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Leading Adult Learning

Leading Adult Learning
Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools

© 2009 | 368 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with National Staff Development Council

"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.

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

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412950725
ISBN: 9781412950718

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