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Leadership, Capacity Building and School Improvement provides a fresh and original perspective on the most important issues confronting today’s practitioners and academics in the field of educational leadership. New and exciting concepts are introduced such as the research-engaged school of the future. While its theoretical and evidence-based approach raises to a robust level the discussion on the most important leadership challenges of the day, the book is at the same time intensely practical in addressing everyday issues faced by contemporary policy makers and school practitioners.

Underpinning the eleven chapters is a conceptual framework founded on the notion of leadership as capacity building, giving the book a coherence that many others on school leadership lack.

Among the themes actively discussed are:

  • Conceptualising and Contextualising Leadership – what is leadership? What distinguishes good from mediocre and poor leaders? What are the traits, dispositions and attributes that make for good leadership? How does context influence leadership? How appealing is leadership as a career? What are the components of capacity building leadership?
  • Contemporary Leadership Themes – what is learning-centred leadership and how can it best promote good teaching and student learning? How can leaders distribute leadership across the school, and what are the pitfalls? How can leaders capitalise on the notion of the school as a professional learning community? How can leaders best be nurtured and developed?
  • Policy, Leadership Practice and Impact – what new forms of leadership are presaged by the specialist schools policy as a means of school improvement? How can schools combine a focus on academic achievement with the need to prepare students for the changing twenty-first century workplace?

Leadership, Capacity Building and School Improvement provides an up-to-date authoritative, critical and insightful account of school leadership. It combines advocacy and argument with evidence-based practice drawn from the most plausible and robust sources.

This book will prove a valuable tool for those taking higher degrees in school leadership and management: school leaders on NPQH courses and school practitioners as a whole interested in interfacing with the latest empirical evidence and ideas, as well as academics teaching and researching in the area of educational leadership. Since the book adopts an international perspective, drawing its examples and evidence from both the Anglo-American and the Asian contexts, it will be found relevant to academics, policy makers and practitioners across these regions.

Clive Dimmock is Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Education in Singapore and Professor Emeritus at the University of Leicester, UK.

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