Changing Leadership for Changing Times

Changing Leadership for Changing Times

Changing Leadership for Changing Times

Changing Leadership for Changing Times

Synopsis

Envisioning the nature of schools of the future is more art than science. But the response of today's schools to challenges presented by such forces as technology, changing demographics, and government austerity offer useful clues. As a minimum, schools will need to be able to thrive on uncertainty, have considerably greater capacities for collective problem solving than they do at present, and meet a much wider array of student needs. Changing Leadership for Changing Times examines the types of leadership that are likely to be productive in creating and sustaining such schools. Based on a long term study of 'transformational' leadership in school restructuring contexts, the chapters in this book offer a highly readable account of such leadership grounded in a substantial body of empirical evidence.

Excerpt

Around the world, schools, and the societies of which they are a part, are confronting the most profound changes, the like of which have not been seen since the last great global movement of economic and educational restructuring more than a century ago. The fundamental forms of public education that were designed for an age of heavy manufacturing and mechanical industry are under challenge and fading fast as we move into a world of high technology, flexible workforces, more diverse school populations, downsized administrations and declining resources.

What is to follow is uncertain and unclear. The different directions of change can seem conflicting and are often contested. Decentralized systems of school self-management are accompanied by centralized systems of curriculum and assessment control. Moves to develop more authentic assessments are paralleled by the tightened imposition of standardized tests. Curriculum integration is being advocated in some places, more specialization and subject departmentalization in others.

These complex and contradictory cross-currents pose real challenges to theoretical and practical interpretation in many fields of education, and constitute an important and intriguing agenda for educational change – and for this series, which is intended to meet a deep-seated need among researchers and practitioners. International, social and technological changes require a profound and rapid response from the educational community. By establishing and interpreting the nature and scope of educational change, Changing Leadership for Changing Times will make a significant contribution to meeting this challenge.

Kenneth Leithwood is one of the world's leading and most long-standing researchers on educational leadership. His book, like many others, attests to . . .

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