Leadership in Education: Learning from Experience is my first venture into authoring a book. A reflection of my years in various roles in education, its intention is to offer conversational, practical insights into educational leadership. An underlying theme is that we need leaders who are ethically motivated and technically skilled.
The book is organised in 4 parts, illustrated by case studies: The Art of Leadership; Leading Teams; Leading Curriculum, and “I” is for Innovate. In each section I explore some patterns and principles implicit in the practice of educational leadership, both school and system. A key function of a leader is to help give shape to ideas and to make accessible such abstractions as vision or a greater good. In keeping with this notion, through the book I share various mental models, exploring my understandings of teams, curriculum and innovation.
Leadership in Education: Learning from Experience is published by Halstead Press, Sydney and was launched on 29 July 2015 at the Orange City Library in New South Wales.
My second release through ACER Press was in 2016. Wise Heads, Wise Hearts is based on interviews with 10 experienced school leaders from the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region. The leaders willingly and honestly share their beliefs and expertise as a means of encouraging others in the exercise of ethical leadership. There are different experiences of school leadership from multiple countries, multiple systems and multiple perspectives, and a conceptual model of leadership is presented that draws from the richness of those experiences.
Wise Heads, Wise Hearts is available from ACER at: https://shop.acer.edu.au/wise-heads-wise-hearts
The third publication is a suite of action and reflection tools: Action and Reflection Tools for Busy School Leaders published in 2017. 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 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: https://shop.acer.edu.au/action-and-reflection-tools-for-busy-school-leaders
A release in 2018 is ‘Leadership: Circles of Trust’ published by Corwin Australia as part of their new Australian Educator series. Based on recent recent into dysfunctional leadership, the monograph explores ways to build and sustain trust as a means to avert or counter dysfunction. The monograph is free online from the Corwin Australia website.