Practical tools for busy leaders


Action and reflection tools for busy school leaders is a new release from ACER (the Australian Council for Educational Research). My thanks to ACER for their support of this project.

The book is comprised of a suite of tools designed to support personal and organisational development. Each tool offers activities and processes for thinking about a particular aspect of school life. For use in small or larger group contexts, the tools could help guide discussion at team meetings, staff meetings, workshops, conferences and the like. They are designed for highly committed but time-poor leaders who want access to practical ways to work with their communities.

The audience might, for example, be principals or deputy principals wanting to lead their community through a visioning process, or a faculty or year leader wanting to strengthen team purpose and effectiveness, or a district leader wanting to build a dialogue around conceptions of leadership. Another audience might be aspiring leaders who would like to explore their own leadership potential or to understand the ways in which current leaders work and how they arrive at shared decision-making. While written with an education audience in mind, many of the tools could be adapted to other contexts. The way school leaders work has much to offer beyond the education environment.

The tools are predicated on a belief that the exercise of leadership is a generative process which entails shared knowledge and distributed power. It is a perspective in which the strength of a leader is to draw on the strengths of others. Through collaboration and networked learning, by forging relationships and building and giving trust through critical self-reflection and values clarification; through deeply understanding and modelling the pedagogical and curricular work to be done, and by engaging regularly and systematically in processes to facilitate growth and development, the school leader is fulfilling his/her professional role. The fundamental assumption of this book is that no matter how experienced the leader, there is always room for new knowledge, new ways and new growth.

In hard copy or as an e-publication, Action and reflection tools for busy school leaders is available from ACER at:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s