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Improve Learning by Building Community


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors 1. It All Begins With You General Information About Educational Platforms A Normative Use of a Platform Returning to Motley Elementary School Points for Practice References 2. Creating a Shared Vision Developing a Vision Articulating the Vision Implementing the Vision Monitoring the Vision Creating a Vision: Returning to Carpenter Middle School Chapter Summary Points for Practice References 3. Foundations for Community Building Definitions Operationalizing Community Beyond Structure Returning to the Administrative Team at Ridgmoor Middle School Chapter Summary Points for Practice References 4. Focusing on Culture Is More Than Good Manners On Climate and Culture Development of Culture and Climate Research Putting the Theory Into Practice Returning to Manchester Chapter Summary Points for Practice References 5. Studying Your External Environment Analytic Framework Historical Thumbnail for the Riverport Community and Hilley High School Structural Dimension of Riverport Human Resource Dimension of Riverport Political Dimension of Riverport Symbolic Dimension of Riverport Back to Pete Chapter Summary Points for Practice References 6. Working With Community Groups and Parents Parent Concerns Community Concerns Returning to Cheshire School Chapter Summary Points for Practice Reference Additional Suggested Resources 7. Seeing Your Invisible Heroes Security Staff Office Workers Custodial Staff Food Service Workers Chapter Summary Points for Practice References 8. Services in the Community Students in Physical Danger Drug or Substance Abuse Student Mental or Physical Health Family Turmoil Returning to La Casa Blanca Schools and Bustamente Elementary Chapter Summary Points for Practice 9. Support From Central Administration What Makes It Hard to Change Schools? Key People to Keep Informed Chapter Summary Points for Practice References Index

About the Author

John C. Daresh is professor of educational leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso. Over the years, he has held faculty or administrative appointments at the University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, the University of Northern Colorado, and Illinois State University. He has also worked as a consultant on high school reform and administrator professional development for universities, state departments of education, national and state professional associations, and individual schools and districts across the United States, and also in Barbados, Canada, France, Holland, Israel, Turkey, South Africa, and Taiwan. By far, the bulk of Daresh's international service has been in the United Kingdom where he served an advisor and trainer for the School Management Task Force that developed and promoted support programs for beginning headteachers, the National College for School Leadership, the Welsh Office of Education, the North West Network for Diploma Development in Cheshire, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Lincoln, the University of Hull, CREATE Consultancies, and literally dozens of Local Education Authorities and individual schools across England and Wales. Daresh recently completed three years of service as the lead consultant on principal mentoring programs for the Chicago Public Schools as that megadistrict was faced with the challenge of bringing in mostly inexperienced principals to serve in nearly of the school system's elementary and high schools. Jane Lynch currently serves as the faculty leader of the Department of Business, Information Technology, and Enterprise at All Hallows Catholic College in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. Prior to this appointment, she served as a teacher at Sandbach High School in Cheshire. Her route to the field of education did not follow a traditional path. Her undergraduate degree at Keele University was in law and economics, resulting in a career as a solicitor supported by postgraduate study at Christleton Law College in Chester. Her interest in working more directly with young people led to a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education in Business Studies (Secondary) at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she later pursued advanced graduate work in educational management. She left the world of law and business to follow her strong interest in education, and the last 21 years of her professional life have been devoted to that focus. Lynch's work in program development in business and enterprise has become increasingly recognized across England, where she has been invited to serve on a number of panels and committees seeking to forge stronger links among schools and the world of business. She was recently provided with a leave from her work at Macclesfield to support educational program planning with the Cheshire County Educational Office. She has also continued her national role of participating in numerous projects dedicated to developing young people's employment skills. She serves as a consultant in enterprise education in Cheshire; as the leader of the Northwest England Business, Administration, and Finance (BAF) Diploma Network; as the Enterprise Learning Partnership coordinator for Cheshire and Warrington; and as the chair of the BAF Diploma County Forum.


"At last, we have a book that provides practical, day-to-day advice for what school administrators need to attend to when establishing a learning community. Daresh helps school leaders understand the importance of their personal values about shared leadership as well as the individuals within the school, district, and community who are essential to building a shared learning community. The wealth of examples and school-based scenarios illustrate how these ideas translate into practice. A wonderful resource for a book study for teachers and principals." -- Bruce Barnett, Professor
"Daresh continues his legacy of bridging scholarship and practice, within a context of strengthening school cultures by supporting positive interactions between all the people who interact within and around them. As usual, his tone is friendly and approachable, and his points to ponder are both practical and compelling. Aspiring, new, and experienced principals will benefit from the structured opportunity afforded by this book to reflect on their own values and how these values shape their leadership." -- Mary Beth Cunat, Assistant Principal
"An invaluable guide for fostering learning communities, Daresh's work provides a ten-thousand foot view of schools. Of particular interest to educational leaders are strategies to engage parents, business leaders and the often 'forgotten stakeholders'-staff members such as secretaries and custodians. Each chapter immediately engages the reader through humor, reflection, and analysis. Vivid, authentic scenarios capture the realities and complexities of today's schools. We are invited into the minds of school leaders as they work through the change process and are reminded of the importance of continually reassessing our values. This book is not only a must-read, but a must-do for every principal whose goal is to enhance learning communities." -- Debra Livingston, Superintendent of Schools

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