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The Distributed Leadership Toolbox

The Distributed Leadership Toolbox
Essential Practices for Successful Schools

  • Mark E. McBeth - Learning and Leading With Keystone Learning Services, NE Kansas

February 2008 | 320 pages | Corwin

"McBeth provides useful tools to help educators diagnose the distribution of leadership in their schools and shows how these tools can help create powerful leadership for increasing learning capacity in schools."
—Richard Halverson, Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin–Madison

"The strengths of this book are the examples (two-minute stories, reflections, etc.) and the reproducible tools provided."
—Bruce Deterding, Principal
Wichita Heights High School, KS

Strengthen your leadership style and capacity to inspire others toward meaningful change.

Experience and research prove that effective leadership is critical for improving school performance, yet reviewing and applying contemporary data to school leadership can be a complex challenge for busy administrators.

In The Distributed Leadership Toolbox, Mark E. McBeth translates current leadership research into a practical framework to help educational leaders improve their practice and positively influence schoolwide performance. Unlike shared leadership, which focuses on delegating responsibilities, distributed leadership fosters a dialogue between school leaders and teachers to uncover the effectiveness of leadership practices in enhancing instruction and student achievement. The author provides case studies and essential tools to help administrators:

  • Increase the ability to evaluate their leadership practice
  • Develop a regular reflective practice to motivate staff and support professional growth
  • Improve their potential to generate and sustain school reform efforts

This guidebook includes helpful notes for facilitators and a CD-ROM with resources and reproducible templates to help you make a significant difference in your school through distributed leadership practices.

Purpose of This Book

Adopting and Creating a Repertoire of Practices

Do Not Fear

About the Book

Distributed Leadership Tools for School Improvement

About the Author
1. Traditional Thinking/New Opportunities
Have You Heard the News?

Hot Lights!

Center Stage

"How" Do You Know "Who's" on First?

Growing Up a Superhero

Without a Doubt

Who Leads and What They Lead

25/75: Impact of School-Related Factors

2. A Distributed Perspective on Leadership
Leadership Practice From A Distributed Perspective (Spillane)

The Often Overlooked "Follower"

Situation and Leadership Practice

Two-Minute Story

Systems of Practice (Halverson)

Not Shared Leadership

Connecting Classroom Practice With Leadership Practice

3. The Impact of Leadership on Successful Schools
More Than One Way to Lead

No Noticeable Leadership

Leader Superhero Aspect

Leadership-Plus Aspect

Leadership Practice Aspect

Core Leadership Functions

Application to Our Practice

4. The Framework of Success: A Model for Leadership Inquiry
The Distributed Leadership Improvement Framework

A Framework for Systematic Leadership Enhancement


5. Information Cycle: Effective-Efficiency Process
Section A: Dimension of Practice

Section B: Identify Advice Network

Section C: Diagnose Practice: Routine

Section D: Diagnose Practice: People and Direction

Section E: Diagnosis: Practice and Content

Section F: Bridging the Gap Between Diagnosis and Design

Section G: Design Leadership Practice Modifications

6. Practice Cycle: Practice Improvement Process
Section A: Bridging the Gap Between Design and New Practice

Section B: New Practice - Work Designed Differently

Section C: Leadership Practice Data and Data Results

7. Tools for Reflective Practice


Forms of Processing

Reproducible Blank Templates
Reproducible Resources

"McBeth provides a series of useful tools to help educators diagnose the distribution of leadership in their schools, and shows how these tools can be used to create powerful leadership for increasing learning capacity in schools."

Richard Halverson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The strengths of this book are the examples (two-minute stories, reflections, etc.) and the reproducible tools provided.”

Bruce Deterding, Principal
Wichita Heights High School, KS

"This is a very important topic and area in our business. Practitioners are seeking materials to help sharpen their leadership skills. The case studies support the distributed leadership model and provide examples of how the model can impact a school culture."

Jerry Vaughn, Principal
Cabot Public Schools, AR

"Especially appeals to the administrative team. This book forces us to look hard at our leadership styles."

Rachel McMillan, School Improvement Specialist
Corporate Landing Middle School, Virginia Beach, VA

"Has a practical tone that seems to appeal to those now leading daily work in schools. The idea that results are in the hands of a thoughtful, creative person who must choose tools from his or her repertoire and make decisions is a positive contribution to the field."

Steven R. Thompson, Coordinator, School Leadership Program
Miami University, OH

"Relevant, clearly written to the intended audience, and useful for individuals looking for a means to self-evaluation."

Kim E. Vogel, Principal
Parkdale Elementary School, OR

"I love this book! Finally, a research-based, practice-tested book of tools to improve leadership, and in doing so, improve school programs and enrich our students! Provides a framework that a leader can use to reach the highest level of practice."

Linda D. Brooks, Teacher
Quincy Public Schools, IL

“Facilitators and leader in all industries—not just education—receive clear assessments of leadership options and practices, case studies, and keys to motivating staff and furthering reform efforts.”

The Bookwatch, May 2008
Midwest Book Review
Key features
  • Guides the reader from diagnosis to design, practice, and evaluation of their own practice
  • Includes case studies to support the use and diagnosis of individual leadership practice
  • Presents frameworks for encouraging conversations within the distributed perspective of leadership
  • The appendix includes a glossary of terms related to distributed leadership, critical questions, and planning designs for school meetings

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ISBN: 9781412957168