beyond-school-improvement-the-journey-to-innovative-leadership

Beyond School Improvement: The Journey to Innovative Leadership

By: Bonnie Laugerman, Carol Commodore, Robert Davidovich, Pauli Nikolay

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Paperback : 248 pages
Publisher : SAGE Publications (November 2009)
ISBN - 10 : 1412971403
ISBN - 13 : 9781412971409
Product Dimensions : 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)
Subjects : Strategies for Managers, School Management & Organization, Change Management, Educational Leadership

About the author :

Dr. Bonnie Laugerman is a high school principal in a large suburban school district that is listed in US Newsweek as one of the top 1,500 high schools in the nation and Number 1 rated high school in sports in the state by Sports Illustrated. She is currently leading her district through a process of responding to the needs of the 21st-century learner. She has been an educator over 30 years, working in urban and suburban school districts in building and central office leadership capacity. Bonnie is a consultant and adjunct professor for a local university and teaches courses related to brain compatible learning, assessment, curriculum, and teacher supervision and evaluation. She has a special interest in the experience of high school principals shaping a learning culture in their schools.

Dr. Pauli Nikolay has served as a teacher, principal, director of instruction, superintendent, and an assistant state superintendent at the Department of Public Instruction. In addition to her consultant work in the area of academic standards and instructional strategies, she facilitates workshops on leadership, culture, and improvement/innovation strategies. She received her state’s Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Educator of the Year Award, the Educational Media Association Administrator of the Year Award, the State Reading Association Outstanding Administrator Award, and the Women’s Leader in Education Award. She currently serves as a site coordinator, instructor, and mentor for students in the Master’s in Educational Leadership program at Cardinal Stritch University.

Dr. Robert Davidovich is a consultant specializing in leadership, transformational change, innovation, systems thinking, and organizational planning. An educator for more than 30 years, he has served students as a teacher, principal, staff development coordinator, and director of organizational development. For fourteen years he was principal of a U.S. Department of Education School of Excellence. In his role as the director of organizational development he oversaw the district’s transformational planning initiative. Robert is an adjunct instructor and lecturer at local universities and a consultant for organizations in several states regarding system improvement, innovative leadership, and organiznational development.

Dr. Carol Commodore is an independent consultant whose special interests center on leadership, assessment, motivation and learning. An educator for more than 30 years, she served as a classroom teacher, a department chair, an assistant superintendent, and an assessment coordinator. During her tenure as a district leader, she facilitated the establishment of new programs in the areas of foreign language and balanced assessment. Carol has coauthored two other books in the areas of assessment and leadership. Carol presents and consults for local, state, national, and international organizations across North America, Asia, and the Middle East.


Because the world is constantly evolving, school improvement alone is not enough to prepare students for success in the 21st century. Educators also need to be innovators who nurture a culture of both improvement and innovation.

Based on complexity theory, systems thinking, innovation theory and years of practical experience, Beyond School Improvement prepares school leaders to connect with the new science on change and provides skills, practices, and tools for creating and leading dynamic educational systems. The authors discuss four elements of change-dissonance, identity, information, and order-and define five essential practices for leaders, consisting of

Holding courageous conversations

Embracing dissonance

Creating context

Changing your field of vision

Letting ideas collide

Self-assessment activities, team conversation starters, stories, and examples support leaders as they balance improvement and innovation within themselves, their classrooms, and their organizations.

Michael H. Dickmann

"The authors are grounded educational leaders who have lived the approach to improvement and innovation that they write about. Filled with anecdotal examples, reflection exercises, and practical strategies, this is a very useful and timely resource for educators seeking to understand and influence educational innovation and transformation in the 21st century. "

Edie Holcomb

"The authors contrast improvement of existing practices with a more rigorous and creative push for innovation that introduces new and different practices and structures. In many situations, district and school improvement plans have evolved into the technical work of interpreting data about the past and present, studying research, and creating documents. This book stimulates leaders as they stretch their organization's culture to reveal mental models, consider external trends, and seek creative and energizing strategies that will prepare students for a future we cannot yet define."

Neil Mac Neill

"This book is aimed at school based leaders who what to move beyond micro-level tinkering. The authors arm adventurous school leaders to venture boldly into the challenging role of innovative paradigm shifts that have the potential to improve the school’s effectiveness exponentially.”

Sister - Camille Anne Campbell

“This is one of the most important works I have read in a number of years. The author describes the challenges educators face and gives a means to create the best schools ever. It holds the promise of unlocking the future of great schooling in our country. "

Gayle Wahlin

“This book should be read by all teacher leaders and administrators! It will cause you to rethink the way we are instructing our students today, in preparation for their tomorrow.”

Douglas Gordon Hesbol

"This book should be sent to leadership programs, organizational programs, boards of education after guidance from the superintendent, superintendents, district office personnel, principals, and all individuals in key leadership positions. Perhaps even to political leaders, especially in local communities.”

Sister Camille Anne Campbell

“This is one of the most important works I have read in a number of years. The author describes the challenges educators face and gives a means to create the best schools ever. It holds the promise of unlocking the future of great schooling in our country."

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