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Helping Teachers Learn

Helping Teachers Learn
Principal Leadership for Adult Growth and Development

Foreword by Susan Moore Johnson

May 2004 | 248 pages | Corwin
Helping Teachers Learn presents a model of principal leadership that applies adult learning principals to school-based leadership practices in support of teacher development. This book is grounded on years of research. These novel findings explain how principals can better understand their leadership practices and how to implement them effectively within their particular school contexts. A continuum of four critical initiatives to support teacher development and reflection is discussed throughout the book. A continuing professional development model that includes both developing teachers as well as an underlying self-development emphasis for the principal is addressed and applied to the adult learning and development professional model.
Susan Moore Johnson

About Professional Development

School Leadership

Organization of the Book

About the Author
1. Developing A New Model of School Leadership For Teacher Learning
The Study

Origins of This Work


A New Model of Learning-Oriented School Leadership

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

2. Constructive-Developmental Theory and Adult Development
About Transformational Learning

Kegan's Constructive-Developmental Theory

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

3. Principals as Climate Shapers
Lessons From Current Research

The Core Principles That Ground Leadership Approaches

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

4. The Impact of Financial Resources on Support for Teacher Learning
Challenges Posed by Limited Financial Resources

Creative Strategies for Coping with Limited Financial Resources

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

5. Teaming: Learning Opportunities for Individuals and Organizations
About Teaming

Why Principals Support Teaming

Examples of Principals' Use of Teaming

A Contextualized Case: A Cross-Functional Team of Teachers, Administrators, and Staff

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

6. Providing Leadership Roles: Opportunities for Leadership and Learning
About Leadership Roles

Why Principals Want to Provide Teachers With Leadership Roles

Examples of Providing Leadership Roles

A Case Study: Shared Leadership - Peter's Story

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

7. Collegial Inquiry: A Practice for Talking and Thinking About Practice
About Collegial Inquiry and Reflective Practice

What Principals Like About Collegial Inquiry

Examples of Principals' Use of Collegial Inquiry

Developmental Benefits of Collegial Inquiry

A Case: Using Collegial Inquiry in Collaborative Goal Setting and Evaluation

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

8. Mentoring: A Powerful Means of Facilitating Learning
About Mentoring

What Principals Like About Mentoring

Examples of Mentoring

A Case Study: An Exemplary Mentoring Program

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

9. Bringing It All Together: A Case of Learning-Oriented Leadership in Action
The Self-Study Evaluation

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

10. Leadership for Learning's Well-Spring: Self-Renewal through Reflective Practice
Principal Renewal: Rejuvenation Through Reflective Practice

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

11. Leading in the 21st Century: New Opportunities for Learning
Review of Challenges to a Climate Suppportive of Teacher Learning

Implications of the New Learning-Oriented Model of Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions

Stepping Forward: New Beginnings for Leaders of Transformational Learning


"Drago-Severson has created an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to learn how to be a school’s ‘principal adult educator.’"

Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development
Harvard University Graduate School of Education

"Helping Teachers Learn is a remarkably ambitious and comprehensive work that describes how principals may effectively exercise leadership in support of teacher learning within schools. The book is an extraordinary treasure chest of real world examples, insights, and uncommon sense."

Richard H. Ackerman
Author, The Wounded Leader

"Helping Teachers Learn addresses an extremely important theme--the developmental aspects of teacher learning and how principals can support them. The framework is new and generative."

Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair, Lynch School of Education
Boston College

"Teaching can be a very isolating profession. In the midst of the many constraints and pressures inherent in education today, there exist some distinctive messages of hope. Helping Teachers Learn focuses on some of the best practices found in a broad spectrum of schools--public, independent and parochial. Drago-Severson's important research points the way to greater reflective practice, personal growth and professional satisfaction."

Joe Marchese, Dean of Faculty
Westtown School, Pennsylvania

"Drago-Severson masterfully weaves voices of experience with practical strategies and theoretical underpinnings to illustrate the viability and necessity of adult learning in schools. As a novice principal in a low resource urban charter school, I have a renewed hope that this work is indeed possible."

Jed F. Lippard, Director
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School, Cambridge, MA

"Strategies and case studies combine to provide principals with a leadership model to help enhance teacher development."

Educational Research Services' ERS Bulletin, June 2004

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ISBN: 9780761939672