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There is no doubt that this book identifies a plethora of strategies that will move the field forward. This is a project that has been implemented within a large number of schools/across a large number of leaders….and has been continually evaluated. The strength is that it is not an “opinion” piece wherein an author references the work of others and then suggests what “might” be effective, but this is work that has been implemented, and is showing promising results.
After following Fullan, Leithwood, Bryk, and Sharratt for many years, this is the next piece in the puzzle of how to implement large-scale school change that has an impact. I love how the project was mindfully constructed to self-assess and was responsive to the feedback from participants. We can learn a lot from reading this book and practicing such mindfulness when it comes to supporting schools to help students learn.
Having worked with Leading Student Achievement (LSA) and the Ontario Principals Council, and being a long-time fan of Kenneth Leithwood, I have seen first-hand how their work has impacted school leadership across Ontario. Now, in Leadership Development on a Large Scale we are able to learn how they did it, which means that their collaborative work will not only continue to have an impact on leadership in Ontario, but the rest of the world too.
The Leading Student Achievement (LSA) project is one of the longest-standing research projects in Canada. It has been a success because it uses research-informed strategies, is led by a world-recognized researcher, engages the field, and is fully supported by those who are expected to do the work. I commend Ontario principals for having accepted our challenge to adopt a theory-into-practice approach that would expand leadership commitment to inquiry. They have created a legacy that benefits students.
Leithwood demonstrates again why he is the most prominent scholar in the areas of educational leadership and school improvement. He fills a major void in helping us see how leadership can be developed and sustained by providing a marvelous ground level understanding of how school leadership unfolds and how that knowledge can be used to improve schools.
This is a rare book on Leadership: grounded, empirical, theoretical, cogent, comprehensive, and unwaveringly true to both local and system needs. As usual, Leithwood ‘leads’ leadership by capturing the state of play. Dive into Leadership Development on a Large Scale' and you will be rewarded chapter after chapter with insights and ideas that will improve your efficacy as a leader.
Leading improvement at scale is a complex, fraught, and messy business. In this book, Ken Leithwood provides clear, critical insights and sound empirical verification about the ways in which leadership development can be a significant force for lasting change. An intellectual tour de force and a major contribution to the field.
Leadership Development on a Large Scale gives us new hope for school reform. Leithwood shows how collaboration between professional associations, a ministry of education, and a team of scholars envisioned, adjusted, documented, and sustained a successful program to improve all schools in Ontario. There are no quick fixes, as he points to the complexity of shifting a system from top to bottom. There is quiet wisdom in every chapter.
Leadership matters. Ken Leithwood and the Leading Student Achievement team shine the spotlight on real stories from the field on how school and system leadership is inextricably tied to student achievement and well-being. Our Ontario leadership narrative offers others a pathway to collaborative leading and learning opportunities that lead to improved conditions and success for students.
In 2005, the phrase ‘it is lonely at the top’ was a general feeling that most school leaders were experiencing in their schools. The Ontario Ministry of Education, under Avis Glaze’s leadership of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, welcomed OPC, CPCO and ADFO’s request for funding to structure professional learning for teams of leaders across the province. The impact has been profound. LSA has raised the bar on learning and leading and has had a direct influence on the student learning agenda in Ontario.