You are here

Let's make the "next normal" a "better normal."

Explore professional books and service offerings for teachers, coaches, and school leaders so that, together, we can benefit from the lessons learned to accelerate learning, rebuild agency, and rethink schools. It's time to "rebound" to a better normal!

Leading With Inquiry and Action

Leading With Inquiry and Action
How Principals Improve Teaching and Learning

July 2009 | 168 pages | Corwin
'This essential guide for educational leaders skillfully blends scholarship with practice and integrates theory with real-world examples. Through case studies, the authors show the reader how to develop, support, and improve a collaborative, inquiry-action process for improving teaching and learning. If we are going to have schools that successfully educate all students to high standards, then we need principals who translate the lessons of this book into practice' - Andrew Lachman, Executive Director, Connecticut Center for School Change

Enhance learning with a collaborative, inquiry-based system of leadership!

With sociopolitical forces prompting calls for school improvement, school leaders look for ways to expand their expertise in instructional leadership and strengthen their role in shaping classroom practice.

Leading With Inquiry and Action presents a systematic, ongoing process for collecting information, making decisions, and taking action to improve instruction and raise student achievement. The authors illustrate this collaborative inquiry-action cycle with a running vignette of an experienced principal and offer questions and exercises to guide individual reflection and group discussion. Thoroughly grounded in research, this book helps administrators:

- Identify areas for instructional improvement

- Determine community-supported solutions and build stakeholder commitment

- Articulate an action plan based on multiple data sources

- Take steps that support teacher development

- Systematically evaluate programme results

Educational improvement requires informed leadership. This practical guide provides an efficient and functional framework for transforming current or aspiring principals into inquiry-minded, action-oriented instructional leaders.

Foreword by Richard F. Elmore
About the Authors
Part I. From Challenges to Possibilities
1. The Myth of the Great Principal
2. The Collaborative Inquiry-Action Cycle
Part II. The Collaborative Inquiry-Action Cycle in Action
3. What Are We Teaching? A Case of Curricular Alignment
4. What Do We Know? A Case of Data Informing Practice
5. What Do We Do in the Classroom? A Case of Changing Instructional Practice
Part III. Making It Happen
6. Roles the Inquiry-Minded, Action-Oriented Principal Plays
7. You Can Do It! Putting the Collaborative Inquiry-Action Cycle Into Practice

“Creating the conditions for the continuous improvement of teaching and learning is the holy grail for school and district leaders. In my 15 years as a superintendent, I actively and continuously searched for and worked hard to nurture and support 'inquiry-minded, action-oriented' school leaders. These authors have it spot on. This book provides a leadership learning pathway for both emerging school leaders and for experienced school leaders looking for affirmation and explication for their most successful leadership practices. I recommend this book with enthusiasm.”

Robert M. Villanova, Director, Executive Leadership Program
Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut

“This book is an essential guide for educational leaders in schools, district offices, and higher education. It skillfully blends scholarship with practice, and theory with real world examples. Through case studies, the authors show the reader how to develop, support, and improve a collaborative, inquiry-action process for improving teaching and learning. If we are going to have schools that successfully educate all students to high standards, then we need principals who translate the lessons of this book into practice.”

Andrew Lachman, Executive Director
Connecticut Center for School Change

"This book presents an excellent school improvement model that empowers teachers to take control of the teaching and learning process as active participants in innovative professional communities. The multifaceted role of the principal as buffer and bridger, as facilitator and focuser, illustrates the versatility and skill needed by today’s great leaders!"

Patricia M. Richardson, Professor of Practice-Educational Leadership
University of Maryland

"A highly readable and easy-to-use book for principals to guide their schools through the cycles of inquiry and action in addressing pressing problems. I highly recommend the book as a companion to a research course or a leadership course in school leadership preparation, and for districts to use as a form of professional development for principals and their leadership teams."

Margaret Terry Orr, Faculty
Bank Street College

"An awesome action blueprint for building true school improvement. The authors masterfully outline the current forces, pressures, and factors that challenge instructional change. At the same time, essential keys are provided to assist school leaders in informing, balancing and inspiring instructional change within school walls. As a current principal, I find myself in the pages experiencing much of the same journey."

Edye Morris-Bryant, Principal
Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School, Raleigh, NC

well designed text and applicable to course

Ms Rebecca McClure
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Denver Morgridge College of Education
June 22, 2014

It fits perfectly with my course on school improvement.

Dr Gregory Hicks
Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education, North Carolina State University
August 25, 2012

I was reassigned to teach a budget and finance course and selected texts to reflect that reassignment

thank you

Dr Thomas DiPaola
Graduate School, Johnson & Wales University
June 4, 2012
Key features
  • Introduces and shows how to implement a collaborative inquiry-action cycle, an ongoing system of practice that emphasizes both thought and action in addressing the challenges of school improvement and that includes identifying the practice problem, determining outcomes, articulating the action plan, taking action, and evaluating

  • Illustrates the collaborative inquiry-action cycle in action through a running vignette of an experienced principal

  • The 3 chapters of Part 2 offer cases, with charts, inventories, rubrics, and illustrations that provide models of how the cycle can actually be used in schools

  • Good for book study groups: at the end of each chapter questions and exercises serve to guide both individual reflection and group discussion

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412964142

For instructors

Please select a format: