The SAGE Handbook of School Organization


Edited by: Michael Connolly, David H. Eddy-Spicer, Chris James & Sharon D. Kruse

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  • Part I:   Schools as Organizations  

    Part II:   The Leadership, Management and Governance of Schools as Organizations  

    Part III:   Theoretical Perspectives on Schools as Organizations  

    Part IV:   Organizing in Schools  

    Part V:   Researching Schools as Organizations  

  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Michael Connolly is Emeritus Professor of Public Policy and Management, University of South Wales, UK, as a Visiting Professor of Education and Policy, University of Bath, UK. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Professor Connolly has published a number of books, chapters in books and articles on education policy and management, learning in Higher Education as well as papers on public policy in Northern Ireland. Michael has been a co-editor of Public Money and Management (1988–2005, Taylor and Francis), book editor of Public Administration (2007–2012, Wiley) and a member of a number of editorial Boards for a range of academic journals. His research interests include education policy and management and the role of local government and local services.

    David H. Eddy-Spicer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Foundations and Social Policy at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. He holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has served on the faculties of the University of Bath, UK, and the UCL Institute of Education, London. His primary research interest focuses on the development of collective capacity for continuous improvement in struggling schools through interorganizational connections. He has expertise in program evaluation, case study research, realist synthesis, and the design and evaluation of professional learning environments. He has published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Educational Change, Educational Management Administration and Leadership, Mind, Culture and Activity, Pedagogies, and Language and Education, and has authored or co-authored eight book chapters and over 40 text and multimedia case studies of professional learning and organizational change in the public sector.

    Chris James is the Professor of Educational Leadership and Management in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. He researches and teaches educational leadership, management and governance. During his career, Chris has published over 100 journal articles/book chapters and written 15 books/major reports. His research interests include the organizational dynamics of schools and colleges as institutions and, in particular: leadership influence, the importance of management, the affective aspects of organizing in schools, the organizational complexity of schools as institutions, and the way people make sense of their surroundings. Chris also researches the governing and governance of educational institutions and directs the Governing and Governance in Education Research Programme at the University of Bath. In the last seven years, he has completed nine research projects on the governing and governance of educational institutions.

    Sharon D. Kruse is Academic Director and Professor at Washington State University, Vancouver. Her scholarship broadly addresses two concerns: (1) to help teachers and school leaders better understand the key role leadership plays in schools, and (2) to explore how education is currently structured and influenced by social and organizational complexity. Kruse's work focuses on understanding how schools can be better places for the children who attend them and the teachers who work in them. By focusing on the ways issues are framed, decisions are made, and problems are identified, she seeks to understand how schools can better educate and meet the needs of students. Her recent books include Educational Leadership, Organizational Learning, and the Ideas of Karl Weick: Perspectives on Theory and Practice (with Bob Johnson) (2019, Routledge) and A Case Study Approach to Educational Leadership (with Julie Gray) (2019, Routledge).

    The Contributors

    Gary L. Anderson is a Professor in Educational Policy and Leadership in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University. A former high school teacher and principal, he has published on topics such as critical ethnography, participatory action research, school micro-politics, new policy networks, and privatization. He has received two Fulbrights awards to do research in Mexico and Argentina. His most recent books are The New Democratic Professional: Confronting Markets, Metrics, and Managerialism (co-authored with Michael Cohen) (2018, Teachers College Press) and The Action Research Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty (2nd ed., 2014, Sage).

    Mahua Baral received her Master's in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and is earning her doctorate in Education Policy and Organizations at the University of California, Berkeley. She has over a decade of experience working on federal, state, and local education policy projects, as a research associate at the American Institutes for Research, and as a doctoral student. Her work includes managing assessment projects with state departments, consulting with school district leadership, and analyzing federal and state policies. In 2016, she co-authored sections in Rick Mintrop's book, Design-Based School Improvement (2016, Harvard Education Press), including chapters about needs analyses and co-design partnerships. In 2017, her paper (with Rick Mintrop) on organizational ambidexterity, knowledge conversion and improvement science received the American Educational Research Association's organizational theory paper of the year award. Her work focuses on knowledge and innovation in education organizations, federal education policy analysis, and the role of design in reforming urban districts.

    Scott C. Bauer is Professor and Associate Dean for Advanced Education and Doctoral Programs in the School of Education & Human Development, University of Colorado, Denver. Bauer's work focuses on the application of organizational theory and design to the understanding and improvement of schools and colleges. His recent work includes a series of studies on the impact of isolation on school leaders, and the antecedents of a new principal's intention to leave the profession. He is author (with David Brazer) of Using Research to Lead School Improvement: Turning Evidence into Action (2012, Sage), and serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Theory in Education.

    Cristián Bellei is an Associate Researcher of the Center for Advanced Research in Education and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, both at the University of Chile. He previously worked at the Chilean Ministry of Education and for UNICEF in Chile. His main research areas are educational policy, school effectiveness, and school improvement. He has published extensively about quality and equity in Chilean education. Dr Bellei received his doctorate in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

    Mark Berends is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he directs the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity. He has written and published extensively on educational reform, school choice, the effects of family and school changes on student achievement trends and gaps, and the effects of schools and classrooms on student achievement. His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student outcomes, with special attention to disadvantaged students and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities. Currently, he is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program, parent decision making and satisfaction in a lottery-based study of charter schools, and how school organizational and instructional conditions are related to student achievement gains in charter, private, and traditional public schools.

    Izhak Berkovich is a faculty member in the Department of Education and Psychology at the Open University of Israel. His research interests include educational leadership, ethics and social justice in school management, emotions in schools, politics and policy making in education, and educational reforms.

    Jill Blackmore is Alfred Deakin Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, inaugural Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation (2010–2015) and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. Her research interests include, from a feminist perspective, globalization, education policy and governance; international and intercultural education; educational restructuring, leadership and organizational change; spatial redesign and innovative pedagogies; teachers’ and academics’ work, all with a focus on equity. Recent publications are Educational Leadership and Nancy Fraser (2016, Routledge), Globalised Re/gendering of the Academy and Leadership, co-edited with M. Sanchez and N. Sawers (2017, Routledge), and Mobile Teachers and Curriculum in International Schooling, co-edited with R. Arber and A. Vongalis-Macrow (2014, Sense).

    S. David Brazer is Associate Professor in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education where he teaches courses on general leadership principles, comparisons of different types of school, and instructional leadership. Brazer's theory development and empirical research on strategic decision making, leadership, teacher learning, and organizational design have appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Brazer is lead author (with Bauer and Bob L. Johnson, Jr.) of the forthcomig volume, Leading Schools to Learn, Grow, and Thrive: Using Theory to Strengthen Practice (Routledge). He is the second author (with Robert G. Smith) of Striving for Equity: District Leadership for Narrowing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps (2016, Harvard Education Press) and (with Scott Bauer) of Using Research to Lead School Improvement: Turning Evidence into Action (2012, Sage). He serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Organizational Theory in Education.

    Ebony N. Bridwell-Mitchell is an Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and a PhD in Organizational Theory and Management from the New York University Stern School of Business. Her research on the micro-social and cognitive dynamics of policy implementation and institutional change in public schools has been funded by the National Science Foundation, presented at numerous professional conferences and published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Ultimately, her academic and professional interests in education, organizational change, and public policy are an extension of her desire to encourage human development, public value, and social equity through institutional and systemic reform.

    Tony Bush is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Nottingham, and previously held similar professorial posts at four other UK universities. He has published extensively on many aspects of school leadership theory, including his best-selling text, Theories of Educational Leadership, which is now in its fourth edition. He is a vice-president and Council member of the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) and has been editor of the Society's successful international journal, Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, since 2002. His extensive international profile includes consultancy, external examining, funded research, and visiting professorships, in 22 countries on all six continents.

    Ethan Chang is a PhD candidate in Education with a Designated Emphasis in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He uses critical policy studies, institutional theory, and participatory action research to analyze and advocate for educational equity. His dissertation examines the politics of education technology reforms and competing notions of ‘21st century’ educational progress. In addition, Ethan collaborates with faculty and community leaders to develop and study equity-oriented, collaborative, community-based research (EOCCBR) – a methodology that aims to develop actionable knowledge that emanates from and is answerable to historically disinvested communities.

    Christopher Chapman is Professor and Director of Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, where he is also Founding Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change and Co-director of What Works Scotland, a major £3 million three-year ESRC/Government funded programme of research exploring public sector reform. He is a key architect of a number of collaborative approaches to system reform in Scotland, including the School Improvement Partnership Programme and the Network for Social and Educational Equity. He has over 100 publications in the areas of leadership, improvement and change, and is Senior Academic Advisor to the Scottish Attainment Challenge and a member of the First Minister's International Council of Education Advisors.

    Eric C. K. Cheng is Associate Professor of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of The Education University of Hong Kong. His research interests are knowledge management, school management and Lesson Study. He is editor of Education Reform Jounral and associate editor of the International Journal of Educational Administration and Policy Studies. His forthcoming publication is Successful Transposition of Lesson Study: A Knowledge Management Perpective in the Springer Brief in Education series.

    Stephanie Chitpin is an Associate Professor of Leadership in the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Canada. Dr Chitpin's principal contribution to leadership and to the professional development of principals rests on her rejection of the inductive method. She argues that knowledge is acquired by hypotheses deductively validated as ‘falsifiability criteria'. Her research program includes the analysis of the Objective Knowledge Growth Framework, based on Sir Karl Popper's critical rationalism, as a new tool for understanding principal decision making. Dr Chitpin's works include Decision Making in Educational Leadership: Principles, Policies, and Practices (with Colin Evers, 2015, Routledge), Popper's Approach to Education: A Cornerstone of Teaching and Learning (2016, Routledge), Confronting Educational Policy in Neoliberal Times: International Perspectives (2018, Routledge), and the forthcoming Understanding Decision-Making in Educational Contexts: A Case Study Approach (2020, Routledge). She is Series Editor of Educational Leadership and Policy Decision-Making in Neoliberal Times, published by Routledge. Dr Chitpin is the Founding Director of the Canadian Principal Learning Network.

    Vincent Cho is an Associate Professor in educational leadership at Boston College. His research addresses issues relating to school leadership in the digital age. A former teacher and administrator, Cho's aim is to help educators make the most of the knowledge and technologies in schools. Recent projects have examined 1:1 computing initiatives, administrators’ uses of social media, and districts’ implementation of computerized information systems. Cho serves as Assistant Editor for Educational Policy and is on the editorial board of Teachers College Record. In addition to works appearing in leading academic journals, Cho is also co-author of Supervision: A Redefinition (9th edition) with Thomas J. Sergiovanni and Robert J. Starratt (2013, McGraw-Hill).

    Cynthia E. Coburn is Professor at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She specializes in policy implementation, the relationship between research and practice, data use, and scale up of innovation. She has studied research use in schools and districts since 2002 and currently serves as co-Principal Investigator of the IES-funded National Center for Research in Policy and Practice. In 2011, Coburn was awarded the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association in recognition of her contributions to the field of educational research in the first decade of her career. In 2015, she was elected Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, honoring ‘exceptional contributions to and excellence in educational research'. Coburn has a BA in philosophy from Oberlin College, an MA in Sociology and a PhD in Education from Stanford University.

    Julie W. Dallavis is faculty in the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame. She specializes in education-related program evaluation and her research focuses on school organization and culture, school sector effects, and school choice. She is currently completing a mixed methods study of school mission, examining practitioner use of statements, changes in statement content over time, and possible links between mission and student achievement.

    Alan J. Daly is the Director of the Joint Educational Leadership Doctoral Program and Professor in the Department of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Alan's research and teaching are influenced by his 16 years of public school experience in a variety of instructional and leadership roles. His research primarily focuses on the role of leadership, educational policy, and organization structures and the relationship between those elements on the educational attainment of traditionally marginalized populations. Alan draws on his methodological expertise in social network analysis. His books include Social Network Theory and Educational Change (2010, Harvard University Press), Using Research Evidence in Schools with Kara, S. Finnigan (2014, Springer), and Thinking and Acting Systemically: Improving School Districts Under Pressure (2016, American Educational Research Association). Professor Daly is also a Fulbright Global Scholar, having spent time in New Zealand and South Africa.

    Clive Dimmock is Professor in Professional Learning and Leadership in the School of Education, University of Glasgow. Among his research interests are learning-centred leadership; connectivity between learning, teaching, professional development and leadership, and whole school re-design; cross-cultural comparisons between Anglo-American and Asian systems of schooling; the roles of policy makers and school leaders in promoting equity across school systems; and problems arising from disconnections between research, policy and practice.

    Daniel L. Duke has taught graduate courses for over four decades in organizational change, organizational theory, and organizational history at Lewis & Clark College, Stanford University, and the University of Virginia. Well-known for his organizational histories of Thomas Jefferson High School, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Manassas Park City Schools, Duke also has contributed to the development of organizational history as a research methodology. Duke also has played a significant role in studying efforts to turn around persistently low-performing schools and understanding the dynamics of school failure and decline. His recent books include Leadership for Low-Performing Schools (2015, Rowman and Littlefield) and The Children Left Behind (2016, Rowman and Littlefield).

    Melanie Ehren is a Professor in Educational Accountability and Improvement at the UCL Institute of Education and head of the Centre for Educational Evaluation and Accountability ( Her academic work focuses on the effectiveness of accountability and evaluation systems and aims to contribute to a greater understanding of the interplay between accountability and the broader education system in tackling inequality and improving student outcomes. Her key projects include an EU Erasmus+/KA2 comparative study on polycentric inspections of networks of schools across four countries, an EU-funded comparative study on the impact of school inspections in six European countries, and an ESRC-funded study on accountability, capacity and trust to improve learning outcomes in South Africa.

    Colin W. Evers is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of New South Wales. Prior to that he was Professor of Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has a disciplinary background in mathematics and philosophy, and teaching and research interests in educational administration and leadership, the philosophy of education, and research methodology. He is co-author or co-editor of 12 books and over 100 scholarly papers. He is the section editor for educational administration in the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory (2014, Springer) and a co-editor of the book series Educational Leadership and Policy Decision-Making in Neoliberal Times (Routledge). His most recent books include co-editing Questioning Leadership: New Directions for Educational Organizations (2017, Routledge), co-authoring Realist Inquiry in Social Science (2016, Sage), and co-editing Decision Making in Educational Leadership (2015, Routledge).

    Ori Eyal PhD, is Chair of the Graduate Division of Policy, Administration, and Leadership in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change (APCLC). His research focuses on the emergence of unsolicited innovation in education, school entrepreneurship, educational champions, educational policy, cross-sector alliances in the field of education, educational leadership, and, of late, the role emotions play in schools.

    Catherine Farrell is Professor of Public Management in the Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales, UK. Catherine is particularly interested in public boards and their governance, and strategic developments in the public sector, including education, police and fire and rescue. Professor Farrell chaired the Welsh Government's Task and Finish Expert School Governance group, which reviewed models of governance in education. She is currently developing a new award for Academi Wales (Welsh Government) – an MSc Leadership and Governance – for the All Wales Graduate Public Services programme. Dr Farrell is currently working (with a colleague) on two consultancy projects as part of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015: Enablers and Barriers to New Ways of Working, a Review document prepared for Public Health Wales, and a Review of the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights, Wales.

    Christopher W. Harrison is an Assistant Professor of Educational Theory and Practice at Montana State University – Billings. Harrison's research interests center on the ways that schools and districts leverage information as they develop, implement, and scale policies and practices. In addition, Harrison studies the politics of education – in particular, the politics surrounding teacher compensation, evaluation, and contracting reform. Before joining the faculty at MSU-B, Harrison was a post-doctoral fellow with the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice at Northwestern University and a research associate with the National Center for Scaling Up Effective Schools at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his doctorate.

    Alice Huguet is an Associate Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation. She is interested in studying educational policies that may influence the academic and life opportunities of students attending urban schools. She employs qualitative methods to explore the complex environmental, institutional, and organizational factors that interact with the design and implementation of such policies. Huguet's research explores a broad range of topics, including evidence-based decision making at the district, school, and classroom levels; data- and instructional-coaching programs; school leadership; multiple-measure teacher evaluation systems; portfolio-model district reform; and school site co-location. Prior to joining RAND, Huguet was a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She completed her PhD in urban education policy at the University of Southern California in 2015. Huguet's work is motivated by her experiences teaching in Los Angeles middle school classrooms for five years.

    Stephen L. Jacobson is a Distinguished Professor in the University at Buffalo's Graduate School of Education. He has also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. He is past President of the University Council for Educational Administration and the Association for Education Finance and Policy. He is the senior editor of Leadership and Policy in Schools, lead editor of the book series, Policy Implications of Research in Education, and recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Albania. His research interests include successful leadership in high poverty schools, the reform of school leadership preparation and practice, and teacher compensation. His most recent works examined early childhood education in New Zealand and secondary education in Belize. He is the author of six books and over 80 peer-refereed journal articles and book chapters, and is regularly invited to present his research around the world.

    Bob L. Johnson, Jr is a Professor of educational leadership and policy at the University of Alabama. His research interests focus on leadership, leadership development, executive decision making, the politics of education, micro-politics, education policy, delineating the defining and distinguishing features of schools as organizations, and the work of Karl Weick. He was formerly a faculty member at the University of Utah, and past editor of Educational Administration Quarterly.

    John Chi-kin Lee is Vice President (Academic) and Chair Professor of Curriculum and Instruction as well as Director of Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education at The Education University of Hong Kong. He is also Chang Jiang Scholar Chair Professor conferred by the Ministry of Education in China. He is the former Dean of Education and Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests are curriculum studies, school improvement and teacher education as well as geographical and environmental education. He is Editor-in-Chief of Cogent Education and Executive/Regional Editor of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice and Educational Research and Evaluation respectively. His recent publication is Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia (co-edited with Kerry Kennedy).

    Angela Gargaro Lyle is a PhD candidate in the Educational Policy, Leadership and Innovation program at the University of Michigan. She specializes in large-scale instructional reform, educational networks, policy implementation, educational leadership and continuous improvement. Her current research focuses on network-based designs for instructional improvement. Lyle has a BA in interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University, an MA in K-12 Administration from Michigan State University and a PhD in Educational Studies (expected 2019) from the University of Michigan.

    Kathleen Lynch is Professor and Chair in equality studies at University College Dublin, Ireland. Lynch worked with colleagues to establish the UCD Equality Studies Centre in 1990 and the UCD School of Social Justice in 2005. Her most recent book (which is co-authored with Bernie Grummell and Dympna Devine) is New Managerialism in Education: Commercialization, Carelessness and Gender (2012, 2015, 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan). Professor Lynch has published also on egalitarian theory and practice with colleagues in Equality: From Theory to Action (2004, 2009, 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan) and on care and equality in Affective Equality: Love Care and Injustice (2009, Palgrave Macmillan). From 2014 to 2017 Professor Lynch worked as an Advanced Research Scholar funded by the Irish Research Council. She is also Pincipal Investigator for Ireland for a Horizon 2020 project on the study of solidarity in Europe 2015–2018. Professor Lynch has worked with non-governmental organizations and statutory bodies, both nationally and internationally, to challenge inequalities and promote social justice.

    Katherine Cumings Mansfield is an Associate Professor at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. Mansfield graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a PhD in Educational Policy and Planning and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Mansfield's interdisciplinary scholarship examines educational policy and practice as it relates to identity intersectionalities such as gender, class, and race across elementary, secondary, and post-secondary contexts. Mansfield has published in a variety of journals, including: Educational Administration Quarterly, Education Policy Analysis Archives, Educational Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Research on Leadership Education, and Teachers College Record. In addition, Mansfield has co-edited two books: Women Interrupting, Disrupting, and Revolutionizing Educational Policy and Practice, with Whitney Sherman Newcomb (2014, Information Age Publishing) and Identity Intersectionalities, Mentoring, and Work-life (Im)Balance: Educators (Re)Negotiate the Personal, Professional, and Political, with Anjalé Welton and Pei-Ling Lee (2016, Information Age Publishing).

    Rick Mintrop is an educator and researcher of educational policy and organizations in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Faculty Director of the Doctoral Program in Leadership for Educational Equity (LEEP). He worked in school systems in the United States and Germany prior to his academic career. His work centers on organizational processes that improve schools, both in theory and practice. In 2016, he published Design-based School Improvement: A Practical Guide for Education Leaders (Harvard Education Press). For the last four years, he has been involved in a Research Practice Partnership with a Bay Area school district that uses a logic of continuous quality improvement to develop and spread deeper learning practices in the midst of pervasive experiences of social and economic adversity.

    Nienke Moolenaar is an Assistant Professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her research interests include social capital theory, social network analysis, leadership and organizational behaviour. She studies social networks among educators to understand the complexity of social dynamics and its relevance for learning.

    Liliana Morawietz is assistant researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies in Education at Universidad de Chile. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Universidad de Chile, a MA in Oral History from Columbia University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Studies at Leiden University and Diego Portales University. Her research focuses on education quality and effectiveness, and on the non-disciplinary contents of schooling, such as 21st century competencies, citizenship, and intercultural education.

    Daniel Muijs is Head of Research at Ofsted. Previously, he worked as Professor of Education at the University of Southampton. Daniel is an expert in educational effectiveness, and has published widely in this area. He is co-editor of the journal School Effectiveness and School Improvement and a member of the executive council of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction.

    Anna Noble is currently completing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership at Boston College. Her recent publications include ‘A lifelong classroom: Social studies educators’ engagement with professional learning networks on Twitter’ in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (February, 2016) and ‘The emergence of student-centered teaching in professional learning networks on Twitter: The role of choice and voice’ in Advancing Next-Generation Elementary Teacher Education through Digital Tools and Applications, edited by M. Grassetti and S. Brookby (2016, IGI Global). Her research interests include the role of technology in educational change and she is currently completing a longitudinal study of adaptive leadership practices among urban school leaders.

    William R. Penuel is a Professor of learning sciences and human development in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current research examines conditions needed to implement rigorous, responsive, and equitable teaching practices in STEM education. With colleagues from across the country, he is developing and testing new models for supporting implementation through long-term partnerships between educators and researchers. Penuel has partnerships with large school districts and a national association of state science coordinators focused on implementing the vision of science education outlined in a Framework for K-12 Science Education. As co-Principal Investigator of the Research+Practice Collaboratory, he developed numerous resources to help people build and sustain research–practice partnerships. Penuel is currently PI for the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice, which is focused on how school and district leaders use research. He is one of the developers of an approach to improvement research called Design-Based Implementation Research.

    Donald J. Peurach is an Associate Professor of Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation in the University of Michigan's School of Education and a Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. His research, teaching, and outreach focuse on the production, use, and management of knowledge in practice, among social innovators and those they seek to serve. Peurach examines these issues in the context of large-scale, network-based eduational improvement initiatives, focusing specifically on how these networks continuously learn and improve over time. Peurach is the author of Seeing Complexity in Public Education: Problems, Possibilities, and Success for All (2011, Oxford University Press) and co-author of Improvement by Design: The Promise of Better Schools (2014, University of Chicago Press). He is also the developer of Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement, a program that uses massive open online courses on the edX platform to provide a comprehensive introduction to large-scale, network-based instructional improvement.

    Joelle Rodway is Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Prior to this appointment, she was a Research Officer with Michael Fullan Enterprises. Joelle's scholarship is greatly informed by her experience as a middle and high school teacher in the province of Ontario's public education system. Her research interests focus on the role of social capital in whole-system educational change. Taking a social network approach, Joelle investigates the ways in which interactions among and between educators at various levels of education systems enable (or restrict) educational reform efforts. Her work has been recognized by the Albert Shanker Institute in Washington, DC, and has been published in Educational Policy Analysis Archives, Canadian Journal of Education, and Education Review.

    Jennifer Lin Russell is an Associate Professor of learning sciences and policy in the School of Education and a research scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a senior fellow of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She received a PhD in education policy and organizations from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines policy and other educational improvement initiatives through an organizational perspective. Her recent work examines two primary issues: (1) how schools create social and organizational structures that support reform; and (2) how interorganizational collaborations and networks can be structured to support educational improvement.

    Chen Schechter is a Professor of leadership, organizational development and policy in education at the School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Aiming to integrate theory with empirical evidence and practice, his research areas include reform implementation, educational change, professional learning communities, organizational learning, collaborative learning from success, educational leadership, leadership development, and systems thinking for school leaders. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Educational Administration (JEA), the oldest and most respected leading journal in the field of educational leadership and management. He is the Chair of AERA Organizational Theory SIG.

    Jaap Scheerens is Professor emeritus at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and currently associated with the research institute Oberon, in Utrecht. In his capacity as Professor of Educational Organization and Management, he led a research program on educational effectiveness and educational evaluation. Scheerens was Scientific Director of a network of education faculties in the Netherlands and Director of the research institute of the Faculty of Education at the University of Twente. He carried out activities for the OECD, as a chairman of a network to develop process indicators on educational systems and schools, and as chairman and member of the Questionnaire Experts Groups for PISA 2009 and 2012. He has coordinated numerous research projects funded by the European Union and worked as a consultant for the World Bank and Unesco. He has published 20 books and over 100 articles.

    Haim Shaked is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Head of the Department of Education, Hemdat Hadarom College of Education, Netivot, Israel. As a scholar-practitioner with seventeen years of experience as school principal, his research interests include instructional leadership, system thinking in school leadership, and education reform. His book (co-author Chen Schechter) Systems Thinking for School Leaders: Holistic Leadership for Excellence in Education was published recently by Springer.

    Daniel N. Sifuna is Professor of history of education, and international and comparative education in the Department of Educational Foundations at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya and a director and senior partner of OWN & Associates: Centre for Research and Development. He holds a B. Ed degree of Makerere University in Uganda, an M.A. (Education) and Ph.D from University of Nairobi. He has published several books and many articles in education in local and international journals. Professor Sifuna has held many prominent positions in the academia and professional organizations. He has also worked with many universities in Africa, especially in Eastern and Southern Africa, and won several awards and fellowships that have enabled him to work as a visiting scholar in universities in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. He has in addition provided consultancy services to many international organizations, including the United Nations’ agencies.

    Peter Sleegers is senior researcher and consultant at BMC Consultancy in the Netherlands. His research and writing concerns leadership, school organization, school improvement and educational change. Among his research projects are studies into the effects of educational leadership on teacher and student learning and longitudinal research into sustainable school improvement.

    Virginia Snodgrass Rangel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston, where she teaches courses on program evaluation, research design, and quantitative research methods. She is interested in the opportunity structures within and outside of schools that limit or enhance students’ academic trajectories. Currently, she is examining opportunity structures in STEM-focused schools and during the school re-entry process for justice-involved youth. Her work has appeared in the American Educational Research Journal, Review of Educational Research, the Journal of School Leadership, and the Journal of Research on Technology in Education.

    James P. Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University where he is a Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Learning Sciences, and Management & Organizations (by courtesy). He is also a faculty associate at Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research and a senior Research Fellow with the Center for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). A member of the National Academy of Education, Spillane's work explores relations between government policy and local practice at the school district, school, and classroom levels. He is author of five books, including Standards Deviations (2009, Harvard University Press), Distributed Leadership (2006, Jossey-Bass) and Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement (2011, Teachers College Press) as well as over 60 journal articles and numerous book chapters.

    Howard Stevenson is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK. He has extensive experience of researching employment relations issues in education systems, and specifically the role and strategies of teacher unions. He has undertaken funded research projects in these areas for the European Commission, Educational International and for several individual teacher unions in different parts of the world.

    Cheng Yong Tan is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. His research program unravels home and school factors that influence student achievement and comprises socioeconomic inequality in student achievement and school leadership. It is premised on Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory that argues for the need to understand human development in multiple contexts such as the home and school.

    Andrew Townsend is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. He is especially interested in the participatory features of leadership, research and change. He is a member of the Collaborative Action Research Network and the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society. He is the coordinating editor of the journal Educational Action Research, and sits on the editorial boards of the journals Leadership in Education and Educational Research for Social Change. He has written on the subjects of action research, practitioner research and participatory change and has also edited several texts on these subjects. The interests which have guided his work as a consult and academic are informed by his experience as a teacher of science over a period of nine years.

    Megan Tschannen-Moran is a Professor of Educational Leadership at the College of William and Mary. Growing out of her 14 years of experience as the founder and principal of a school serving primarily low-income and minority students in a distressed neighborhood of Chicago, she is motivated to work at the intersection of theory and practice so that schools grow in their capacity to serve all students well. Her research and scholarly publications focus on relationships of trust in school settings and how these are related to important outcomes, such as collective teacher efficacy beliefs, teacher professionalism, and student achievement. Her book Trust Matters: Leadership for Successful Schools (2nd edition, 2014, Jossey-Bass) reports the experience of three principals and the consequences of their successes and failures to build trust.

    Cynthia L. Uline is Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. Cynthia serves as Director of SDSU's National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse ( Her research explores the influence of built learning environments on students’ learning, as well as the roles leaders, teachers, and the public play in shaping learning spaces. Cynthia's current research considers the potential of green schools as student-centered, ecologically responsive, and economically viable places for learning. She has published articles related to leadership for learning, leadership preparation, and the improvement of social and physical learning environments in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration, Teacher College Record, Journal of School Leadership, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, and International Journal of Leadership in Education. She and Lisa A. W. Kensler of Auburn University co-authored Leadership for Green Schools: Sustainability for Our Children, Our Communities, and Our Planet (2017, Routledge).

    Juan Pablo Valenzuela is an Associate Researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies in Education (Universidad de Chile). He holds a PhD in Economics from Michigan-Ann Arbor University, an MA in economics also from Michigan-Ann Arbor University, and a BA in Economy from Universidad de Chile. His research focuses on economics of education and social inequality. Dr Valenzuela has published extensively on Chilean education quality and equity in Chilean and international journals. His latest work focuses on schools and academic segregation within the educational system, and schools’ effectiveness trajectories and the factors and processes that explain it.

    Xavier Vanni is an Associate Researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies in Education at the University of Chile and researcher at the Leadership Center for School Improvement. He previously worked at the Chilean Ministry of Education. He holds a BA in Psychology (Diego Portales University, Chile) and a Masters in Policy Studies in Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. His research focuses on educational policy, school improvement, and educational leadership.

    Andrew Wilkins is Reader in Education at the University of East London. He is a member of several journal editorial boards, including Critical Studies in Education, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, British Journal of Sociology of Education, and Journal of Applied Social Theory. Recent book publications include Modernising School Governance: Corporate Planning and Expert Handling in State Education (2016, Routledge), for which he was awarded joint-second prize by the Society for Educational Studies (SES) for books published in 2016, and Education Governance and Social Theory: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research (2018, Bloomsbury).

    Priscilla Wohlstetter is Distinguished Research Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Department of Education Policy & Social Analysis. She is interested in alternative forms of governing public schools and has investigated a variety of forms, from the Annenberg Challenge networks of the 1990s to the implementation of charter school networks (CMOs) and the recent creation across the USA of intra-district networks for school improvement. In addition, her research agenda focuses on strategic alliances (e.g., public-private partnerships) – networks of different types of organizations, often cross-sectoral – whose organizations come together to solve common problems which are too big for any one organization to solve on its own. Wohlstetter holds an EdM from Harvard University in administration and social policy and a PhD from Northwestern University in education policy.

    Lok-Sze Wong is a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Wong's scholarship is at the intersection of poverty, race, schooling, and policies designed to improve instruction and its management. Using an organizational and systems-level learning perspective, she seeks to understand how policy makers and school systems can better support positive student experiences. Her most recent project aims to understand students’ perceptions of caring relationships with teachers, and how policy and systemic change could better support such relationships. She also studies practitioners’ professional learning opportunities within their efforts to improve their schools and schooling systems. Wong seeks to support administrators and teachers as they continuously improve their practice while redesigning the very organizations in which they work. Wong earned her PhD in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan.

    Philip A. Woods is Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and Professor of Educational Policy, Democracy and Leadership at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, as well as an active member and former Chair of the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS). His work focuses principally on leadership as a distributed and democratic process and on issues of governance, equity and change towards more democratic and holistic learning environments. He is author of over 130 publications and has wide-ranging experience and expertise in leading, managing and participating in major funded projects for organizations including the British Academy, UK government and European Union. His latest book is Collaborative School Leadership: A critical guide, authored with Amanda Roberts (2018, Sage).

    Pamela Woolner is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK, and co-director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT). Pam has an international reputation for researching educational environments and a commitment to the cross-disciplinary work that underpins this area. Her research includes investigations of underlying issues for learning space design, and examinations of the use and development of space in British schools. These projects include reviewing the evidence base for the impact of school premises on learning, working collaboratively with schools to improve their learning environments, and developing an overview of the potential for school premises to support and enable change and improvement. Her published work includes a seminal review, The Impact of School Environments (2005, Design Council), a book about school space aimed at users, The Design of Learning Spaces (2010, Continuum), and an interdisciplinary edited collection, School Design Together (2015, Routledge), which explores participatory design of school space.

    Elizabeth Zumpe is a doctoral candidate in the Policy, Organizations, Measurement, and Evaluation Program (POME) and an instructor in the Leadership for Educational Equity Program (LEEP) in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on understanding and navigating the social psychological dynamics of improvement in schools facing adversity, collaborating with educators to find engaging approaches to collective problem solving. In recent years, she has been part of a long-term, district-wide Research Practice Partnership, which involves co-designing routines and tools to engage teachers in professional learning. She contributed to Design-based School Improvement: A Practical Guide for Education Leaders (2016, Harvard Education Press). Before graduate study, she taught for over a decade in several urban school districts serving large proportions of disadvantaged students. She holds National Board Certification in Teaching and an MA in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.


    We wish to acknowledge the support and patience of our partners (Una, Nancy, Jane and Paul) and offer them, and all the members of our families, thanks. We hope they all ‘pluck till time and times are done, the silver plus of the moon, the golden apples of the sun’ (W. B. Yeats).

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