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Insights: How Expert Principals Make Difficult Decisions

With this invaluable resource, explore factors considered by expert principals to manage crises and make complex decisions, and acquire powerful tools and insights on decision-making best practices.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483351193
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2015
  • Page Count: 192
  • Publication date: March 09, 2015

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

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Learn to make the best decisions for your school!

Essential to inspiring and improving schools, principals make complex decisions on a daily basis. This invaluable resource offers extensive case studies to explore how expert principals manage crises, navigate tough choices, and support school environments. You will find:

  • Problem-solving strategies and cases focused on data analysis and competing stakeholders
  • Easy-to-use checklists, robust reflection questions, and a framework to define your own professional core values
  • Tools to coach and evaluate teachers, and bolster struggling students

A former elementary and secondary school site administrator, the author presents a highly sensible, cohesive, and research-based approach to decision-making that will greatly benefit school principals at any career stage.

"I have never seen or heard of an excellent school that did not have an excellent principal. In this important new book McLaughlin helps us to understand what it takes to become a genuine expert as a school leader by closely examining how they navigate the challenges involved in leading schools during these turbulent times."
-Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development
Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, New York University

"This book is a rare blend of practice and solid academic work. Dionne McLaughlin’s writing shows that she 'talks the talk' because she has 'walked the walk.'"
-Fenwick W. English, R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership
School of Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“McLaughlin describes a sensible and cohesive approach to decision making and includes case studies of actual situations faced by real principals. Insights is a valuable resource for new and aspiring principals as well as experienced principals.”
-C. Diane Payne, Director
Principal Fellows Program, Center for School Leadership Development, Chapel Hill, NC

Key features

  • Based on original empirical research on a variety of school principals
  • Practical, realistic case studies are included throughout from actual principals to more clearly illustrate best-practices in school administration decision-making
  • Checklists and other protocols will be included throughout the book as quick and easy-to-use tools to help administrators make decisions throughout the school year
  • Includes robust questions for reflection


Dionne V. McLaughlin photo

Dionne V. McLaughlin

Dionne V. McLaughlin, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at North Carolina Central University. She is a British-born Jamaican educator who is an experienced bilingual high school and elementary school principal. Dr. McLaughlin has experience as a K-12 Director for a voluntary desegregation program in Massachusetts and as the Program Director for a Latino community-based organization. Additionally, she has 11 years of experience teaching, a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Research interests include: the principalship, Blacks in Latin America, Effective teachers of African American and Latino high school students, and examining the racial context of schools. Recent scholarly works include an NCPEA article on how administrators can improve schools by learning from the experiences of African American and Latino High School Students and a Teacher Education Journal of South Carolina article, “The Cultural Symphony in Schools: Effectively Teaching African American and Latino High School Students.” Dr. McLaughlin also has another manuscript in progress for a SAGE book chapter, “New South Realities, Demographics, Cultural Capital, and Diversity” in a Guide on Educational Leadership and Management that will be published in 2015. Dr. McLaughlin has led workshops for teachers, principals and assistant principals on culturally responsive teaching, effective school practices, and making effective leadership decisions.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

Part I: Factors Expert Principals Consider in Decision Making

1: Weighing Options

2: Recognizing and Connecting to Core Values

3: Considering the Culture Before Introducing Change

4: Examining the Whole Picture

Part II: Making Difficult Decisions

5: Decisions About Student Consequences

6: Decisions About Faculty and Staff

7: Decisions About Practices, Policies, and Programs

8: Decisions That Improve African American and Latino Student Achievement



Classroom Walkthrough Form

Current Bell Schedule

Proposed Bell Schedule

Principal Interview Questions


List of Tables

List of Case Studies





Other Titles in: Principalship | Leadership

Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.