Top positive review
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Instructional leadership for school leaders.
on February 9, 2002
The ASCD's January 2002 Members' Book is a valuable contribution to the school leadership and management literature.
The author, Carl Glickman, has an international following because of his work on school renewal and this text gives readers the tools for bringing about renewal through instructional leadership.
In "Leadership for learning," Carl Glickman has reworked the clinical supervision material that is so useful to school leaders, particularly in the United States, who are directly responsible for the formal supervision of classroom teachers' standards. This text will be particularly useful to beginning principals (hence the 5 star rating) but there is still a lot in the book for experienced principals too.
I though that four approaches developed by Glickman were useful and table 4.2 ("Interpersonal approaches, outcomes, and levels of choice," p.44) was an excellent overview of the parameters of the four approaches. The developmental nature of the four approaches can be seen in Figure 6.1:
Directive control- Emergency, infrequent cases
Directive-informational- Beginning of greater teacher choice
Collaborative- Collegial reflection
Non-directive- Masterful teacher, infrequent cases.
Figure 6.1 Moving towards teacher control on on the leader behavior continuum.
From my own experience, I don't think that the number of masterful teachers is infrequent. And, teachers needing directive control don't stay in this category for long because parent complaints and principal supervision will move them on or move them out. However, it is our job to see that masterful teachers are helped in continuing to do a great job for the kids. The four types of supervisory approaches do not represent a normal distribution but a distribution that is skewed to the right. That is, the majority of teachers across states will fit into the collabrative and non-directive categories.
The book is a timely reminder about the importance of driving school change from the teacher-student interface. It is a valuable addition to all school leaders' professional libraries.