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Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership
Six Influences That Matter Most

Afterword by Russell Quaglia, A Joint Publication With Learning Forward, Foreword by John Hattie

September 2016 | 232 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with Learning Forward

Get the fuel you need to drive collaborative leadership in your school!

What type of leadership do you practice? If your answer is transformational or instructional, you’re not alone. Many of us rely on these tenets. But there are better advantages in applying a holistic angle including all stakeholders—an approach known as collaborative leadership.


Peter DeWitt unpacks six leadership factors in Collaborative Leadership, all framed through the lens of John Hattie’s research. Adding insight, practical experiences, and vignettes, DeWitt paints a powerful scheme: meet stakeholders where they are, motivate stakeholders to strive for improvement, model how to do it. The meet, motivate, model blueprint will inspire you to

  • Transform your leadership practice
  • Identify where you can make immediate changes
  • Build and empower your leadership team
  • Incorporate all stakeholders into the conversation


Designed to shape collective teacher efficacy and foster teacher voice, Collaborative Leadership will leave you motivated to work together.

Check out a special podcast on Collaborative Leadership from Peter DeWitt.

Collaborative Leadership  
What You Will Find in This Book  
Why This Book?  
About the Author
Chapter 1: What Do You Want to Be to Leadership?
What If You Could Be the Kind of Principal You Want to Be?  
Motivating People to Be Their Best Every Day  
What Is Collaborative Leadership?  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
10 Critical Issues Facing Education  
School Story—Many Hands Make Light Work  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 2: Instructional Leadership (.42)
What Do Instructional Leaders Do?  
Collaborative Leadership: A Positive Effect on Learning  
The Politics That Distract Us From Making Learning the Main Priority  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Flipping Our Focus to Learning  
Student-Centered Leadership  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 3: Collective Teacher Efficacy (1.57)
To Be Effective, Teachers Need to Be Motivated  
School Climate: The Plate Everything Lies On  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Enhance Communication to Promote Teacher Efficacy  
Risk-Taking and Rule-Following: Finding the Balance  
Within-School Variability  
Fostering Teacher Voice to Increase Collaboration  
Collective Teacher Efficacy  
School Story—Teachers Need to Have a Voice, Too!  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 4: Assessment-Capable Learners (1.44)
Assessment-Capable Learners  
Student Voice Needs to Come First  
Inspiring Assessment-Capable Learning  
Be More Than Visible  
A Collaborative Leadership Mindframe  
We Need Evidence to Collaborate Effectively  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 5: Professional Development (.51)
What Does Good Professional Development Look Like?  
Flipped Faculty Meetings  
Collaborative Leaders Debate, Dissect, and Discuss  
The Core Business of Learning  
School Story—Using Research to Engage All Stakeholders  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 6: Feedback (.75)
Feedback Is Complicated  
Feedback to Move Learning Forward  
One to Grow On  
The Multiple Avenues of Effective Feedback  
Teacher Observations: The Collaborative Approach  
School Story—A New Collaboration  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 7: Family Engagement (.49)
Nurturing Family Engagement  
Why Family Engagement Is Difficult  
How We Communicate With Parents  
Flipping Family Communications  
The Partnership Approach  
Branding Your School  
School Story—Engaging Families at the High School Level  
Meet, Model, & Motivate  
Discussion Questions  
Chapter 8—What Are Your Next Steps?
The Place to Start—Strengths  
The Implementation Dip  
Moving Forward by Discovering Your PLN  
Don’t Negotiate or Regulate as Much as You Collaborate  
Discussion Questions  
Afterword—Russ Quaglia

"Collaborative Leadership brings together the essence of how leaders maximize impact. DeWitt unpacks Hattie’s six leadership keys, adds his own considerable insights and makes the whole phenomenon of efficacious leadership come alive with vignettes, and ‘meet, model, and motivate’ ideas in each chapter. Above all, he makes it personal. Be a better leader, he urges, and then shows the way."

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
OISE/University of Toronto

"Peter DeWitt's brilliant book is by a proven leader for other leaders. It shows that collaborative leadership means more than distributing responsibilities, including others in decision-making, or managing data teams. Collaborative Leadership is about working or laboring together to accomplish extraordinary things. It is about defining directions as a community and also implementing them to best effect. DeWitt is a hugely accomplished writer, stellar blogger on social media, and the most humble leader you could meet. You will be unable to put this truly inspiring and deeply practical book down."

Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

Collaborative Leadership has confirmed a core truth in education:  We must create an educational learning community grounded in trust and responsibility, not testing and accountability. DeWitt has provided a framework to challenge our current thinking, make us reflect, and perhaps even become a little uncomfortable with current practices as school leaders. He has challenged us to have higher expectations of ourselves and those around us—to work collaboratively, simultaneously building trust and responsibility between all stakeholders striving to reach shared goals.

Russell Quaglia
Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations

"To most educators, leadership books have about as much impact as the leaves that cover my lawn each fall. But Peter DeWitt’s advice in Collaborative Leadership is of hardier stuff. Like the leaf that clings to the tree long after the winter has arrived, this book will stay in readers’ thoughts and affect their actions for many seasons to come. DeWitt delivers a strong message on how to begin this necessary work, where to focus, and most importantly how you grow as a leader."

Raymond J. McNulty, Dean, School of Education
Southern New Hampshire University

"As I read Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences That Matter Most, I kept being reminded of the great quote by the late business guru Peter Drucker, 'If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.' Peter DeWitt has hit the mark; he teaches all of us how to truly take a deeper dive into the important aspects of collaborative leadership and provides a new model and pathway to get us there through proven influencers. His personal leadership journey, stories from the field and practitioner's lens breathes life into the ideas."

Dr. Steve Constantino, Speaker, Leader and Author
Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles

"It is time we realized that the top-down model of leadership often guarantees failure in professional communities. Peter DeWitt offers us a way forward with a revolutionary new approach to leadership that recognizes that everyone’s brain is required for complex change—not just the brain of the “leader.” If you want to have an impact, you should study this book and put these ideas into practice as soon as you can."

Jim Knight, Author of Instructional Coaching and Director
Instructional Coaching Group

“This book is much more than about collaborative leadership. It feels collaborative for it has a generous and inclusive tone and is packed with the authentic voices and stories of students, parents, teachers, leaders and researchers. It provides a strong case for being collaborative and will inspire all who read it to reflect on their understanding of what it means to be a collaborative leader and on how they can increase their educational impact through greater collaboration.” 

Viviane Robinson, Academic Director and Distinguished Professor
University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership

"Peter DeWitt's comprehensive combination of Hattie's evidence, personal and practical experience, clear, useable frameworks and illuminating blogs and articles make the case for collaborative leadership a cause for immediate action."

Shirley Clarke, independent education consultant and Associate
University College London Institute of Education

"In this compelling book on leadership, Peter DeWitt tackles comprehensive and convincing reasons for the need to be collaborative. He accompanies his reasons with recommendations that guide. Supported by valued research and accompanied by stories from leaders in the field, DeWitt pulls no punches. He shares, with honest reflection, his own experiences as he grew as a leader, writer, and professional developer. The stories and the research combine to deliver a book that informs and guides. It is the kind of book one keeps close after reading, a go-to as the reader develops themselves as a collaborative leader for this century."

Jill Berkowicz, Corwin Author & Education Week Blogger, Co-Author
The STEM Shift

"Peter DeWitt's excellent book Collaborative Leadership builds bridges from evidence to practice, providing a wealth of ideas for developing a collaborative vision, strategy and frameworks for action. DeWitt presents real insight into the potential benefits of collaborative leadership, and this book should surely encourage its adoption. It might also encourage all educators to see the value of evidence based practice and to consider how we might gather, compare and act on our own evidence to improve student experience."

Gavin Dykes, Co-Founder and Chair
Education Fast Forward, London

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ISBN: 9781506337111