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Leading With Intention

Leading With Intention
How School Leaders Can Unlock Deeper Collaboration and Drive Results

  • Peter M. DeWitt - Corwin Author and Consultant
  • Michael Nelson - Assistant Executive Director for Professional Learning, Washington Association of School Administrators

Foreword by John Hattie, Afterword by Shelley Harwayne

July 2024 | 168 pages | Corwin

Deepen your connections with students, staff, and your larger community.

Behind every thriving school or district are deeply interconnected teams that consistently engage in a reciprocal transfer of learning. Leading With Intention aims to make this process visible by helping leaders and teachers understand how their thinking impacts their decision-making and the overall well-being of their learning communities. Through five highly practical chapters, authors DeWitt and Nelson explore self-awareness, nurturing human interconnectedness, collective inquiry, establishing a learning network, and crafting a personal learning environment.

Filled with research, stories, and places to process information, this timely book is focused on how educators think, the choices they make, and how they develop deeper academic and social-emotional connections. Other features include:

  • Success criteria to help readers identify personal goals
  • Suggested activities to apply knowledge
  • Reflection sheets with guiding questions
  • In-depth examples to illustrate content

School-leaders will come away with a deeper understanding of the importance of self-awareness in leadership and the pedagogical knowledge required to focus initiatives on student learning. Leading with Intention helps education leaders go from being merely ‘on task’ to deeply engaged and reconnected with why they entered the education profession in the first place.

Foreword by John Hattie
Glossary of Terms
Chapter 1 Self-awareness
Chapter 2: Human Interconnectedness
Chapter 3: Collective Inquiry
Chapter 4: Engaging in Intentional Professional Learning to Impact Student Learning
Chapter 5: Creating Your Own Learning Environment
Afterword by Shelley Harwayne

Leading With Intention delves into a complex topic, but makes it a “tight” read. Every chapter has charts, focused checklists, and reflective tools. Systemness is always helped by “interaction” effects of core factors. This book will help you focus and integrate through self-awareness and self-efficacy, connection and inquiry, and intentional professional learning that generates impact.

Michael Fullan
Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Leading With Intention provides valuable insights that encourage “leaning in rather than leaning away” from our collective responsibility for student learning. DeWitt and Nelson have crafted a powerful guide inviting readers to harness thoughtful and genuine relationships to cultivate a legacy of learning.

Kimberly M. Fry
Assistant Executive Director, Professional Learning; Former School Principal and District Superintendent, Washington; Association of School Administrators, Olympia, WA

Education is in a tough spot. The only sustainable way out is through intentional leadership and connection. Peter M. DeWitt and Michael Nelson provide the roadmap here in Leading With Intention.

Danny Bauer
Ruckus Maker & Do School Different™ Designer, Better Leaders better Schools, Bestselling Author, Syracuse, NY

Leading With Intention is an excellent resource for educational leaders aiming to deepen their impact on student learning and build stronger connections within their school community. Through a skillful blend of practical insights, research, and personal stories, authors Peter M. DeWitt and Michael Nelson articulate a vision for leadership that underscores the importance of self-awareness and human interconnectedness, providing a foundation for effective decision-making.

Valerie Page Truesdale
Senior Assistant Executive Director, The School Superintendents Association Alexandria, VA

Through a skillful blend of practical insights, research, and personal stories, DeWitt and Nelson articulate a vision for leadership that underscores the importance of self-awareness and human interconnectedness. 

G. Joel Aune
Washington Association of School Administrators
North Bend, WA

Each chapter has been intentionally designed for the reader to think deeply about their leadership and transfer their learning into their context. I wish I knew half of what is covered in this book when thinking about becoming a school leader.

Helen Butler
Education Consultant
Melbourne, Australia

DeWitt and Nelson clearly describe the foundational importance of self-awareness and interconnectedness -- but also how to leverage those strengths to achieve meaningful school improvement. From collective inquiry to creating learning networks, this book provides opportunities for both reflection and action. 

Michael Butler
New Brunswick Teacher’s Association
New Brunswick, Canada

DeWitt and Nelson take the readers on a leadership journey through compelling and powerful stories that will connect and guide leaders in their professional practices. The authors share evidence-based practical strategies that will help leaders build knowledge related to the importance of interconnectedness and self-awareness. DeWitt and Nelson provide a space for the leaders to intentionally engage in deep reflection by connecting these strategies with their own practices and their own stories. This book will empower the leaders in growing their professional practices to lead with intention. 

Sylvie Arseneau
Provincial Improvement Framework Provincial Learning Specialist
New-Brunswick, Canada

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ISBN: 9781071924419