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Leading Adult Learning

Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools
This learning-oriented model of school leadership details four Pillar Practices for helping adults grow throughout their careers: teaming, providing leadership roles, collegial inquiry, and mentoring.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12, Elementary, Secondary
  • ISBN: 9781412950725
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2009
  • Page Count: 368
  • Publication date: November 10, 2009

Price: $48.95

Price: $48.95
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"Eleanor Drago-Severson takes hold of an important and neglected truth: students grow best in schools where the adults around them are growing, too. In this nurturing and much-anticipated work, the author shows us exactly how to make this happen. Sound theory, vivid examples, and, best of all, a practice-ready framework—it's all here! Anyone who cares about making our schools better will feel richly rewarded for spending time with this encouraging book."
—Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development
Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Coauthor of Immunity to Change

"With this comprehensive and compelling book, Eleanor Drago-Severson establishes herself as a leading authority on authoritative leadership in education."
—Howard Gardner, Author of Leading Minds

Support the growth and development of all adults—teachers, principals, and superintendents—in your school community!

Educators at every level go through different stages of development over the course of their lives and need different kinds of supports and challenges to grow. Leading Adult Learning introduces a model of adult development that helps school and district leaders consciously cultivate teacher, principal, and superintendent capacities in the educational workplace.

Eleanor Drago-Severson's developmental model of learning-oriented school leadership draws from multiple knowledge domains, including adult learning, developmental theory, leadership practice, and organizational collaboration. The book shows school leaders how to foster growth and learning for individuals with different needs and developmental orientations. With a focus on research and application, this volume:

  • Details four Pillar Practices for growth—teaming, providing leadership roles, collegial inquiry, and mentoring—which can support all adults
  • Presents extensive research and practical application from principals, teachers, superintendents, and other school leaders from across the nation
  • Includes application exercises, reflective questions, and lessons from the field to assist you in applying this learning-oriented model to your school and school system

Drago-Severson makes a compelling case for deliberately supporting adult development within and across school systems to enhance adults' capacities, school improvement, and student achievement.



Eleanor Drago-Severson photo

Eleanor Drago-Severson

Ellie Drago-Severson is Professor of Education Leadership and Adult Learning and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. A developmental psychologist, Ellie teaches, conducts research, and serves as a consultant to school and district leaders, systems leaders, and teacher leaders in public, charter and private schools and systems—on professional and personal growth and learning; leadership that supports principal, teacher, school, and leadership development; and coaching and mentoring in K–12 schools, university settings, and other adult education contexts domestically and internationally. She is also an internationally certified developmental coach who works with leaders to build internal capacity, lead on behalf of social justice, and grow systemwide capacity.

For more than three decades, Ellie’s research, teaching, and partnerships in the field have sought—synergistically—to explore, and extend the possibilities of adult development and developmental leadership as levers for internal capacity building at the individual, team, organizational, and societal levels. Her work explores interconnected streams that focus on: the connection between internal capacities and educational leaders’ practice on behalf of social justice, a developmental approach to feedback for growth, pressing challenges national and international educational leaders are facing and helping them to manage them, leadership preparation and development, a new, learning-oriented model for leadership development, supporting adult development in individuals and teams across and within systems, supporting diverse adult English Language Learners and those who serve them, and growing teacher leadership. Consonant with the urgent conversations about transforming schools, systems, and society as more learning- and equity-oriented contexts, her work foregrounds how we can support leaders’ internal capacity building in schools, organizations, and leadership preparation programs, and how these capacities inform the gifts leaders are able to give to those in their care, each other, and the world as they lead for social justice. Ellie loves opportunities to accompany school leaders in their vital work—and never takes it for granted. Instead, she considers it a gift.

At Teachers College, Ellie is director of the PhD Program in Educational Leadership, teaches aspiring and practicing principals in the Summer Principals Academy, aspiring superintendents in the Urban Educators Leaders Program, leaders from a variety of different sectors in the Accelerated Educational Guided Inquiry Studies (AEGIS) Program, and also coaches leaders in the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Leaders and in her private coaching practice to help leaders grow their practice and themselves. She also serves as faculty director and co-facilitator of the Leadership Institute for School Change at Teachers College. Ellie is author of the best-selling books Helping Teachers Learn (Corwin, 2004) and Leading Adult Learning (Corwin/The National Staff Development Council, 2009)—as well as Becoming Adult Learners (Teachers College Press, 2004) and Helping Educators Grow (Harvard Education Press, 2012). She is also a co-author of Learning for Leadership (Corwin, 2013), Learning Designs (Learning Forward & Corwin, 2014), Tell Me So I Can Hear You (Harvard Education Press, 2016), and Leading change together (ASCD, 2018).

Ellie’s work has earned awards from the Spencer Foundation, the Klingenstein Foundation, and Harvard, where she served on faculty for 8 years and was awarded the Morningstar Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dean’s award for Excellent in Teaching. Most recently, Ellie received three outstanding teaching awards from Columbia University. She has earned degrees from Long Island University (BA) and Harvard University (EdM, EdD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship). Ellie grew up in the Bronx and is very grateful for the way in which it and that community has shaped her life.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

Part 1. Foundations

1. A New Model of Leadership for Adult Growth and Learning

In This Chapter

Meeting Adaptive Challenges

The Need for a New Model of Leadership

Supporting Learning Across the System

Re-envisioning Staff Development

The Research Informing This Book

A New Learning-Oriented Model of School Leadership

Organization of the Book

Summary and Conclusion

Reflective Questions

2. How Constructive-Developmental Theory Informs the Pillar Practices

Why Constructive-Developmental Theory?

Informational Learning vs Transformational Learning

Constructive-Developmental Theory: An Introduction

Why Ways of Knowing Matter When Supporting Adult Growth

Shaping School Cultures: Noble Expectations and Hidden Developmental Demands

The Holding Environment and Why It Matters in Schools

The Learning-Oriented Leadership Model

Chapter Summary

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Exercise

Reflective Questions

Part 2. Pillar Practices for Growth

3. Teaming: Growth Opportunities for Individuals, Organizations, and Systems

About Effective Teaming and Its Value

Key Elements of Successful Teaming

The Team as a Source of Individual Growth and Development

Why and How School Leaders Employ Teaming

Team Structures That Nurture Adult Development

Implementing Teaming: Lessons From the Field

Chapter Summary

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Exercise

Reflective Questions

4. Providing Leadership Roles: Learning and Growing From Leading Together

About Providing Leadership Roles

Developmental Benefits of Providing Leadership Roles

Examples of School Leaders? Use of Providing Leadership Roles

Cases and Lessons From the Field

Chapter Summary

Reflective Questions

5. Collegial Inquiry: Engaging in Shared Dialogue and Reflection on Practice

Collegial Inquiry: A Kind of Reflective Practice

Collaborative Cultures

How Collegial Inquiry Attends to Developmental Diversity

Why and How School Leaders Employ Collegial Inquiry

Practices School Leaders Use to Initiate Collegial Inquiry

Case Study: One Principal?s ?Rare and Unique Opportunity? to Engage in Reflective Practice Over Time

Convenings: Personal Case-Based Discussions That Support Collegial Inquiry

Chapter Summary

Application Exercises

Reflective Questions

6. Mentoring: Building Meaningful and Growth-Enhancing Relationships

About Effective Mentoring and Its Value

Mentoring and Developmental Diversity

Implications: How Our Way of Knowing Influences the Way We Mentor

Why and How School Leaders Employ Mentoring

An Example of a Mentoring Program: Lessons From the Field

A Protocol for Mentoring Relationships That Nurture Adult Development

Chapter Summary

Application Exercise

Reflective Questions

7. Implementing the Pillar Practices: Cases From the Field

Case 1: Mentoring Principals and Assistant Principals

Case 2: Coaching School Leaders

Case 3: Leading Teachers by Listening

Case 4: Supporting Adult Development Through Schoolwide Transformation

Case 5: The Pillar Practices, Hawaiian Style

Chapter Summary

Application Exercise

Reflective Questions

8. The School as Learning Center: Stepping Forward With Hope

Meeting Adaptive Challenges by Building Developmental Capacity

The Promise of Building Schools as Learning Centers

Implications of the New Learning-Oriented Leadership Model

Attending to and Valuing Adults? Ways of Knowing

Putting the New Learning-Oriented Model Into Practice

Stepping Forward

On the Gift of Giving

Research Appendix







Price: $48.95
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.