Beyond School Improvement: The Journey to Innovative Leadership

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Corwin Press, 2010 - Education - 223 pages
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'The authors are grounded educational leaders who have lived the approach to improvement and innovation that they write about. Filled with anecdotal examples, reflection exercises, and practical strategies, this is a very useful and timely resource for educators seeking to understand and influence educational innovation and transformation in the 21st century' - Michael H. Dickmann, Professor

Cardinal Stritch University

'The authors contrast improvement of existing practices with a more rigorous and creative push for innovation that introduces new and different practices and structures. In many situations, district and school improvement plans have evolved into the technical work of interpreting data about the past and present, studying research, and creating documents. This book stimulates leaders as they stretch their organization's culture to reveal mental models, consider external trends, and seek creative and energizing strategies that will prepare students for a future we cannot yet define' - Edie Holcomb, Consultant, Marzano Research Laboratory

Preparing students to be successful in an unpredictable world requires school leaders who can nurture a culture of both improvement and innovation. Beyond School Improvement: The Journey to Innovative Leadership assists leaders in understanding when and how to improve and when and how to innovate.

The book helps leaders connect with the new science on change and provides skills, practices, and tools for creating and leading educational systems that will help to prepare students for the world that will be theirs. Based on complexity theory, new science, systems thinking, change, and innovation, the book presents a look at trends that encourage readers to look beyond the comfort zone of accepted practice and consider the merits of improvement and innovation. The authors discuss four change elements--dissonance, identity, information, and order--and define five essential practices for leaders:

- Hold courageous conversations

- Embrace dissonance

- Change the field of vision

- Be a gardener and a mechanic

- Reframe, reflect, relate

Stories, quotes, reflections, and a call to action help to support leaders as they seek balance within themselves, their classrooms, and their organizations.

 

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Contents

Schools in a Changing World
3
Improvement Is Not Enough
23
Attributes of Innovation
43
Develop the Courage to Leap
65
Hold Courageous Conversations
81
ESSENTIAL LEADERSHIP PRACTICES
97
Create Context
119
Change Your Field of Perception
137
Let Ideas Collide
157
Innovate the Way You Lead
175
Glossary
197
Continuum of Leadership Behavior
203
Index
211
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About the author (2010)

Dr. Robert Davidovich is a consultant specializing in leadership, transformational change, innovation, systems thinking, and organizational planning. An educator for more than 30 years, he has served students as a teacher, principal, staff development coordinator, and director of organizational development. For fourteen years he was principal of a U.S. Department of Education School of Excellence. In his role as the director of organizational development he oversaw the district’s transformational planning initiative. Robert is an adjunct instructor and lecturer at local universities and a consultant for organizations in several states regarding system improvement, innovative leadership, and organiznational development.

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