Building Strong School Cultures
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Building Strong School Cultures
A Guide to Leading Change

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© 2009 | 200 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with American Association of School Administrators

"Standing on the back of their groundbreaking research on school culture, Kruse and Seashore Louis provide an insightful and very practical guide that should be a must-read for anyone preparing to become a school leader."
—Kenneth Leithwood, Professor
OISE/University of Toronto

"A manageable, well-rehearsed plan for discussion, research, and lots of reflective thought for any school leader willing to develop their own leadership and the culture in which they desire to lead."
—Teresa P. Cunningham, Principal
Laurel Elementary School, TN

Develop an integrated school culture that engages educators with their colleagues and communities!

As a principal, you realize that effecting positive, long-lasting change requires support both within your school and in the wider community. This practical handbook shows school leaders how to build a climate of collaboration with staff, teachers, and parents as well as how to develop connections with foundations, business groups, social service providers, and government agencies.

Sharon D. Kruse and Karen Seashore Louis call on principals to create a viable, sustainable school culture using organizational learning and trust to involve the professional community and to affect teaching and learning. This addition to the Leadership for Learning series presents a leadership approach that integrates teachers, parents, and community members into a coherent team. The authors examine schools that have achieved lasting cultural change and present practical strategies for:

  • Diagnosing and shaping a school culture
  • Revising leadership functions to broaden decision-making processes
  • Rethinking organizational structures
  • Supporting continuous improvement while ensuring stability

Building Strong School Cultures draws from business and psychology research on motivating and organizing people to provide school leaders with the skills they need to promote effective change.

 
Series Foreword by E. Joseph Schneider and Willis D. Hawley
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Changing School Culture: An Introduction and Overview
School Cultures: Stable and Fluid or Stable and Fragile  
Introducing PCOLT: Professional Community, Organizational Learning, and Trust  
Intensified Leadership: An Introduction  
Intensification and Beyond "Quick Fixes"  
Summary and Overview of the Book  
Recommended Readings and Culture Activities  
 
2. Principals as Cultural Change Agents
Cultures and Subcultures in Schools  
Management and Leadership  
Paths to Cultural Management and Leadership  
Conclusion  
Additional Readings and Activities for Getting Started  
 
3. Diagnosing Your School Culture: Understanding Where You Are
The Basics of Cultural Diagnosis  
Diagnosing Your School Culture  
Diagnosis and Intensified Leadership for Cultural Change  
Culture Resources and Activities  
 
4. Linking Leadership and School Culture
Leadership and Decision Making  
Intensifying Leadership at Your School  
Intensifying Leadership by Building PCOLT  
Vigilance and Strong School Cultures  
Conclusion  
Reflections and Activities for Developing School Culture  
 
5. Networks, Networking, and Cultural Change
Webs and Nets  
Thinking About Networks  
Cautions  
Next Steps  
Reflections and Goal-Setting Activities  
 
6. Intensifying Leadership Through Partnerships With Districts
Thinking About District-School Relationships  
Rethinking Organizational Structures and Cultures  
Influencing District-School Relationships  
Moving Forward  
Conclusion  
Reflections and Activities  
 
7. Schools and Communities: Working With the Enduring Dilemmas of Time and Accountability
Student Learning and Development: A Foundation  
Schools as Agencies for Democracy  
Social Capital and Civic Capacity  
Schools as Moral Agencies  
Conclusion  
Web Resources, Activities, and Reflections  
 
8. Bringing It All Together: Concluding Themes and Thoughts
The Art of Balance  
Implications for Action and Growth  
A PCOLT Planning Guide  
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Supplemental Resources Website
Once you have Building Strong School Cultures in hand, you will have access to the study guides contained in the supplemental resources website. They are designed as easy references to the key ideas and themes in each chapter of Building Strong School Cultures, as well as to explicitly link ideas to practical applications for leaders in school settings. These guides offer the reader materials to enhance understanding and to support group discussion and individual reflection about the ideas in the book.

"An important companion to current research and good thinking about change. This book presents ideas, research, and great questions not often found in how-to manuals on school change."

Lyman Goding, Visiting Lecturer
Bridgewater State College

"A manageable, well-rehearsed plan for discussion, research, and lots of reflective thought for any school leader willing to go the extra journey to develop their own leadership and the culture in which they desire to lead."

Teresa P. Cunningham, Principal
Laurel Elementary School, TN

"The book is an easy read, yet is on target and to-the-point. It provides a practical means by which to change school culture, often a necessary step to improved student achievement."

James L. Pate, Associate Professor
Valdosta State University

"The book supports the development of leadership skills through well-digested research, combined with a highly effective constructivist approach for making sense of compelling stories and using the dialogue stemming from that research. This book is highly useful for aspiring and practicing school principals."

Mary K. Culver, Clinical Assistant Professor
Northern Arizona University

"This timely book is a delight. It sets a new agenda for leadership and achieves the rare goal of combining practical tools and rich vignettes with analytical reflections based on sound research."

Kathryn Riley, Professor
London Centre for Leadership in Learning, University of London, United Kingdom

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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