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Leading Adult Learning: Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools [Paperback]

by Eleanor (Ellie) Drago-Severson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 23, 2009 1412950724 978-1412950725

Support the growth and development of all adults—teachers, principals, and superintendents—in your school community!

Educators need different kinds of supports and challenges over the different stages of their lives. Drago-Severson’s developmental model of learning-oriented school leadership draws from multiple knowledge domains to help school and district leaders understand how to support professional growth. This volume:

  • Details four Pillar Practices for growth—teaming, providing leadership roles, collegial inquiry, and mentoring
  • Presents research from practicing leaders across the nation
  • Includes resources to assist you in applying this learning-oriented model to your school and school system

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Editorial Reviews


“With this comprehensive and compelling book, Eleanor Drago-Severson establishes herself as a leading expert on authoritative leadership in education.” (Howard Gardner, Author of Leading Minds 2009-04-06)

"As complete a primer for leading adult learning as can be found in print today. Each chapter includes cases and lessons from the field and reflective questions. Eleanor Drago-Severson combines research and practice to create an essential handbook for leaders of adults." (The School Administrator Magazine, January 2011 2010-12-22)

“Eleanor Drago-Severson takes hold of an important and neglected truth: students grow best in schools where the adults around them are growing, too. In this nurturing and much-anticipated work, the author shows us exactly how to make this happen. Sound theory, vivid examples, and a practice-ready framework—it’s all here! Anyone who cares about making our schools better will feel richly rewarded for spending time with this encouraging book.” (Robert Kegan, Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development 2009-04-06)

"There is no greater opportunity for improving public education than to make schools places where adults learn and lead together. In her rich and engaging book, Drago-Severson explores the challenge of this important work and shows us how success is both possible and deeply rewarding." (Susan Moore Johnson, Pforzheimer Professor of Teaching and Learning 2009-05-15)

"Building on the 'pillar practices' of her earlier work and animated with stories, exercises, and illustrations, this book offers both lucid explication of the powerful insights of constructive developmental theory and intensely practical partnership in how to put it all to work on Monday morning. In these hard times, this is a welcome and hopeful blueprint for the reanimation of our schools and the transformation of our communities." (Laurent A. Parks Daloz, Senior Fellow 2009-04-06)

About the Author

Ellie Drago-Severson is a Professor of Education Leadership and Adult Learning & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a developmental psychologist, her work is inspired by the idea that schools must be places where adults and children can grow. She is dedicated to creating the conditions to achieve this and to helping leaders and educators of all kinds to do the same on behalf of supporting adults and youth. Ellie’s work builds bridges between research and practice by supporting teachers, principals, superintendents and other school and district leaders in their professional and personal development and growth. Ellie is author of four recent books: Becoming Adult Learners: Principles and Practices for Effective Development (Teachers College Press, 2004), Helping Teachers Learn: Principal Leadership for Adult Growth and Development (Corwin Press, 2004), Leading Adult Learning: Supporting Adult Development in our Schools (Corwin/Sage, 2009), and Helping Educators Grow: Practices and Strategies for Supporting Leadership Development (Harvard Education Press, 2012). Learning Forward (formerly The National Staff Development Council, NSDC) awarded the Outstanding Staff Development Book of the Year in 2004 to Helping Teachers Learn, and selected Leading Adult Learning as their book for the Fall 2009. Ellie teaches, conducts research and consults to leaders and organizations on professional and personal growth and learning, leadership that supports principal, faculty and school development, capacity building, leadership development, coaching, qualitative research, and mentoring K–12 schools, university contexts, and ABE/ESOL contexts. She is also an internationally certified developmental coach who works with principals, assistant principals, district leaders, and teachers to build internal capacity and achieve goals. She served as lead researcher on the Adult Development Team of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) at Harvard University and as teacher, program designer, program director, and currently as consultant, and professional developer in a variety of educational contexts including K-12 schools, higher education, adult education centers, and ABE/ESOL programs (domestically and internationally). Her work explores the promise of practices that support adult development, leadership development, and capacity building, within schools, districts and across systems. Ellie’s work has been recognized by and supported with awards from the Spencer Foundation, the Klingenstein Foundation, and Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) where she served as Lecturer on Education for eight years. While serving at Harvard, Ellie was awarded the 2005 Morningstar Award for Excellence in Teaching. Most recently, she received three outstanding teaching awards from Teachers College. She has earned degrees from Long Island University (BA) and Harvard University (EdM, EdD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship). Ellie grew up in the Bronx, New York and lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin (September 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412950724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412950725
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New School Leadership Model for New Challenges December 7, 2009
Leading Adult Learning captures the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications both researchers and school leaders will find invaluable for preparing learners to negotiate complexities of life in the 21st century. Drago-Severson's new model of leadership for adult growth and learning rests on four pillar practices - teaming, providing leadership roles, collegial inquiry, and mentoring. She skillfully bases her work in constructive-developmental theory and masterfully explains this framework in ways that are enlightening to researchers and meaningful for practitioners. Carefully crafted examples, application exercises and reflective questions engage the reader's ability to make connections between theoretical concepts, professional and personal experiences as they are guided through each of the pillar principles.

This book advances our thinking beyond building organizational structural and instructional capacity to support student learning. Drago-Severson emphasizes the importance of valuing diversity and enhancing adult development as the next essential capacity-building dimension for supporting student learning. Readers are able to move beyond conceptualizing professional development models that too often focus on familiar technical fixes that can be inefficient against complex contemporary issues. This book answers the call to fill a significant gap in the literature for new ways to model professional development with more sustainable results and uses rich implementation examples in doing so.

Drago-Severson's new model reveals ways to accommodate varying needs and ways of knowing among adults in their professional development experiences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource June 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This time contains a tremendous amount o insight an knowledge. It is clearly and concisely written. The information acts as a guide for experienced and aspiring educational leaders, alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it. April 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Solid contribution to education. Drago-Severson writes with heart, wisdom, and in-depth knowledge on how developmental psychology can be used to improve education.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leading Adult Learning February 10, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. Drago Seversen does an incredible job of addressing the key facet missing from most school improvement strategies, the people in the school. She provides practical insights borne from research that can create the human capital in your organization to not only overcome current challenges but more improtantly have the capacity to address future challenges and stay focused on mission.
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LEADING ADULT LEARNING offers a developmental model of learning in school leadership processes, using different knowledge domains of developmental theory and adult learning to illustrate four Pillar Practices for growth. Research blends with applied knowledge in the form of case history examples from real life and exercises and lessons from the field in a guide highly recommended for all types of school leaders interested in applying adult learning models to overall education goals.
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