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Middle Leadership in Schools
Title: Middle Leadership in Schools: Ideas and Strategies for Navigating the Muddy Waters of Leading from the Middle
Authors: Elizabeth Benson (Editor), Patrick Duignan (Editor), Barbara Watterston (Editor)
Despite the growing importance of and policy attention paid to middle leaders in schools across the world, there is a lack of research and practical resources available for supporting the professional development of middle leaders. Based on research and consultations with influential school middle leaders, Middle Leadership in Schools presents ideas and actions designed specifically to stimulate and enhance educators leading from the middle, as a catalyst to enable them to do what they do with greater influence and impact.
Each chapter focuses on a challenge of leading from the middle, drawing from successful practice and case studies whilst providing contemporary research and practical strategies to guide middle leaders to success.
Offering a unique combination of academic rigour and practical advice, Middle Leadership in Schools is essential reading for teachers, current and aspiring middle leaders, school leaders, and postgraduate students studying educational leadership.
"Middle leadership in schools: Ideas and actions for navigating the muddy waters of middle leading" is a unique book in that it brings together practitioners, researchers, consultants, and administrators, to share their stories and ideas about middle leadership in schools. Thus, each chapter is both theoretically robust and pragmatically relevant. This is important because in each case the wisdom that is shared is reliable and relatable, and written in a style that is accessible to all. Middle leaders provide crucial leadership in schools - in and around classrooms where the purposes of education are enacted and fulfilled, so this is an important volume in that it provides needed professional learning for these key leaders. Furthermore, the chapters cover some of the fundamental practices of middle leadership, including the development and maintenance of trust, how to lead change and innovation through action research, and strategic thinking and planning. I commend the chapters in this book to school middle leaders, as important insights that can help you reflect upon, and develop, your own middle leading practices in your own educational site.
-- Peter Grootenboer, Professor of Education, Griffith University
Middle Leadership in Schools is a powerful guide that brilliantly illuminates the challenges and opportunities faced by middle leaders. With its diverse perspectives from across Australia, this book is an invaluable companion for anyone navigating the muddy waters of middle leading. I wish I had this treasure during my own middle leadership journey!
-- Lauren Sayer, Director Curriculum, Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority
This is a book for aspiring school middle leaders. It sets out the complexities of the role so that you will know what to expect.
It is valuable for current middle leaders. It illustrates the volatility of the job you're doing and help you understand why your job can be so tricky to carry out.
Senior leaders will benefit from reading it. It will assist you to unravel the challenges of getting the best from your organisation's middle layer.
The range of expertise on show makes this an easy to read yet thought provoking book. It bridges the gap between the regularly criticised "ivory tower" academic approach and purely anecdotal, bias laden non-generalisable accounts.
The structure is clear and ensures the reader thinks about the content. Guiding questions and reflective questions and tasks steer you though varying perspectives. Real-world experiences are supported and underpinned by academic citations. This is important when discussing crucial middle leader issues such as identity, trust and authenticity.
It is a book that has sought the opinion and critical appreciation of those doing this vital work in schools and robustly validated it. It works well.
It is an important addition to school middle leadership literature.
-- - Bill Lowe, Responsible for the design and delivery of Education Leadership in the Education MA at Newman University, Birmingham, UK. Author of Middle Leadership for 21st Century Schools. Crown House.
Middle level leadership is the engine room for positive change in a school. I have been privileged to work with Liz in the hard graft of positive school improvement from the middle and to learn from Barbara and Patrick's work over many years. I strongly recommend their thoughtful, expert and empathetic approach to bringing the best minds in middle leadership together in this essential book on building a thriving school and future for senior leadership.
-- - Karen Money, Regional Director, Victorian Department of Education
Number of Pages: 224
Published on: 5 February 2024
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