Director for Center for Applied Research and Education Improvement (CAREI); Lecturer
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1990, educational policy and administration
M.A., University of St. Thomas, 1976, special education-learning disabilities
B.S. with distinction, University of Minnesota, 1971, Major: Elementary education, Minor: English
Appl Res/Educational Impr, Ctr
1954 Burford Ave
Areas of Interest
Politics of change
Professional development of teachers
I’m extremely interested in the blend of research with practice. Each is equally important in informing the other, so it’s absolutely vital that the University and our department maintain strong connections with preK-12 educators. For example, our nationally recognized research on the importance of later start times for high schools had its genesis in a meeting with local superintendents. Often, the most pressing issues that need study are right within our midst.
My current research interests center on the politics of change, the professional development of teachers, and leadership issues such as the characteristics essential for leaders in today’s globally oriented world. For example, as I have examined the link between staff development and student achievement, we may have a clearer answer to, “What are the generalized policy implications of the changing dynamic of professional development for educators?” Most recently, I and my OLPD colleague, Karen Seashore, completed a six-year research project for how educational leadership affects learning across the United States.
My professional background of 19 years’ work prior to coming to CAREI includes teaching inner city children with behavior problems and serving as an elementary school principal in a suburb. That work has left me comfortable in both urban and suburban educational settings, deepening my understanding of the sometimes conflicting needs and views of being a teacher and being a principal. I seek to blend my research work with teaching and advising within the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD). I believe there is an energy that occurs between student and teacher that has to do with challenging one’s intellect and demanding high-quality work. I feel that we are all teachers and learners simultaneously and that it is in our school-University partnerships that we develop and grow together.
Awards and Honors
- 2000 National Leadership Award - for research having national impact, Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (January 2001)
- Outstanding Professional Academic Award (chosen to be one of five recipients for this award out of 3,000 employees), University of Minnesota (May 2000)
- Guest editor of a five-article special section for journal, Phi Delta Kappan (January 1999)
- Named twice to be a member of the 4-person faculty team that traveled to Russia and Ukraine to provide cultural and programmatic orientation to Russian and Ukrainian faculty scholars coming to America for a year of study, Fulbright Office, Washington, DC (June 1997 & July 1998)
- Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Regional Award, Phi Delta Kappa (1990)
- Elementary principal
- Director of special education
- Elementary education (Grades 1-6)
- Learning disabilities (Grades K-12)
- Early childhood special education (Birth-age 6)
Wahlstrom, K., Seashore, K., Leithwood, K., & Anderson, S. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. Research Report Executive Summary. Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. University of Minnesota. http://www.cehd.umn.edu/carei/Leadership/Learning-from-Leadership_Executive-Summary_July-2010.pdf
Wahlstrom, K. & Seashore, K. (2008). How teachers experience principal leadership: The roles of professional community, trust, efficacy, and shared responsibility. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4).
Wahlstrom, K. (2005). Beliefs, reflection and change—Teacher knowledge and the cross-cultural mirror. Journal of Educational Action Research.
Wahlstrom, K. (2002). Changing Times: Findings from the First Longitudinal Study of Later High School Start Times. NASSP Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 633, December, 2002, pp. 3-21.
Wahlstrom, K. (2002). Accommodating the sleep patterns of adolescents within current educational structures: An uncharted path. In M. Carskadon (Ed.) Adolescent sleep patterns: Biological, social, and psychological influences (pp. 172-197). Cambridge University Press: New York and Cambridge, England.
Romano, J. & Wahlstrom, K. (2000). Professional stress and well-being of K-12 teachers in alternative educational settings: A leadership agenda. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 3(2), 121-135.
Wahlstrom, K. L. & Begalle, M. (1999). More than test scores – Results of the universal school breakfast pilot in Minnesota. Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 15(1).
Wahlstrom, K. L. (1999). The prickly politics of school starting times. Kappan, 80(5), 344-347.