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Leading from the Eye of the Storm
Spirituality and Public School Improvement
Scott Thompson -
Margaret J. Wheatley
Our public school systems must be transformed in order to help every child achieve his or her potential. However, transformational leadership can be intense, complex, and often chaotic, producing storms of resistance, controversy, and pressure. To survive such storms, author Scott Thompson contends that educators must learn to lead with peace and clarity.
In this book, Thompson aims to make new connections within the education reform movement, unleash new energies among leaders, and open new perspectives. Through research and in-depth interviews with seventeen educational leaders, the author explores new developments in the area of spiritual leadership for the systemic improvement of public schools.
Topics of discussion include:
·Building shared trust
These and other dimensions of spiritual leadership are given grounding with practical examples and tangible results.
For superintendents, central office directors, school board members, principals, teacher leaders, and those who facilitate or provide technical assistance on systemic educational improvement.
Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-1-57886-211-5 • Paperback • March 2005 •
Leading Systemic School Improvement
Education / Educational Policy & Reform / General
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is assistant director of the Panasonic Foundation, a corporate philanthropy devoted to the transformation of public education in the United States; editor of
, 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.
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
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