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Building Strong School Cultures
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Building Strong School Cultures
A Guide to Leading Change

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September 2008 | 200 pages | Corwin
This resource calls on head teachers to create a viable, sustainable school culture using the professional community, organizational learning and trust to affect teaching and learning. This addition to the Leadership for Learning series presents an Intensification of Leadership approach that integrates teachers, parents, and community members into a coherent team. The authors examine schools that have achieved lasting cultural change and present practical strategies for:

"diagnosing and shaping a school culture

"revising leadership functions to broaden the decision-making processes

"rethinking organizational structures

"supporting continuous improvement while ensuring stability

 
Series Foreword by E. Joseph Schneider and Willis D. Hawley
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Changing School Culture: An Introduction and Overview
School Cultures: Stable and Fluid or Stable and Fragile

 
Introducing PCOLT: Professional Community, Organizational Learning, and Trust

 
Intensified Leadership: An Introduction

 
Intensification and Beyond "Quick Fixes"

 
Summary and Overview of the Book

 
Recommended Readings and Culture Activities

 
 
2. Principals as Cultural Change Agents
Cultures and Subcultures in Schools

 
Management and Leadership

 
Paths to Cultural Management and Leadership

 
Conclusion

 
Additional Readings and Activities for Getting Started

 
 
3. Diagnosing Your School Culture: Understanding Where You Are
The Basics of Cultural Diagnosis

 
Diagnosing Your School Culture

 
Diagnosis and Intensified Leadership for Cultural Change

 
Culture Resources and Activities

 
 
4. Linking Leadership and School Culture
Leadership and Decision Making

 
Intensifying Leadership at Your School

 
Intensifying Leadership by Building PCOLT

 
Vigilance and Strong School Cultures

 
Conclusion

 
Reflections and Activities for Developing School Culture

 
 
5. Networks, Networking, and Cultural Change
Webs and Nets

 
Thinking About Networks

 
Cautions

 
Next Steps

 
Reflections and Goal-Setting Activities

 
 
6. Intensifying Leadership Through Partnerships With Districts
Thinking About District-School Relationships

 
Rethinking Organizational Structures and Cultures

 
Influencing District-School Relationships

 
Moving Forward

 
Conclusion

 
Reflections and Activities

 
 
7. Schools and Communities: Working With the Enduring Dilemmas of Time and Accountability
Student Learning and Development: A Foundation

 
Schools as Agencies for Democracy

 
Social Capital and Civic Capacity

 
Schools as Moral Agencies

 
Conclusion

 
Web Resources, Activities, and Reflections

 
 
8. Bringing It All Together: Concluding Themes and Thoughts
The Art of Balance

 
Implications for Action and Growth

 
A PCOLT Planning Guide

 
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Supplemental Resources Website
Once you have Building Strong School Cultures in hand, you will have access to the study guides contained in the supplemental resources website. They are designed as easy references to the key ideas and themes in each chapter of Building Strong School Cultures, as well as to explicitly link ideas to practical applications for leaders in school settings. These guides offer the reader materials to enhance understanding and to support group discussion and individual reflection about the ideas in the book.

"An important companion to current research and good thinking about change. This book presents ideas, research, and great questions not often found in how-to manuals on school change."

Lyman Goding, Visiting Lecturer
Bridgewater State College

"A manageable, well-rehearsed plan for discussion, research, and lots of reflective thought for any school leader willing to go the extra journey to develop their own leadership and the culture in which they desire to lead."

Teresa P. Cunningham, Principal
Laurel Elementary School, TN

"The book is an easy read, yet is on target and to-the-point. It provides a practical means by which to change school culture, often a necessary step to improved student achievement."

James L. Pate, Associate Professor
Valdosta State University

"The book supports the development of leadership skills through well-digested research, combined with a highly effective constructivist approach for making sense of compelling stories and using the dialogue stemming from that research. This book is highly useful for aspiring and practicing school principals."

Mary K. Culver, Clinical Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University

"This timely book is a delight. It sets a new agenda for leadership and achieves the rare goal of combining practical tools and rich vignettes with analytical reflections based on sound research."

Kathryn Riley, Professor
London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University of London, United Kingdom

"Standing on the back of their groundbreaking research on school culture, Kruse and Seashore Louis provide an insightful and very practical guide that should be a must-read for anyone preparing to become a school leader."

Kenneth Leithwood, Professor
OISE/University of Toronto

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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