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Effective Communication for District and School Administrators


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Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1: Communication Basics *Introduction *Communication Characteristics -Form -Flow -Status -Action -Symmetry *Theoretical Perspectives -Classical theories -Human relations theories -Systems theories *Synthesis *Reflective questions Chapter 2: Communicating Competently *Introduction *Communicative behavior -Institutional dimension -Personal dimension *Avoiding common problems -Insufficient forethought -Organizational constraints -Personal constraints -Inadequate evaluation *Complementary and Relational Communication *Communicative competence *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 3: Leadership and Relationships *Introduction *Understanding Leadership -Leadership, management, and administration -Formal versus informal leadership *Importance of Relationships -Communicative behavior and relationships -Relationships matter *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 4: Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Critical Thinking *Introduction *Problem Solving -Problem framing -Stages *Decision Making -Types of decisions -Group decision making *Critical Thinking -Language and communication -Reflection *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 5: Organizational Communication *Introduction *Schools as Loosely Coupled Organizations -Schools and coupling -Advantages and disadvantages of loose coupling -Contemporary perspective *Communication Networks -Formal versus informal networks -Bridges or buffers -Beneficial properties -Constructing and applying evidence -Evaluating networks *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 6: School Governance and Democratic Administration *Introduction *Citizen Involvement in School Governance -Democratic localism -Representative democracy -Current conditions *Democratic Administration -Historical context -The second coming -Democratic administration and communication *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 7: Climate, Culture, and the Learning Organization *Introduction *School Climate -Elements -Closed and open climates *School Culture -Elements -Effects -Culture and communication -Why culture change is difficult *School as a Learning Organization -Organizational learning -A learning culture *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 8: Initiating and Sustaining Planned Change *Introduction *Contemporary School Reform -1983-1989 -Post 1989 *Change Processes -Empirical-rational -Power-coercive -Normative-reeducative *Process Issues: Involvement and Communication -Inclusiveness -Communicating appropriately *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 9: School Partnerships *Introduction *Understanding Partnerships -Definition -Levels of Autonomy -Operational Characteristics *Motives -Community stakeholders -Educators -Collaborating organizations/groups *Why Partnerships Succeed or Fail -Effective Practices -Potential Pitfalls *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 10: Managing Conflict *Introduction *Organizational Conflict -Defining conflict -Conflict in schools *Sources, Types, and Contaminants -Sources and types -Contaminants *Management System and Strategies -System -Strategies *Conflict Management and Communication *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 11: Conducting a Referendum Campaign *Introduction *Key Administrative Responsibilities *Verifying the need *Marketing *Conducting the Campaign -Organization -Process -Potential pitfalls -Evaluating outcomes *Importance of Communication *Synthesis *Reflective Questions Chapter 12: Relationships with Media Personnel *Introduction *Working with Journalists -Preparation -Making relationships positive *Initiating Media Coverage -Press releases -Press conferences *Electronic Media Interviews -Video -Audio *Crisis Communication -Before the crisis -During the crisis -After the crisis *Synthesis *Reflective Questions

About the Author

Theodore J. Kowalski is Professor and the Kuntz Family Endowed Chair in Educational Administration at the University of Dayton. A former teacher, principal, superintendent, and college dean, he is the author of 31 books and approximately200 book chapters, journal articles, and research studies.


Ted Kowalski's book on communication has long set the standard in the field, and this newly updated edition should continue that tradition for years to come. It is clearly organized and crisply written, comprehensive without being encyclopedic. Given the profound changes in the way our schools and society have evolved in the last decade, this book is as timely as it is useful. -- George Perreault, PhD, professor, department of educational leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
In this time of an information saturated society, effective communication is essential for all school leaders. This book considers not only the basics of communication but also how communication affects relationships, organizations, partnerships, and school reform. While this text is grounded in research, Kowalski squarely addresses communication within the context of practice for school leaders, including issues of media relations, social media, conflict resolution, organizational climate, and tax referendum campaigns. -- Patti L. Chance, PhD, professor emerita, department of educational leadership, San Diego State University
Communication has always been important to organizational life. Advents in electronic communication, adaptive leadership styles, and organizational structure increase needs for effective and efficient communication. This text conveys the essence of communication as it relates to conventional and emergent organizational needs. -- Scott R. Sweetland, MBA, PhD, educational administration program chair, The Ohio State University
The 2nd edition of Effective Communication for School Administrators is unique in that it applies communication perspectives to school tax referendum campaigns, media relations, social media, partnerships and conflict management. The author also offers crucial insights into the ongoing process of educational reform, clarifies its dilemmas and presents possibilities for improving outcomes through excellent communication. The highly relevant material, syntheses and reflective questions make this book indispensable to veteran and aspiring leaders focused on making systemic, long-term changes in their organizations. -- Lars G. Bjoerk, PhD, professor, department of educational leadership studies, University of Kentucky

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