“Alma Harris is a world leading writer on the thinking and practice of distributed leadership. This is undoubtedly the best book that she or anyone has yet written on the subject.”
—Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
“Alma Harris captures the essential challenges facing today's school and district leaders and summarizes, in precise and accessible language, important research-based lessons for practice. Her focus on building authentic relationships among all staff is both practical and a welcome antidote to an excessive focus on testing and standardization.”
—Karen Seashore, Professor
University of Minnesota
The benefits of distributed leadership are yours with this research-based change process.
Distributed leadership—engaging the many rather than the few in school improvement—has long been a promising theory. But it must be implemented effectively before educators and students can reap the rewards, including improved learner outcomes and stronger organizational performance.
Distributed Leadership Matters offers pragmatic approaches for realizing these benefits. First, Alma Harris shows why harnessing educators' collective expertise is an improvement strategy worth adopting. Then she details the collaborative processes that make it happen. Insights include: How to translate the research on distributed leadership into tangible results for your school; Methods for building the social capital necessary for sustainable institutional change; How to distribute leadership widely and wisely through professional collaboration
The old-fashioned “top-down” leadership style no longer works for today's schools. Distributed Leadership Matters is a bold step into the future.
Chapter 2: Leading System Reform
Leading System Reform
You can't be part of the solution when you are part of the problem
At the system level, the heat is on. The pressure for better performance, higher achievement, and improved student outcomes is intensifying, largely because of international comparative performance data. The anxiety to improve performance, at the school, district, and system level, is acute. The preoccupation in staff rooms, superintendents' offices, and the corridors of political power is exactly the same. How do we raise student performance and improve student achievement? At best, these conversations are about improving the educational opportunities for all young people; at worse, they equate with tactics for raising test scores and manipulating outcome data.
Paradoxically within this debate, schools are both the problem and ...