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Creating Productive Cultures in Schools


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Table of Contents

1. Leadership for School Improvement: Getting Started 2. Schooling in the Post-Industrial World: The North Star for Leadership 3. The Threads of School Improvement 4. Supportive Communities of Learning for Students 5. Communities of Professional Practice for Teachers 6. Communities of Professionalism: Barriers and Supports 7. Communities of Engagement for Parents 8. Communities of Engagement for Stakeholders

About the Author

Joseph F. Murphy is the Frank W. Mayborn Chair and associate dean at Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University. He has also been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and The Ohio State University, where he was the William Ray Flesher Professor of Education. In the public schools, he has served as an administrator at the school, district, and state levels, including an appointment as the executive assistant to the chief deputy superintendent of public instruction in California. His most recent appointment was as the founding president of the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy. At the university level, he has served as department chair and associate dean. He is past vice president of the American Educational Research Association and was the founding chair of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC). He is co-editor of the AERA Handbook on Educational Administration (1999) and editor of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) yearbook, The Educational Leadership Challenge (2002). His work is in the area of school improvement, with special emphasis on leadership and policy. He has authored or co-authored 18 books in this area and edited another 12. His most recent authored volumes include Understanding and Assessing the Charter School Movement (2002), Leadership for Literacy: Research-Based Practice, PreK-3 (2003), Connecting Teacher Leadership and School Improvement (2005), Preparing School Leaders: Defining a Research and Action Agenda (2006), and Turning Around Failing Schools: Lessons From the Organizational Sciences. Daniela Torre is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education Policy at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include school improvement, particularly for English learners and at-risk students. Previously she taught for five years as an elementary school teacher in both traditional public and charter schools. She earned her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.A. in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages from American University in Washington, D.C.


"The culture of a school has a significant impact on the academic achievement of our students and on the community as a whole. Dr. Murphy and Dr. Torre have clearly defined the processes to implement an operational goal resulting in a productive school culture in which students are challenged and supported. This book enables leaders, specifically school principals, to facilitate reflective practices designed to engage students, teachers, and parents in achieving successful learning communities." -- Gail Connelly, Executive Director
"A comprehensive, detailed understanding of the challenges and constraints education leaders face when encouraging, guiding, and supporting positive learning environments. Recognizing the diversity of school cultures, the authors take bold steps to identify what can and should happen to make our nation's schools more successful. A must read for those seeking realistic and specific strategies for change." -- Barbara Schneider, John A. Hannah University Distinguished Professor
This text provides readers with arguably the most comprehensive, accessible and carefully organized synthesis of evidence available about what school improvement leaders should focus their efforts on and how those efforts can be most productive. -- Kenneth Leithwood
"Murphy and Torre have constructed a masterful narrative from the daunting complexity of the literature on school improvement, leadership and school culture. This book puts the learner at the center of the improvement effort and avoids the usual polarities between relationships and academic focus-a highly balanced and integrative review." -- Viviane Robinson, Distinguished Professor

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