• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“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

Boston College

“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.

Distributed Leadership: Professional Learning Communities
Distributed leadership: Professional learning communities

The new paradigm for professional development for teachers lies in collaborative, participatory communities that enable teachers to learn and grow professionally, together

(Lemke, 2009, p. 13)

More than two decades ago, the organizational theorist, Peter Drucker (1988), identified what he called the new organization. This new organization consisted of a flat hierarchical structure. It was filled with skilled and motivated professionals who were part of innovative and flexible teams. Although the idea of distributed leadership was not in vogue then, the conception of the flatter more flexible structure fits exactly with contemporary thinking about leadership as extended influence. Since the introduction of the “new organisation” many other influential writers have elaborated upon Drucker's original idea, emphasizing that ...

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