Leading With Passion and Knowledge: The Principal as Action Researcher / Edition 1

Leading With Passion and Knowledge: The Principal as Action Researcher / Edition 1

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SAGE Publications
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Leading With Passion and Knowledge: The Principal as Action Researcher / Edition 1

"The most important work of the school leader is to promote profound levels of learning in students and faculty, but only principals who know how to promote their own learning on the job can foster the learning of others. Here's how!"

—Roland S. Barth, Founding Director Harvard Principals' Center

"Finally, a book for administrators that validates their role in the area of action research! All administrator preparation programs should use this book."

—Margarete Couture, Principal South Seneca Central School District, Interlaken, NY

Become the "head learner" in your school by engaging in action research!

While much has been written about the effectiveness of action research for improving the practice of teachers, few resources exist for leading principals through the process to strengthen their professional development and their role in school improvement efforts.

Best-selling and award-winning author Nancy Fichtman Dana guides principals in identifying and exploring areas of interest for research, including staff development, curriculum development, individual teachers, community/culture building, leadership skills, building management, and school performance. With a step-by-step approach, this resource:

• Helps principals develop a question, collect and analyze data, and share the results of their inquiry with school faculty, the district, and the broader education community

• Includes numerous examples of actual principal inquiry to illustrate each step of the research process

• Provides exercises to guide principals through their own inquiry projects

Use this proven method of professional development to continually cultivate your craft and improve school performance!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412967051
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 532,245
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Foreword Michael Fullan ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

About the Author xix

1 Administrator Inquiry Defined 1

What Is Administrator Inquiry? 2

How Is Administrator Inquiry or Action Research Different From Traditional Educational Research? 4

What Is the Relationship Between Administrator Inquiry and Principal Professional Growth? 9

What Are the Benefits of Engaging in Inquiry? 11

How Do I Find Time to Engage in Inquiry as a Principal? 15

What Are Some Contexts That Are Ripe for Principal Inquiry? 19

Chapter 1 Exercises 27

2 The Passions That Drive Your Journey: Finding a Wondering 29

Where Do I Find My Wonderings and Questions? 30

Some Cautionary Notes 64

Chapter 2 Exercises 69

3 The Road Map: Developing a Data Collection Plan 71

Data Collection Strategy 1: Quantitative Measures of Student Achievement (Standardized Test Scores, Assessment Measures, Grades) 72

Data Collection Strategy 2: Field Notes 74

Data Collection Strategy 3: Interviews 77

Data Collection Strategy 4: Documents/Artifacts/Student Work 84

Data Collection Strategy 5: Digital Pictures 84

Data Collection Strategy 6: Video 86

Data Collection Strategy 7: Reflective Journals and/or Weblogs 87

Data Collection Strategy 8: Surveys 89

Data Collection Strategy 9: Literature 93

When Do I Collect Data, and How Much Do I Collect? 95

Chapter 3 Exercises 98

4 The Navigation of Uncertain Terrain: Analyzing Data 105

Confront the Data Analysis Task 106

Take Control of the Data Analysis Task by Keeping It Simple 108

Follow Four Steps to Data Analysis 113

Have Colleagues Help in the Process118

An Illustration of the Data Analysis Process 123

Chapter 4 Exercises 132

5 The Travelogue: Sharing Your Work With Others 135

Why Is It Important to Share My Work With Others? 135

With Whom Do I Share My Work? 137

How Do I Share My Work? 141

What's Important to Share? 163

Chapter 5 Exercises 170

6 The Continuing Journey as "Head Learner": Assessing the Quality of Inquiry 171

Why Is It Important to Assess the Quality of My Work? 172

What Is the Difference Between Generalizability and Transferability? 173

How Do I Go About Assessing Practitioner Research Quality, and Why Is It So Difficult to Do? 176

What Are Some Quality Indicators for Practitioner Research? 179

What Are Some Ways of Enhancing Inquiry Quality? 184

Chapter 6 Exercises 187

References 195

Index 203

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