Contours of Great Leadership: The Science, Art, and Wisdom of Outstanding Practice

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9781610488310: Contours of Great Leadership: The Science, Art, and Wisdom of Outstanding Practice
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A contour is usually defined as an outline or the structure or characteristic of something. A contour line which is shown on a contour map indicates points of elevation. We think that all of these definitions fit Contours of Great Leadership.
This book brings together many aspects of concepts and theories of leadership. It is an amalgam of ideas from the social sciences and the humanities woven together in the idea of leadership as an accoutrement, that is, a deliberate woven garment comprising science, art, experience, and craft knowledge. Thus we see leadership not as either/or an art or a science; or craft knowledge vs. scientific or research based knowledge, but rather as all of them combined and which occurs between followers and leaders within distinctive cultures and modes of communication.
The importance of context and culture as the milieu in which leadership is acquired and learned is critical. In the end leadership is a performing art form, which while it can be studied scientifically, cannot be understood solely as a science without connecting it to the arts and ultimately to practice.

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About the Author:

Dr. Rosemary Papa currently serves as The Del and Jewel Lewis Endowed Chair in Learning Centered Leadership and Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at Northern Arizona University- a position she has held since 2007. Her record of publications includes twelve books as author or co-author, numerous book chapters, monographs and over eighty referred journal articles. She has served as a Principal and Chief School Administrator for two districts in Nebraska, California State University system level Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Sylvan Learning, Inc., Faculty Director of a University-based Center for Teaching and Learning in California and founded two joint doctoral programs in Educational Leadership with University of California universities. She has worked internationally as a noted educator with expertise in leadership characteristics known as accoutrements, mentoring, adult learning and multi-media technology.

Dr. Fenwick English currently is the R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a position he has held since 2001. Dr. English is the author or co-author of over thirty-five books and has presented his research over two decades at the American Educational Research Association Divisions A and L; National Council of Professors of Educational Administration; University Council of Educational Administration; British Educational Leadership and Management Society; and the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration.
He and Rosemary Papa have co-authored many texts including Restoring Human Agency to Educational Administration: Status and Strategies (2010); Turnaround Principals for Underperforming Schools (2011); and Educational Leadership at 2050: Conjectures, Challenges, and Promises (2012). He was the President of NCPEA (2011-2012) and of UCEA (2006-07) respectively. As an educational practitioner he has held the positions of assistant principal and middle school principal (California); assistant superintendent of schools (Florida); superintendent of schools (New York); associate executive director of the AASA (Virginia); National Practice Director of Elementary and Secondary Education for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (Washington, D.C.); Department Chair-University of Cincinnati (Ohio); Dean, School of Education at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne and later Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs (Indiana). He is the acknowledged father of the curriculum management audit and has worked in many of the large urban school systems in the U.S.

Dr. Frank Davidson began his career in education serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and has been a K-12 teacher and principal, curriculum administrator, and superintendent. He is the past President of the Superintendents’ Division of the Arizona School Administrators; In 2000, he received the Arizona School Administrators’ All-Arizona Superintendent Award for Large School Districts; and, In 2006, he was selected as Arizona Superintendent of the Year and was named as Arizona’s nominee for the American Association of School Administrators Superintendent of the Year Award. He is the Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District, a position he has held since 1997.

Dr. Mary K. Culver is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University. Specializing in curriculum and instructional supervision, she has served as a program manager, director of satellite schools, assistant principal, and principal in the public school system of Arizona. She has published "Applying Servant Leadership in Today's Schools" and many articles on leadership, and serves as consultant to multiple schools in instruction and teacher evaluation. Dr. Culver graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in statistical history, and again with a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with her terminal degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Ric Brown served 6 years as the Chief Academic Officer (Provost/ Vice President for Academic Affairs) at California State University, Sacramento until his retirement in 2007. In addition to being a professor for over 30 years, he also held the positions of Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research at Sacramento and Director of University Grants and Research at California State University, Fresno. His academic areas include statistics, research, measurement and evaluation. He has published extensively and has a book on higher education administration published in fall, 2008. He currently serves as adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University (teaching statistics and higher education classes) and resides in Sedona, AZ.

Review:

The authors of this book have taken a holistic view of school leadership as a twenty-first century approach to leading schools. Leadership is presented as an individualized approach that requires operationalizing—and meshing—one’s skills with the educational system in a symbiotic relationship. How one gains insight and understanding about one’s role and impact as a leader is a valuable contribution to the field of educational leadership preparation. (James Berry, executive director, National Council of Professors of Educational Administration and Professor of Educational Leadership, Eastern Michigan University)

Papa and her coauthors have done a thorough job of helping readers understand with depth and clarity how leadership is both science and art. This book reveals creative considerations of leadership as resting on the deliberate act of converging experiences, knowledge, values, and skills into ways of knowing that result in the rare phenomenon of great leadership. This central concept, known as accoutering, is considered with elegance and accessibility. This book is a must read for those interested in the study of leadership and leadership preparation. In sum, I found myself haunted and inspired by the ideas and possibilities offered by the authors. (Dr. Autumn Cypres, director, of The Center for Educational Leadership, The University of Tennessee)

In this timely book on relational leadership in the educational system, leading Endowed Chair Professors, Rosemary Papa and Fenwick English along with co-authors Davidson, Culver and Brown challenge readers to ask, “What does it take to become an exceptional leader?”The authors advance that a socially and culturally constructed community of practice, comprised of knowledge, skills and values frames the context that characterizes notable leadership. However, professional training is second only to the most critical knowledge, which begins with self. More than being a professionally trained individual, great leaders reach out to co-create with others. They are collaborators. The authors posit that educational leaders need to reach a distinguished level in their work, achieved when they “refine their skills” and serve as beacons in the field. In their book, that reads like an inspiring story of leadership, aspiring as well as seasoned leaders will discover empowering lessons to build human capital in their communities. (Concha Delgado Gaitan, Ph.D., educational researcher and author)

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