"Too often the response to good ideas is 'it won't work here.' This book respects that perspective by providing school leaders with studies from the field that describe efforts that have and have not worked. The concept of shared leadership is presented in a 'real world' context, including the voices of those who don't want it. The reader will develop a better understanding of what true collaboration can look like along with the challenges leaders may face as the culture of their school adapts to change."
—Stephen Gruenert, Indiana State University
"Learning to Lead Together connects leadership theory with experiences from the field—it is very useful to practitioners and to individuals preparing for formal school leadership positions."
—Albert H. Fein, Gonzaga University
"Janet Chrispeel's Learning to Lead Together provides a rich anthology of real experiences of school based leaders caught in the vortex of leading and learning on the one hand and teaching and leading on the other. I highly recommend this new work to students seeking real answers to real problems."
—James C. Moulton, Jr., Consulting Principal, Fairfax County Public Schools
Learning to Lead Together: The Promise and Challenge of Sharing Leadership examines the dilemmas for school leaders and administrators, and the benefits for schools and students, when principals work with teachers (and their communities) to share leadership. Most schools function within existing hierarchical structures that contradict and undermine many of the conditions necessary for shared leadership. Current school reform initiatives and policies urge or require that teachers be actively involved in decision-making without addressing systemic dilemmas and paradoxes.
Through real-life single and multiple case studies, Learning to Lead Together addresses how principals and their staffs struggle with the challenge of shared leadership, how they encourage teacher growth and development, and how shared leadership can lead to higher levels of student learning. The cases show how shared leadership, a powerful adaptive change, is socially constructed across contexts and evolves as teachers and principals learn how to work together. The book also illustrates how principal preparation and professional development programs that utilize problem-based learning and provide opportunities for genuine collaboration with colleagues can provide school leaders with the skills they need to share leadership and accountability effectively.
This book is ideally suited as a supplemental text for courses in educational leadership and administration. School administrators, superintendents, and principals will also find this an invaluable reference.
Four Principals and Their Reflection on the Process of Change