Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement

By Linda Lambert | Go to book overview
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Foreword

In the pages that follow, Linda Lambert builds on the success of her third book, Building Leadership Capacity in Schools (1998), to further help us get from where we are to where we want to be. Leadership capacity, we learn, depends on understanding the connection between participation and skillfulness. Linda helps us understand how to develop participation and create structures that let educators work and learn together and share leadership responsibilities.

Leadership is about contributing to, learning from, and influencing the learning of others. But it is also about creating the opportunities for others to learn: when skillfully approached, professional development is as much about adult learning as student learning. Adults learn to be colleagues when they are able to practice being colleagues—and in doing so, to understand that students can be colleagues as well. The importance of building reciprocal rather than dependent relationships is at the heart of Linda's conception of leadership capacity, and this book teaches us not only the differences between dependency and reciprocity, but also how to move from the former to the latter.

A major tenet of leadership capacity is that development of teacher leadership should include students as well as fellow educators. Connecting participation to skill and adult learning to student learning allows us to think effectively about leadership and to embrace a vision of a school culture that supports—rather than thwarts—teachers.

Teacher leadership does not replace, but rather augments, principal leadership. Throughout this book, Linda shows us the varied means that principals use to control or open up participation, and how they can move

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