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The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1416603320
ISBN-10: 1416603328
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"We can't do that in our school district."

"I don't have time to add that to my curriculum."

"We're fighting against impossible odds with these students."

Effective school leadership does not have to be a losing battle. In The Learning Leader: How to Focus School Improvement for Better Results, Douglas B. Reeves helps leadership teams go beyond excuses to capitalize on their strengths and reduce their weaknesses. He introduces the Leadership for Learning Framework, which challenges readers to consider that student achievement is more than a set of test scores. Reeves asserts that when leaders focus exclusively on results, they fail to measure and understand the importance of their own actions. Instead, he encourages leaders to use the Leadership for Learning Framework to look deeper into their results. The framework helps leaders distinguish between "Lucky" educators, who achieve high results but don't understand their actions, and "Leading" educators, who achieve high results and understand how their actions influence their success.

From conducting strategic planning to evaluating projects to organizing leadership teams, The Learning Leader will help leaders reconceptualize their leadership role and motivate their colleagues. Reeves urges teachers and administrators to become more efficient and focused leaders, but most important, he charges them to be better educators for their students.

About the Author

Douglas B.Reeves is the founder of The Leadership and Learning Center. He has worked with education, business, nonprofit, and government organizations throughout the world. The author of more than 20 books and many articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness, he has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series. Dr. Reeves was named the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Parents Choice Award for his writing for children and parents.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: ASCD; 1 edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416603328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416603320
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Claude Michel on May 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Have you ever blamed a student, a parent, or the school's Social Economic Status (SES) for their lack of student achievement? Have you ever felt like you were in a hopeless school environment? Are you in a school district that students achieve but a few are still left behind? Do you want every student and teacher to achieve at his or her highest potential? The Learning Leader: How to focus school improvement for better results by Douglas B. Reeves is a book that will challenge your present thoughts about what a school is today, what it can be, and empower you to change the answers to the previous questions. This 180 page book presents the reader with current educational problems, both student and organizational. For each problem, The Learning Leader provides research-based solutions to school issue. From Mr. Reeve's research he developed a leadership framework called "The Leadership for Learning" framework. This framework is the backbone of the book. The reader willing, could use the research and framework to impact student learning and organizational practice. Chapters two through four will challenge you to look at school leadership from a different perspective, provide a historical account of leadership, and then present essential leadership skills and practices that will help you meet the challenges. Chapter five through seven suggest how to implement, execute, and monitor school improvement. Chapter eight speaks in depth about the leadership framework and how to use it to assess the effectiveness of your school improvement. I highly recommend this book to school leaders and teachers who truly want to be an impact player in school-age children's lives.
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Format: Paperback
The Learning Leader: How To Focus School Improvement For Better Results by Douglas B. Reeves (Director of the Center for Performance Assessment, an international organization dedicated to improving student achievement and educational equity) is an 121-page compendium of tactics and strategies appropriate for teaching and guiding students to achieve their best efforts in the classroom regardless of the curriculum or subject being studied. Addressing important issues such as the dimensions of leadership, the dilemmas of grading, transformation between learning and leading, improving a school through leadership, and so much more, The Learning Leader acts as a complete mapping of the struggles often faced by educators in new schools, positions of combined administrative and "on the line" teaching. Critically important reading, especially for those new to teaching, The Learning Leader is very strongly recommended for student teachers seeking their teaching certificates, as well as recently repositioned teachers searching for an adaptive reference for effectively guiding of their students to improved scholastic results.
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The writing was quick, easy and concise. The author used relevant research and provided appropriate examples to help support his arguments.

It gave me some good insight to think about. For example, the ideas that have gone bad in education, that we as educators still mindlessly continue to use.

I won't get into too much detail here. I encourage you to sit down and take a minute to understand how if we change our perspective a bit, we can start to see connects that we might not have noticed before
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Format: Paperback
The Learning Leader by Doug Reeves serves as a practical resource for a continuous school improvement process in schools. The book provides a leadership framework to assist organizations to build collective capacity and integrate actions to develop and sustain school improvement. The Leadership for Learning Framework featured in the book allows for school leaders to understand how adult actions within school improvement targets impact student achievement. The Framework serves as an analysis of why school improvement actions work or do not achieve the designated target. His Framework is about the overall process of improving teaching and learning; how to replicate success through the continuation of the "right" actions--do not leave this important process to mere chance or luck. It is a result of understanding and studying what works (actions) and why it produces such results (achievement gains).

The book outlines practical school improvement efforts common to highly functioning schools. They consist of the following: cause and effect of adult actions and student achievement results, focus on non-fiction writing, utilization of frequent common assessments, immediate and decisive interventions and constructive use of data--focus on the study of success. An area outlined in the book is the concept of a "knowing-doing" gap where educators often know what to do but are not able to implement or sustain an action or practice as intended. This limitation is often the result of associated myths (discussed within the text) underlying school improvement and the change process connected with school improvement efforts.
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The Learning Leader is one of the best books I have read when it comes to practical ideas about how to improve schools. In addition to exposing the truth about planning and stirring school leaders toward action and doing things that matter, Reeves also debunks our century old grading system and leads us toward proficiency models. He discusses several different types of leadership styles, and shows how schools and districts can create Improvement Science Fairs based upon data. In addition, he walks us through some practical data analysis tools including the Lucky, Loser, Learning, and Leader framework among others.

A bit technical in spots, but plenty of good stories (not just education ones), and lots of real life examples from the field make this book a must read for anyone serious about using data to help their school improve.
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