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Leading from the Eye of the Storm: Spirituality and Public School Improvement (Leading Systemic School Improvement, No. 5.) Paperback – March 16, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1578862115 ISBN-10: 1578862116

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Editorial Reviews

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The America I love now suffers from a toxic brew of fear, cynicism, and false bravado that is taking a terrific toll on everything from individual to institutional life. If we are to deal with the spiritual emptiness behind all this-and find responses that honor the needs of a pluralistic democracy-our public schools must become places where questions of meaning and purpose are taken seriously. Here is a superbly written book that will help educational leaders step up to that challenge. Using tools ranging from poetry, to social analysis, to interviews with change agents, to case studies of transformation, Scott Thompson makes a powerful contribution to our understanding of the spiritual depths that are hidden, but not lost, in our individual and collective lives. (Parker J. Palmer, author of "Let Your Life Speak" and "The Courage to Teach")

Scott Thompson has charged into dangerous and important territory with Leading From the Eye of the Storm: Spirituality and Public School Improvement. It is dangerous because the notion of spirituality stirs up mighty responses in people such as fear and misunderstanding, but important because for education to work, it must grapple with the deepest texture of the human experience. At the core, spirituality is really all there is. This book soars with poetry and yet it is grounded in examples of real world behavior by practicing school people. It is highly readable and should be read by any caring school person. (Paul Houston, executive director, the American Association of School Administrators and author of Articles of Faith and Hope for Public Educat)

Leading From the Eye of the Storm is an important book for all school leaders, even more so during these times of external mandates. Scott Thompson articulates in vivid prose and real examples the most essential element of successful schools for all children. When beliefs about dignity and respect become the practice of classrooms, schools, and districts, the results are inspiring for students. Those furthest from schools see improving schools as the result of so-called scientific precision, technical measurement and bottom-line management. Those who devote their life to human worth know that technique can take one only so far. Rather, it is the heart of the inner human that carries one through the unpredictable, frustrating, but always rewarding quest. Congrats to Scott Thompson for speaking to the essence of public purpose, spiritual life, and leadership. (Carl D. Glickman, Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chair in School Improvement in the College of Education, Southwest Texas State University an)

Scott Thompson writes about something that needs to be read. (Teachers College Record)

Scott explores dimensions of spiritual leadership for whole-system educational transformation. He first defines educational transformation, then describes the role of spiritual leadership in transforming organizational culture as a foundation for whole-system educational improvement, illustrating concepts with the real-life experiences of leaders. (Reference and Research Book News)

Losing some of the idealism that led you into caring about children's education? The anecdotes, quotes, and lyrical prose in this book might help you recapture it by nurturing your spiritual side. (American School Board Journal)

About the Author

Scott Thompson is assistant director of the Panasonic Foundation, a corporate philanthropy devoted to the transformation of public education in the United States; editor of Strategies, an issues series by the Panasonic Foundation in cooperation with the American Association of School Administrators, and president and a founding trustee of the Glen Rock Public Education Foundation. Prior to joining the Panasonic staff, he was director of dissemination and project development with the Institute for Responsive Education and editor of New Schools, New Communities.

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