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School Leadership

School Leadership
Handbook for Excellence in Student Learning

Fourth Edition
Edited by:

Foreword by Joseph Murphy

August 2006 | 520 pages | Corwin
Joseph Murphy calls this 'finely crafted and beautifully written' book 'the most comprehensive and extensive treatment of the school leadership literature available to date' - from the Foreword by Joseph Murphy

A set of key leadership behaviours can help create the right kind of conditions in schools for learning to occur. How can school leaders excel in those behaviours?

An important and trusted resource for 25 years, this fourth edition of School Leadership: Handbook for Excellence in Student Learning emphasizes the school leader's role as champion of student learning. Integrating theory and practice, the editors introduce school leadership from five perspectives: the person, the values, the structure, the mission, and the skills.

This expanded edition draws from a variety of viewpoints on educational leadership to give school leaders - and those preparing for the role - insight and wisdom to meet the challenges of helping all their students learn.

Updates include:

o Expanded coverage of instructional leadership and the principal's role in student learning

o New chapters covering the headship, accountability, effects of leadership, distributed leadership, political leadership, and engaging the public

o New chapters on data-based decision-making and allocation of human, financial, and physical resources

o Eight completely reworked chapters that tie back to student learning

o End-of-chapter reflection questions for group discussion

This is the ultimate guide for all headteachers and administrators; a simultaneous life-preserver and indispensable coach for the important work of school leadership.

Joseph Murphy
How This Book Was Written

Intended Audience

Method of Citation

Scope and Organization

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Introduction: Leadership for Excellence in Learning
The Mission Is Student Learning

What Is Leadership?

Assumptions About the Nature of Leadership

Conclusion: A Passion for Learning

PART I. The State of School Leadership
Larry Lashway
1. The Landscape of School Leadership
The State of the Principalship: A Snapshot

The Supply and Demand Challenge

What Is the Principal’s Proper Role?

Conclusion: What’s Over the Next Hill?


Larry Lashway
2. The Effects of Leadership
The Search for Leadership Effects

Syntheses of the Evidence

Essential Acts of Leadership

Conclusion: A Compass, Not a Road Map


PART II. The Person
Larry Lashway, JoAnn Mazzarella, and Thomas Grundy
3. Portrait of a Leader
The Characteristics of Leaders



Mastery of Self

Interpersonal Competence


Leadership Behaviors

The Genesis of Leadership

What We Don’t Know About Leadership


Conclusion: A Sketch for Each Leader to Complete


Larry Lashway
4. Leadership Styles and Strategies
Dimensions of Leadership Style

Unanswered Questions About Style

The Importance of Style

Leadership Strategies

Hierarchical Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Facilitative Leadership

Is There a Best Strategy?

Choosing a Strategy

Conclusion: The Need for Clarity of Purpose


Larry Lashway
5. Developing School Leaders
A Developmental Perspective

The Phases of Principals’ Careers

The Special Case of the Assistant Principal

Assessment Tools for Developing Leadership

Conclusion: A Pathway Uncertain Yet Sure


PART III. The Values
Larry Lashway
6. Ethical Leadership
The Virtuous Leader

Making Ethical Decisions

Leaders as Advocates

Conclusion: A Question of Destiny


Larry Lashway
7. Visionary Leadership
The Nature of Vision

The Impact of Vision

The Problem With Vision

The Leader’s Role

Developing Personal Vision

Tailoring the Vision to the School

Institutionalizing the Vision

Beyond Vision: The Learning Organization

Conclusion: Change as a Driving Force for Excellence


Stuart C. Smith
8. Cultural Leadership
The Power of a Strong Culture

The Perspective of This Chapter

The Heart of the Matter

The Meaning of Culture

Three Levels of Culture

Principles for Shaping School Culture

How Leaders Construct Culture

Shaping the Student Subculture

Fostering a Sense of Community

Conclusion: Having the Heart to Persevere


PART IV. The Structure

Larry Lashway
9. Accountable Leadership
The Many Faces of Accountability

The Leadership Challenge

Using Accountability to Improve Learning

Conclusion: A Core Leadership Responsibility


Wendell Anderson
10. Site-Based Management
History and Structure of SBM


Site Councils

SBM and Academic Achievement

Role of the Principal in SBM

Role of the Superintendent and Other Administrators

Conclusion: Leaders’ Commitment Drives Change


Larry Lashway
11. Distributed Leadership
Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway?

An Alternative Conception: Distributed Leadership

The Continuum of Leadership

Distributed Leadership in Schools

Varieties of Distributed Leadership

Making Distributed Leadership Work

Expanding Leadership Through Work Teams

Conclusion: Why the Effort Is Worthwhile


Larry Lashway
12. Political Leadership
The Two Worlds of School Politics

Acting Politically

Conclusion: Being Political, Remaining Ethical


PART V. The Mission: Student Learning
Ronald A. Beghetto and Julie Alonzo
13. Instructional Leadership: Supporting the Learning Process
What Is Learning?

Clarifying the Goals of Purposeful Learning

Selecting Instructional Strategies

Conclusion: Collaboration Is the Route to Success


Ronald A. Beghetto and Leanne R. Ketterlin-Geller
14. Instructional Leadership: Progress Monitoring
What Is Progress Monitoring?

Using Multiple Sources of Information to Monitor Progress

Improving the Interpretation and Use of Information

Communicating Progress

An Example: Progress Monitoring in a School District

Conclusion: A Career-Long Practice


Ronald A. Beghetto
15. Instructional Leadership: Cultivating a Learning-Focused Community in Schools
What Is a Learning-Focused Community?

Why Do Students Engage in or Avoid Achievement-Directed Behavior?

How Do Learning Communities Influence Students’ Achievement Behavior?

How Does the Learning Environment Influence Teachers?

Cultivating a Focus on Learning in the School Community

Conclusion: The Need for Creativity and Resolve


PART VI. The Skills
Wendell Anderson
16. Communicating
Principles of Organizational Communication

Communication and Student Learning

The Communication Process

Communication Skills

The Silent Language

Administrative Writing

Conclusion: Perseverance Pays Off


Wendell Anderson
17. Engaging the Public
A New Way of Doing Business

Connecting With the Community

Creating a Community-Relations Plan

Delivering the Message

Working With the News Media

Evaluating Community-Relations Efforts

Conclusion: Engaging for Mutual Benefit


Gerald Tindal, Luke Duesbery, and Leanne R. Ketterlin-Geller
18. Managing Data for Decision Making: Creating Knowledge From Information
Principles of Data-Driven Decision Making

Developing an Infrastructure for Managing and Interpreting Data

Getting Accurate Data From All Students: Technical Adequacy and Universal Design

Reference for Interpreting Results: Using Graphic Displays to Evaluate Performance

Conclusion: The Goal Is Progress for All Students


Faith E. Crampton and Randall S. Vesely
19. Allocating Human, Financial, and Physical Resources
Human Resources: Creating and Sustaining Human and Social Capital

Fiscal Resources: Making the Best Use of Existing Financial Resources

Physical Resources: Maintaining and Enhancing the Physical Environment of Schools

Conclusion: Comprehensive Planning Is Best Practice



“Smith and Piele have written a practitioner's guide that is a 'must read' for administrators at all levels of education. The authors did an exceptional job of writing with clarity about a very important subject.”

John Casper, Supervisor of Instruction
Nelson County Public Schools, Bardstown, KY

“The most comprehensive and extensive treatment of the school leadership literature available to date. School Leadership is a gift to all of us in education.”

From the Foreword by Joseph Murphy

Sample Materials & Chapters




Chapter 1

For instructors

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