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Stenhouse Publishers
Leading and Learning: Effective School Leadership Through Reflective Storytelling and Inquiry

Leading and Learning: Effective School Leadership Through Reflective Storytelling and Inquiry

by Fred Steven Brill
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Faced with a vast list of roles and responsibilities and answering to a broad array of stakeholders, school administrators can feel like they must constantly play the role of invincible superhero. Rarely do they have the opportunity to engage in the kind of reflection, inquiry, and collegial sharing that is so effective in teacher professional development. In Leading and Learning, Fred Brill draws on personal narratives from new and experienced school administrators to examine common themes, concerns, successes, and failures. From these stories, practices and protocols emerge to help administrators navigate the complexity of their jobs, and better manage their own professional development.

Leading and Learning examines the administrative roles of school leaders from "enforcer" to "system-builder," to "instructional leader" as well as the psychological, emotional aspects of the position, and the impact of school culture. Fred shares research on the success and structures of professional learning communities and shows how the power of combining PLCs with the practice of reflective storytelling results in better school leadership and professional growth. Woven throughout the book are stories from over 260 interviews with school administrators that will energize readers while generating chuckles and knowing nods.

The book's goal is to provide a model that inspires change in schools and in administrator induction programs. By offering a detailed analysis of effective (and ineffective) leadership, Leading and Learning gives readers a new method for making decisions, solving problems, and working to get things done in their school communities. And by demonstrating the power of reflective storytelling and collaborative learning, it provides school leaders with an effective process for more clearly translating belief into action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571107664
Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
Publication date: 10/15/2008
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 5 - 11 Years

About the Author

Fred Brill began considering a career in education after coaching a middle school gymnastics team and then working as an outdoor education summer counselor of emotionally disturbed kids. "I was always able to connect with young people -- especially those who had the most difficulty fitting in," Fred recalls. "As an English major, I was passionate about reading and writing, and eventually I made the obvious connection, and I decided I would give the teaching thing a try. I was hooked after being plopped in front of my first class."

After earning a B.A. in education from the University of Michigan, Fred went on to receive a master's degree in secondary education from San Francisco State University and an Ed.D. in policy, organization, measurement and evaluation from U.C. Berkeley.

He is currently the executive officer (area superintendent) of the Middle School Network in Oakland Unified School District.

He has also served as a middle school principal, a high school and continuation high school English teacher, and taught secondary students and adults in the former Czechoslovakia while on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. He also served as an elementary school educator of severely emotionally disturbed students.

"I love getting students to see the relevance in the work they are doing," Fred explains. "I love exposing them to new ideas and concepts and ways of acquiring skills and knowledge." Fred says that he enjoys working with groups of students and likes to encourage them to take charge of their own learning and understand the roles they are playing in different groups and in their own learning.

When it comes to professional development, Fred has the same approach with adults as he does with children. "I love providing new frameworks in which practitioners might re-conceptualize their practice. I like providing the space, the structures, and supports so that individuals will take the necessary time to reflect and deeply consider their goals, intentions, theories, and outcomes."

Fred says that as he began to dive deeply into the narratives in his book, Leading and Learning, he began to make sense of his own practice as a school leader. "School leaders seem to relish in the opportunity to engage in reflective storytelling and collaborative inquiry," Fred explains. "I felt that new leaders could benefit from a map, a guidebook, a collection of stories that illustrate the what and how of school leadership."

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