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Faculty members

David Brazer

David Brazer
David Brazer
Academic Title 
Associate Professor (Teaching)
Contact Information
(650) 725-9252
EDUC 122
Thursdays 10:00 - 12:00 Fridays 1:00 - 3:00
Program Affiliations 

As of the fall of 2018, I am working on completing an investigation of teacher learning in the context of structured collaboration. Building on previous research conducted with colleagues in the Mid-Atlantic region, this study examines a West Coast school district's effort to implement teacher collaboration focused on lesson study as a method of improving teacher practice.

My research interests generally focus on the challenges of school and district leadership, exploring how those challenges are met in practice. I have published case studies on strategic decision making at the district level and investigations into how principals lead teacher learning in their schools.To facilitate my field-based research, I have developed three conceptual frameworks that help me with data analysis in the following categories: 1) strategic educational decision making, 2) leadership development programs, and 3) teacher learning connected to organizational learning. My intent is that my research agenda will reveal the details of how leadership happens, from the education of aspiring leaders through the enactment of specific leadership agendas.

Lincoln later told Senator Chandler that personally he "would rather have swallowed his buckhorn chair than to have nominated Chase," but the decision was right for the country. "Probably no other man than Lincoln would have had, in this age of the world, the degree of magnanimity to thus forgive and exalt a rival who had so deeply and so unjustifiably intrigued against him. It is only however another most marked illustration of the greatness of the President." (John G. Nicolay, personal secretary to President Lincoln, as quoted by Goodwin, 2006)>

The University of Michigan, A.B. with distinction and teacher's certificate, 1979

Stanford University, Ph.D., Administration and Policy Analysis, 1988

I began at Stanford as the Faculty Director for Leadership Degree Programs in June, 2013. In addition to leading the Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies (POLS) MA, and joint degrees with the Graduate School of Business, the Public Policy Program, and the Law School for the past five years, I have taught courses focused on leadership theory, research, and practice.

Beginning in Fall 2018, I will be focused on teaching, research, and the development of professional development courses for superintendents.

My 15-year career as a K - 12 educator spans middle and high school teaching and high school administration. This portion of my career culminated in a six-year tenure as principal of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, CA.

EDUC 209 A,B,C Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies Seminar

EDUC 275 Leading US Schools

EDUC 290 Instructional Leadership: Building Capacity for Excellent Teaching

Book Coming Soon

Brazer, S.D., Bauer, S.C., & Johnson, B.L. (2019). Leading School to Learn, Grow, and Thrive: Using Theory to Strengthen Practice. New York: Routledge.

Book Chapters Coming Soon

Brazer, S.D. (2019). Leaders as bricoleurs: Sensemaking as a pathway to skillful leadership. In B. Johnson & S. Kruse (Eds.). Exploring the ideas of Karl Weick in the context of educational organizations: Extended perspectives on leading, organizing, and organizational learning. New York: Routledge.

Bauer, S.C., & Brazer, S.D. (2019). Structural perspectives on schools as organizations. In D. Eddy-Spicer & C. James (Eds.). The SAGE international handbook of school organization. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Brazer, S.D., Kruse, S.D., & Conley, S. (2014). Organizational theory and leadership navigation. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 1 - 19. DOI: 10.1177/1942775114532640

Van Lare, M.D., & Brazer, S.D. (2013). Analyzing learning in professional learning communities: A conceptual framework. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 12, 374 – 396.

Brazer, S.D., & Bauer, S.C. (2013). Preparing instructional leaders: A model. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49, 645 – 684.

Bauer, S., & Brazer, S. (2013). The impact of isolation on the job satisfaction of new principals. Journal of School Leadership 23, 152 - 177.


Smith, R.G., & Brazer, S.D. (2016). Striving for equity: District leadership for narrowing opportunity and achievement gaps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Bauer, S.C., & Brazer, S.D. (2012). Using research to lead school improvement: Turning evidence into action. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Invited Book Chapters

Bauer, S., Brazer, S., Van Lare, M, & Smith, R. (2013). Organizational design in support of professional learning communities in one district. In S. Conley and B. Cooper (Eds.) Moving from teacher isolation to teacher collaboration: Enhancing professionalism & school quality (pp. 49 – 80). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Van Lare, M., Brazer, S., Bauer, S. & Smith, R. (2013). Professional learning communities using evidence: Examining teacher learning and organizational learning. In S. Conley and B. Cooper (Eds.)  (pp. 157 – 182). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

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