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Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership
Developing Effective Partnerships for Communities and Schools

Second Edition
  • Hank Rubin - Rochester Area Community Foundation, Institute for Collaborative Leadership, Winona State University, USA

Foreword by Mary Futrell

Other Titles in:
Leadership | Team Building

May 2009 | 160 pages | Corwin
'Hank Rubin translates complex, contextually driven processes into digestible bites. The text is compelling, refreshing, and a joy to read'

Chris Ferguson, Program Associate

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

'Rubin's book provides an eloquent and practical articulation of collaborative leadership and its potential to improve the partnership of communities and public schools'—Wendy Caszatt-Allen, Teacher and Author, Mid-Prairie Middle School, Kalona, IA

Written to inspire and support educators in becoming transformative, collaborative leaders, this updated edition of a best-selling resource demonstrates how educators can use collaboration skills to help shape school culture and build and maintain strong schoolwide relationships that contribute meaningfully to students' learning.

Visionary Hank Rubin provides a broad overview of collaboration in education and lays the foundation for working with colleagues, establishing strong partnerships, and cooperating with students to achieve goals. Updated with the latest research and filled with practical examples, this resource examines 14 phases of collaboration and helps educators:

- Understand the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics necessary to foster successful collaboration

- Nurture relationships between students and the institutions and individuals associated with learning

- Build collaborative community relationships that support an instructional agenda

- Incorporate the study of collaboration and related reflective activities into leadership practice

By applying these vital principles of collaboration to their work, educators will discover what a school of collaborative excellence is capable of achieving.

Foreword to the Second Edition
Preface and Overview
Who Is This Book For?

Building Relationships for Children

A Note to Grantmakers

A Note on Writing a Book

A Quick Guide for the Reader

Dear Reader …

About the Author
1. An Invitation to Collaborative Leadership
Cutting Stone

Working Definitions

2. Collaborative Leadership: A Continuing Mandate
In Our DNA

The Importance of Powerlessness

The Position of Mission

The Monitor’s Dim Glow

3. Collaborative Leadership: If We Do It Right
Leveraging Leadership

Beyond Toolboxes

Collaboration and Competition

Collaboration and Creativity

Pushing String: Authenticity and Intentionality

So, Who Is a Collaborative Leader?

4. The Nature of Collaboration
Individual and Representational Participation

Types and Tones of Collaboration

Veracity and Tenacity

A Final Note

5. Most of Us Begin by Missing the Point: Why Education
Democracy’s Midwife

Supporting Education’s Civic Purpose

More Than Memory Banks

Content and Collaboration

Answering the Call for Public Collaborations

6. The 4th R
Looking at Teachers as Collaborative Leaders

Teaching Collaboration for Teaching’s Public Purpose

The Easy Case for Principals and Superintendents as Collaborative Leaders

A Final Thought

Schools and Colleges of Education

7. Constructing Models
The How

It’s All in Your Head!

Constellations-of-Relationships: Thinking Through Relationships

Collaboration’s Life Cycle


Phase 1: Why Collaborate?

Phase 2: Outcomes? Decision Makers?

Phase 3: Research: Knowledge, Policy, Politics

Phase 4: Stakeholders?

Phase 5: Frame and Recruit

Phase 6: Leaders, Structure, Roles, and Rules

Phase 7: Develop an Action Plan

Phase 8: Begin With Successes

Phase 9: Build Bonds Between Partners

Phase 10: Celebrate Successes

Phase 11: Assess, Adjust, and Reinforce Bonds

Phase 12: Goal-Centered Accountability

Phase 13: Scaffold the Change

Phase 14: Revisit and Renew Mission

Final Note

8. The Dimensions of Collaborative Leadership
Of Sums and Parts

The Value of Clusters

The Personal Dimensions of Collaborative Leadership

The Management Dimensions of Collaborative Leadership

9. Nine Nuggets
A Practitioner’s Postscript

Nine Principles of Effective Collaborative Leadership

Resource A: Planning and Assessment: An Intentional Q&A
Resource B: A New Conceptual Framework: A Tool for Teachers, Curriculum Developers, and Researchers
Resource C: “Schools of Collaborative Excellence”: A Model for School-Based Leaders

"Hank Rubin has fashioned a new and needed vision for collaborative leadership that can work anywhere—especially in schools. Rubin properly argues that public school success is not a top-down enterprise; it is a collaborative one. He reminds us that well-managed relationships and intentional collaboration are essential skills for all school leaders, from those teaching in classrooms to those running state agencies. This is a must-read for teachers and other champions of school policies and practices that support the success of every student."

John Wilson, Executive Director
National Education Association

"Rubin’s book provides an eloquent and practical articulation of collaborative leadership and its potential as a powerful tool to improve the partnership of communities and public schools at all levels, from clients to practitioners to the utilization of community resources."

Wendy Caszatt-Allen, Teacher and Author
Mid-Prairie Middle School, Kalona, IA

"Our district is embarking upon the most aggressive strategic plan in our history, and the information contained in this book regarding the attributes of community collaboration serves our district well. I encourage persons seriously interested in community collaboration to review the ideas of Hank Rubin. This book is a must-read for those interested in collaborative leadership.”

Kenneth Arndt, Superintendent
Community Unit School District #300, Carpentersville, IL

“Hank Rubin translates complex, contextually driven processes into digestible bites. The text is compelling, refreshing, and a joy to read. It made me reconsider all that I know about collaboration and where we are as educators.”

Chris Ferguson, Program Associate
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

“Provides the educator, community and non-profit organizational leaders, and grant makers with explicit information on steps to ensure successful collaborations that will make the lives of students better. Rubin discusses 24 skills and attributes that foster successful collaboration. Collaborative leaders can use this list to analyze their own strengths and weaknesses and select collaborative partners who have skills and attributes that will mesh into a workable whole.”

Deborah Alexander-Davis, Adjunct Professor
Tennessee Technological University

"The author demonstrates how institutional goals are realized when leaders balance their own sense of ownership and responsibility with the vision and core values of their institutions. This is a must-read for school administrators and those in management who are interested in knowing how collaboration works effectively and successfully toward institutional goal attainment."

Osman Alawiye, Dean, Ella Cline School of Education
SUNY Geneseo

"This handbook should be read, thoughtfully reflected upon, and applied by leaders who seek to collaborate with diverse interests to accomplish common goals. All too often, groups will sacrifice what they have in common because of disagreements on relatively minor issues. This handbook is designed for those who understand that much more can be accomplished through collaboration than through conflict. It should be regarded as essential reading for educational leaders at all levels and in a wide variety of positions who seek to apply collaborative strategies to bring about fundamental and enduring improvement in the American educational system."

David C. Smith, Dean Emeritus, College of Education
University of Florida

"In Hank Rubin’s latest book, he emphasizes the importance of teachers as leaders. It is crucial that teachers not only know their content and have pedagogical skills, but must take control of their profession by developing a collaborative learning environment in which all participants are continuous lifelong learners. Learning together makes for a meaningful, relevant educational experience.

Deborah I. Tully, Director of Professional Issues
Ohio Federation of Teachers

"The complexity of both the educational task and its context necessitates new thinking about the traditional concepts and roles associated with educational leadership and school management. This book lays out a guide to these new concepts that incorporate collaborative, symbiotic relationships that are networked within the school’s social system and that reflect a more 'adaptive systems' characteristic with an emphasis on organizational learning."

David R. Schwandt, Professor of Human and Organizational Learning
The George Washington University

Although the text is informative, it is geared more toward administration than the teacher.

Mrs Crystal N Money
Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character, Kennesaw State University
September 1, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412965446