This self-help book introduces a number of scenarios that incorporate the behaviors supported by the ISLLC Standards. Its effective case scenario approach prepares prospective school leaders to address actual school challenges that occur on a daily basis. In addition, it familiarizes readers with the ISSLC Standards and enables them to conduct a self-assessment relative to meeting those standards. Unlike similar texts, the author provides responses to difficult and challenging issues that are grounded in theory and supported by best practice. This enables learners to examine, compare, and make decisions about well-documented responses and in turn, apply their own ideas. Chapter topics include Leadership in Today's Schools, Organizational Influences on Leadership, Communication in Today's Schools, Decision-Making: Quality and Acceptance, Managing Conflict in Today's Schools, and Facilitating Change in Schools. For education professionals preparing for leadership roles.
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The challenges in today's schools are increasing in frequency, complexity, and intensity, requiring school leaders to enter the schoolhouse with practical experience that prepares them to take immediate and definitive action regarding multifaceted issues. The need for the beginning administrator to have practical experience is so great that many universities are changing their leadership preparation programs to reflect a more practice-oriented approach. One organization advocating this change is the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). The change advocated by this organization is very influential and offers a "new leadership paradigm," one that incorporates what ISLLC believes is required behavior for school leaders.
Through a series of six standards, ISLLC presents a common core of knowledge, disposition, and performances that link leadership to productive schools and enhance educational outcomes. The standards represent an effort to refine the skills of school leaders and to couple leadership with effective educational outcomes (ISLLC, 1996). These standards, the recommended changes in educational leadership preparation programs, and the development of other related performance assessment instruments have influenced a renewal of the approaches used to prepare school leaders. This change is occurring in terms of classroom instruction, assessment of leadership skills and attributes for licensure, and practical application of theoretical concepts.
This text is designed to support the new thrust by providing a series of scenarios that incorporate the behaviors informed by the ISLLC Standards. Also, theory is connected to practice in a manner that allows the prospective school leader an opportunity to reflect on problems and issues that exist in today's schools. A second, yet crucial, objective is to connect the standards and the literature on school leadership to scenarios, questions, and suggested solutions. In this regard, the indicators of the ISLLC Standards are embedded in the scenarios in both a positive and negative manner, allowing the reader to view their practical implications for school leaders.
Practicing the Art of Leadership: A Problem-based Approach to Implementing the ISLLC Standards is a compilation of scenarios and related exercises that represent the kinds of challenges and issues that surface in today's schools. It is Significantly different from the traditional case study format, which probes in an in-depth manner issues that build on one another and need to be resolved. Instead, this work recognizes that definitive action is extremely critical to the success of school leaders as they function on a day-to-day basis in a setting inherently filled with complex challenges.
This text is designed for use in a culminating course of a leadership preparation program. Therefore, the content is written based on the assumption that individuals who utilize it have already developed a basic knowledge of administrative theories and concepts that inform leadership behavior. However, if the text is used in an earlier course, it will need to be supplemented by a text that treats the theoretical concepts of leadership in a more comprehensive manner. The caution to be remembered in the use of this material (as with most behavioral material) is that there is no substitute for reflective reasoning. The reader must take care to select a solution based on the interrelationships between the people, the situation, the skills needed, and the environmental forces. An appropriate mix of theory, reflective thinking, and prescription must be identified.
I hope the prospective school leaders and the practitioners who read this text and work through the scenarios enjoy it and find it beneficial. Acknowledgments
I hereby gratefully acknowledge all the help, encouragement, support, and sacrifice given me by my wife, jean; my son, Reginald, who developed the charts; and my daughters, Cynthia, Stephanie, and especially Reginique, who motivated me to write this book.
Obviously, the contents of a work of this nature come from a number of sources. First and foremost, I express appreciation to all my leadership students at Wright State University and The University of Memphis for their reflections, assistance, and support during the many class sessions in which these scenarios were refined. Expressions of appreciation are also given to Georgia Edwards and Shirley Johnson, District 89, Maywood, Illinois; Dr. Lirah Sabir and Dr. William Sweet (retired), Memphis (Tennessee) City Schools; James Trent, Wright State University; Katheline Ware, Cincinnati (Ohio) Public Schools; and Dr. Thedore Myers and Dr. John Petry, The University of Memphis, for reviewing the scenarios and providing me with invaluable feedback. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Glynda Cryer, Memphis (Tennessee) City Schools, who read and proofed each and every draft.
In addition, the comments of the following reviewers were invaluable: Renee A. Alley Youngstown State University; Philip Arbaugh, Western Maryland College; Dale Brubaker, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Carol Carter-Lowery, Central Connecticut State University; Virginia Doolittle, Rowan University; Larry W Hughes, University of Houston; Jacqueline E. Jacobs, University of South Carolina; Judith A. Kerrins, California State University, Chico; Charles E. Kline, Purdue University; Frances Kochan; Auburn University; Price M. Michael, State University of West Georgia; and Robert Millward, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Reginald Leon GreenAbout the Author:
Reginald Leon Green, is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Memphis. He received the Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has served at the teacher, principal, deputy superintendent, and superintendent levels of K-12 education, and has been in higher education for seven years. In 1977, Reginald was one of five educators chosen nationally to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation's Superintendency Preparation Program, and, in 1996, he was selected as an associate to the Institute for Educational Renewal, under the leadership of Dr. John Goodlad.
Reginald had published a book on inner-city education and articles on educational restructuring, primary grade restructuring, gang violence, and other contemporary educational issues. Most recently, he completed national inquiries into nurturing characteristics that exist in schools and standards and assessment measures being established as a part of school reform. Dr. Green teaches courses in educational leadership, organizational behavior, and participatory governance and change. His research interests include school leadership, superintendent/board relations, school district restructuring, and the effects of nurturing characteristics on the academic achievement of students.
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