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Creating Productive Cultures in Schools

Creating Productive Cultures in Schools
For Students, Teachers, and Parents

June 2014 | 264 pages | Corwin
Leading Researcher Joseph Murphy and his colleague Daniela Torre shed light on two critical issues in education today: student underachievement and how to build effective, high-performing schools. Murphy draws from considerable research and scholarship in the area of school reform. This research is based on meaningful links with the worlds of practice and policy, and builds upon our most robust understanding about school improvement. The book examines the historical footings of the American public school to expose the economic, political, social, and cultural currents that have shaped and continue to influence our understanding of public education and underachievement.
1. Leadership for School Improvement: Getting Started
2. Schooling in the Post-Industrial World: The North Star for Leadership
3. The Threads of School Improvement
4. Supportive Communities of Learning for Students
5. Communities of Professional Practice for Teachers
6. Communities of Professionalism: Barriers and Supports
7. Communities of Engagement for Parents
8. Communities of Engagement for Stakeholders

"The culture of a school has a significant impact on the academic achievement of our students and on the community as a whole. Dr. Murphy and Dr. Torre have clearly defined the processes to implement an operational goal resulting in a productive school culture in which students are challenged and supported.  This book enables leaders, specifically school principals, to facilitate reflective practices designed to engage students, teachers, and parents in achieving successful learning communities."

Gail Connelly, Executive Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"A comprehensive, detailed understanding of the challenges and constraints education leaders face when encouraging, guiding, and supporting positive learning environments. Recognizing the diversity of school cultures, the authors take bold steps to identify what can and should happen to make our nation’s schools more successful. A must read for those seeking realistic and specific strategies for change."

Barbara Schneider, John A. Hannah University Distinguished Professor
Michigan State University

This text provides readers with arguably the most comprehensive, accessible and carefully organized synthesis of evidence available about what school improvement leaders should focus their efforts on and how those efforts can be most productive.

Kenneth Leithwood
OISE/University of Toronto

"Murphy and Torre have constructed a masterful narrative from the daunting complexity of the literature on school improvement, leadership and school culture. This book puts the learner at the center of the improvement effort and avoids the usual polarities between relationships and academic focus—a highly balanced and integrative review."

Viviane Robinson, Distinguished Professor
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

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ISBN: 9781412995696