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Leadership Books

An essential collection of the latest books for leaders


The Power to Transform: Leadership That Brings Learning & Schooling to Life, $28

Author Stephanie Pace Marshall argues that by focusing on reforming the contents of schooling and not transforming the context and conditions of learning, we have created false proxies for learning and eroded the potentially vibrant intellectual life of our schools. She says in order to educate children wisely, generative learning communities must be created. Such learning communities have their roots in meaning, engagement, inquiry, exploration, personalization, interdependence, collaboration and trust. Read a free chapter at


Managing to be Different: Educational Leadership as Critical Practice, $21.95

In this book, Ron Scapp argues that educational leadership has come to rely too heavily on corporate models, values and personnel to guide the direction of academic administration from elementary school through graduation. He moves teaching and its facilitation back to the center of scholarship, asking how school leaders might connect their work more integrally with the ideals and practices of critical pedagogy.

Teachers College Press

The Boss of the Whole School: Effective Leadership in Action, $24.95

As a former elementary school principal, the book's author-Elizabeth A. Hebert-offers inspiration and guidance to aspiring and practicing administrators. Using real-life stories, the book examines the responsibilities, demands and challenges that principals manage on a daily basis. It also demonstrates how qualities of leadership mature over time and the conditions that both nurture and suppress it. She also provides compelling rationale for becoming and staying a school principal.

R&L Education

What Every Rookie Superintendent Should Know: Surviving Year One, $39.95

This book lays the foundation with a systematic mind-set, strategic-thinking approach and skill sets, which help the rookie survive and decreases learning-curve time. It features a conversational approach between the rookie superintendent and the sage mentor. By highlighting real-life situations and survival strategies, the mentor provides time-tested building blocks upon which the rookie can build a strong first-year foundation. The mission is to improve learning for all students by pulling an organization out of chaos and creating a well-functioning school district.

Corwin Press

Leading and Supervising Instruction, $25.95

Written by John C. Daresh, this book demonstrates how school leaders can achieve strong instructional leadership while placing student learning in the foreground. It coaches principals on implementing effective, student-focused supervision and reveals how school leaders can attain student-centered practice while supporting staff responsible for achieving a school's goal and vision, bringing out the best in teachers to achieve their goals, rethinking personal definitions of teaching, learning and supervision and developing an openness and greater understanding of different instructional styles.

Solution Tree

On Common Ground: The Power of Professional Learning and Communities, $29.95

Many educational leaders throughout North America offer their guidance on how to help students achieve at even higher levels and provide practical strategies for developing professional learning communities. The contributors' methods for raising student achievement support the idea that effective teachers embrace learning rather than teaching, work collaboratively to help students learn, use formative assessments and a focus on results to foster continuous improvement and assume individual responsibility.

Da Capo Lifelong Books

The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, $24

Author Alfie Kohn examines the usual defenses of homework-that it promotes higher achievement, "reinforces" learning, and teaches study skills and responsibility. None of these assumptions, he shows, actually passes the test of research, logic or experience. He reveals how a mistrust of children and a misguided focus on competitiveness have left our kids with less free time. Using examples of schools that have succeeded without homework, Kohn shows how schools can rethink what happens during and after school in order to save children's love of learning.