Project Profile

Understanding and Supporting K-12 School Leaders' AI-related Decision-making


The 2022 launch of ChatGPT has accelerated the need for school leaders (at both the district and building level) to make important and time-sensitive decisions related to the use of artificial intelligence in their schools. Given the rapid development of artificial intelligence, there are few established practices or guidelines for school leaders to rely on, and school leaders' current knowledge of artificial intelligence may be too limited to inform these decisions. Yet these decisions will have a great impact on future uses of artificial intelligence in K-12 education, as they will empower or constrain teachers' instructional decisions as well as the overall environment where learning takes place, ultimately affecting the realization of the potential of artificial intelligence to promote greater equity and inclusion in schools. Therefore, there is an urgent need to provide support to school leaders to inform policies and decisions related to the use of artificial intelligence in their schools. This RAPID project will contribute online resources for school leaders as well as new knowledge about the following questions: (1) What kinds of decisions have school leaders already made and expect to make about artificial intelligence? (2) What is school leaders' current knowledge of artificial intelligence and its applications in K-12 education, and what key questions do they have about artificial intelligence? (3) What are school leaders' attitudes towards artificial intelligence, and what risks and opportunities do they perceive about its applications to educational settings? (4) What resources could help inform school leaders' decisions about artificial intelligence, and how could these resources be effectively delivered? and (5) How do responses to the previous questions vary depending on the role/function of the school leader and/or characteristics of their school district?

Data to address these questions will be gathered through a combination of interviews and a survey with superintendents, directors of technology, assistant superintendents for instruction and principals across all Western New York public school districts. The insights will be shared with the field to inform future research and interventions for school leaders to help them capitalize on artificial intelligence with the ultimate goal of achieving a more equitable, inclusive and effective K-12 education. Findings from the interviews and survey will also be used to inform the creation of publicly available online resources for school leaders to help address their most immediate needs. This proposal was received in response to the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Rapidly Accelerating Research on Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Education in Formal and Informal Settings (NSF 23-097) and funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2023 - 2024
University of Rochester
Project Status