Urban school and school district leaders’ data practices
  • Generosity vs means tested effects on school district resource allocation practices
  • Teacher, principal and superintendent evaluation policy implementation


  • Feldman, S., & Tyson, K., (2013) Clarifying Conceptual Foundations of Social Justice in Education Leadership Preparation. International Handbook of Education Leadership for Social Justice. Springer.
  • Knapp, M.S., Feldman, S., & Yeh, T.L. (2013) Learning-focused Leadership in Urban High Schools: Response to demanding environments. Journal of School Leadership, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD.
  • Knapp, M.S., & Feldman, S. (2012) Managing the intersection of internal and external accountability: Challenge for urban school leadership in the United States. Journal of Educational Administration, Emerald, Bingley, UK.
  • Feldman, S. (2010) Inquiry-focused Reform: How teachers learn new practices from their current practice. Dissertation Abstracts
  • Portin, B., Knapp, M.S., Dareff, S., Feldman, S., Russell, F., Samuelson, C., & Yeh, T.L. (2009). Leadership for Learning Improvement in Urban Schools. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching & Policy. 

Academic Credentials

PhD 2010 University of Washington, MS 1992 Pacific Oaks College, BA 1982 The Evergreen State College

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