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Building Strong School Cultures

Building Strong School Cultures
A Guide to Leading Change

Additional resources:

November 2008 | 200 pages | Corwin
This resource calls on head teachers to create a viable, sustainable school culture using the professional community, organizational learning and trust to affect teaching and learning. This addition to the Leadership for Learning series presents an Intensification of Leadership approach that integrates teachers, parents, and community members into a coherent team. The authors examine schools that have achieved lasting cultural change and present practical strategies for:

"diagnosing and shaping a school culture

"revising leadership functions to broaden the decision-making processes

"rethinking organizational structures

"supporting continuous improvement while ensuring stability

Series Foreword by E. Joseph Schneider and Willis D. Hawley
About the Authors
1. Changing School Culture: An Introduction and Overview
School Cultures: Stable and Fluid or Stable and Fragile

Introducing PCOLT: Professional Community, Organizational Learning, and Trust

Intensified Leadership: An Introduction

Intensification and Beyond "Quick Fixes"

Summary and Overview of the Book

Recommended Readings and Culture Activities

2. Principals as Cultural Change Agents
Cultures and Subcultures in Schools

Management and Leadership

Paths to Cultural Management and Leadership


Additional Readings and Activities for Getting Started

3. Diagnosing Your School Culture: Understanding Where You Are
The Basics of Cultural Diagnosis

Diagnosing Your School Culture

Diagnosis and Intensified Leadership for Cultural Change

Culture Resources and Activities

4. Linking Leadership and School Culture
Leadership and Decision Making

Intensifying Leadership at Your School

Intensifying Leadership by Building PCOLT

Vigilance and Strong School Cultures


Reflections and Activities for Developing School Culture

5. Networks, Networking, and Cultural Change
Webs and Nets

Thinking About Networks


Next Steps

Reflections and Goal-Setting Activities

6. Intensifying Leadership Through Partnerships With Districts
Thinking About District-School Relationships

Rethinking Organizational Structures and Cultures

Influencing District-School Relationships

Moving Forward


Reflections and Activities

7. Schools and Communities: Working With the Enduring Dilemmas of Time and Accountability
Student Learning and Development: A Foundation

Schools as Agencies for Democracy

Social Capital and Civic Capacity

Schools as Moral Agencies


Web Resources, Activities, and Reflections

8. Bringing It All Together: Concluding Themes and Thoughts
The Art of Balance

Implications for Action and Growth

A PCOLT Planning Guide



Supplemental Resources Website
Once you have Building Strong School Cultures in hand, you will have access to the study guides contained in the supplemental resources website. They are designed as easy references to the key ideas and themes in each chapter of Building Strong School Cultures, as well as to explicitly link ideas to practical applications for leaders in school settings. These guides offer the reader materials to enhance understanding and to support group discussion and individual reflection about the ideas in the book.

"An important companion to current research and good thinking about change. This book presents ideas, research, and great questions not often found in how-to manuals on school change."

Lyman Goding, Visiting Lecturer
Bridgewater State College

"A manageable, well-rehearsed plan for discussion, research, and lots of reflective thought for any school leader willing to go the extra journey to develop their own leadership and the culture in which they desire to lead."

Teresa P. Cunningham, Principal
Laurel Elementary School, TN

"The book is an easy read, yet is on target and to-the-point. It provides a practical means by which to change school culture, often a necessary step to improved student achievement."

James L. Pate, Associate Professor
Valdosta State University

"The book supports the development of leadership skills through well-digested research, combined with a highly effective constructivist approach for making sense of compelling stories and using the dialogue stemming from that research. This book is highly useful for aspiring and practicing school principals."

Mary K. Culver, Clinical Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University

"This timely book is a delight. It sets a new agenda for leadership and achieves the rare goal of combining practical tools and rich vignettes with analytical reflections based on sound research."

Kathryn Riley, Professor
London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University of London, United Kingdom

"Standing on the back of their groundbreaking research on school culture, Kruse and Seashore Louis provide an insightful and very practical guide that should be a must-read for anyone preparing to become a school leader."

Kenneth Leithwood, Professor
OISE/University of Toronto

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412951821
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