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Virtuous Educational Leadership - Book Cover

Virtuous Educational Leadership

Doing the Right Work the Right Way

By: Viviane M J Robinson

This integrated, holistic resource explores the virtues integral to excellent educational leadership, with practical, research-based applications, examples, and detailed analysis showing theoretical concepts in practice.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071803721
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2022
  • Page Count: 288
  • Publication date: October 12, 2022

Price: $39.95

For Instructors

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Excellent leadership matters

Without excellent leadership, school improvement is impossible, or at least impossible to sustain. But what are the characteristics of an excellent leader? Is general leadership experience and knowledge enough? And how do you practically grow and develop leadership in yourself and others so you can all have a bigger impact on student outcomes?

This integrated, holistic resource explores the virtues that are integral to achieving excellence in educational leadership, while offering practical guidance on how to do the right work in the right way—no matter what challenges you face or student inequities you’re trying to overcome. Features include:

  • Practical, research-based applications of virtue theory
  • Examples of school leaders’ thinking and actions
  • In-depth yet accessible theoretical analysis
  • Detailed analysis showing theoretical concepts in practice
  • Summaries and reflection questions

The success of your students and teachers is directly linked to your influence, your knowledge and ideas, your personal character, and your ability to focus on the proper purposes of education.



Viviane M J Robinson photo

Viviane M J Robinson

Viviane is a Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Academic Director of its Centre for Educational Leadership. Her research identifying the impact of different types of leadership on student outcomes (Student- Centered Leadership) has been used to shape leadership policy and practice in Scandinavia, England, Singapore, Chile, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

She has received numerous awards from national and international professional and academic organisations including the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, the New Zealand Secondary Principals Association and the US-based University Council on Educational Administration. In 2011, she was made a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association for sustained excellence in educational research. In 2016 the Royal Society of New Zealand awarded her the Mason Durie Medal for her international contributions to educational leadership research and practice. She currently leads a research and development programme on the leadership knowledge and skills involved in school improvement.

To learn more visit her website at

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

Part A: Identifying the Proper Purpose of Leadership Work

Chapter 1: Three Proper Purposes of Education

     The Proper Purposes of Educational Institutions

     Less Satisfactory Approaches to Identifying the Right Work


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 2: Linking the Purposes to the Science of Learning and Teaching

     How Students Learn

     Implications for Classroom Teaching


     Reflection and Action

Part B: Doing the Right Leadership Work

Chapter 3: Implications of the Science of Learning and Teaching for Leadership

     Dimension 1: Setting Goals and Expectations for Deep Learning

     Dimension 2: Resourcing Strategically for Deep Learning

     Dimension 3: Ensuring Quality Teaching for Deep Learning

     Dimension 4: Leading Teacher Professional Learning for Deep Learning

     Dimension 5: Ensuring a Safe and Orderly Environment for Deep Learning


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 4: Taking Context Seriously

     Traditional Concepts of Context

     Proposed Concept of Context


     Reflection and Action

Part C: Doing the Right Work the Right Way

Chapter 5: Virtues for Doing the Right Work the Right Way

     Virtues Explained

     Virtues as Inclusive of Motives, Knowledge, and Skills

     The Place of Virtues in Leadership Frameworks

     A Taxonomy of Virtues for Doing the Right Work the Right Way


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 6: Leadership Virtues

     Sources of Leadership Influence

     Virtuous Leadership Motivations

     Identifying and Nurturing a Virtuous Disposition to Lead

     Recruiting and Retaining Virtuous Leaders

     Reluctance to Lead


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 7: Problem-Solving Virtues: Strategic

     The Role of Knowledge and Skill in Virtuous Strategic Leadership

     The Role of Motivation in Virtuous Strategic Leadership

     Connecting the Details With the Big Picture

     Finding the Strategic Focus

     Enacting the Strategic Focus

     Maintaining the Strategic Focus


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 8: Problem-Solving Virtues: Analytic

     Analytic Virtues and Theories of Action

     Analytic Virtues and Truth-Seeking

     Motivational Aspects of Analytic Virtues

     The Ladder of Inference: A Tool for Truth-Seeking Leaders

     Strategic and Analytic Virtues in Action


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 9: Problem-Solving Virtues: Imaginative

     Imaginative Virtues and the Integration of Solution Requirements

     Imaginative Virtues, Creativity, and Problem-Solving

     Strategic, Analytic, and Imaginative Virtues in Action


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 10: Interpersonal Virtues

     Relational Trust: A Guide for Deriving Interpersonal Virtues

     Four Interpersonal Virtues


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 11: Integrating Leadership, Problem-Solving, and Interpersonal Virtues

     The Task-Relationship Dilemma


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 12: Being Virtuous in Tough Spots

     Fostering Accurate Reporting

     Building Collegial Accountability

     Providing Critical Evaluation


     Reflection and Action

Chapter 13: Virtuous Leadership of Educational Improvement: A Case Study

     The Problem: Attendance at Vauxhall Secondary College

     The Leaders: Roles and Contributions

     The Method: Using CCPS to Improve Attendance

     The New Challenge: Addressing an Unanticipated Obstacle

     Reflections on the Success of CCPS at Vauxhall Secondary College

     Reflections on the Contributions of Leaders’ Virtues to the Success of CCPS at VSC


     Reflection and Action


Chapter 14: Conclusion