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Genuine School Leadership

Genuine School Leadership
Experience, Reflection, and Beliefs

June 2008 | 160 pages | Corwin

"I especially like the sections that address the educational leader as one who has a calling to serve. This is the first and only text that has adequately addressed why educational leaders do what they do!"
—Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Harrison Elementary School District #36, IL

Transform your leadership practice by incorporating values, ideals, and ethics!

How can an educational leader practice moral leadership and successfully engage teachers, students, and the surrounding community? In Genuine School Leadership, the authors explore the influence of personal values, experience, and beliefs on a leader's effectiveness. The book analyzes the scientific and sociological foundations of morality, examines current research on ethics, and explains how values develop within the context of educational leadership. With numerous examples, case studies, and exercises, this resource demonstrates how leaders can:

  • Analyze their leadership style through reflective practice
  • Use personal values to support authentic, moral leadership
  • Evaluate decisions based on the ethical norms of the surrounding community
  • Engage educators, students, and community members in developing a collective morality
  • Nurture schools and districts as values-based learning communities

This insightful resource provides all educators and school leaders with the necessary tools to develop a positive ethical and spiritual basis for their leadership practice and school culture.

About the Authors
1. Understanding Spirituality for Educational Leadership

The Purpose for Writing This Book

Chapter Objectives

The Milieu

Human Insights and Spirituality

The Perspective of Inquiry

The Question of God in Spirituality

Neuroscience Research and Spirituality

The Problem of Evil and Spirituality


Illustration: A Case of Personal Belief

Exercise: Too Religious or Not?

2. The Personal Context of Human Spirituality
Chapter Objectives

The Context

The Psychological Foundations of Spirituality

The Elements of a Personal Spirituality for Educational Leaders


Illustration: A Case of Personal Spirituality

Exercise: Self-Assessment of Psychological Dimensions

3. The Nature of Educational Leadership Spirituality
Chapter Objectives

The Educational Leadership Vocation

The Learning Community as a Conduit to Spiritual Leadership

Research as a Form of Spiritual Leadership


Illustration: A Case of Vocation and Dispositions

Exercise: Assessment, Communication, and Reflection

4. The Practice of Educational Leadership From a Spiritual Base
Chapter Objectives

The Rationale for Spiritual Leadership

The Spiritual Dimensions of Transcendental Leadership



Illustration: A Case of Leadership Spirituality

Exercise: Cultural Analysis Assessment

Appendix A: Research in Astronomy, Geology, and Physic and Human Spirituality
Appendix B: Psychological, Philosophical, and Religious Approaches to Good and Evil in the Human Condition
Annotated Bibliography

“Of the numerous education-related publications that I have read over the past 30 years, this is by far one of the most interesting and thought provoking. This book is a contribution to the field, especially for practicing, experienced school principals and superintendents who believe in faith regardless of one's particular denomination.”

Kenneth Arndt, Superintendent
Community Unit School District #300, IL

"I especially like the sections that address the educational leader as one who has a calling to serve. This is the first and only text that has adequately addressed why educational leaders do what they do!"

Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Harrison Elementary School District #36, IL

"A wonderful tool for educational leaders in strengthening the skills needed to survive. More important, the book helps to cultivate leaders' learning communities and develop an understanding at different levels of what it takes to elevate and create schools that are effective in meeting the needs of all who comprise that community."

Gerard Dery, Principal
Nessacus Regional Middle School, Dalton, MA

did not meet expectations

Mr Jim Bagniewski
School Of Education, Viterbo University
January 4, 2010
Key features
  • Reflective practice exercises are built into the book's format
  • Explores the ontological, neurological, and psychological foundations of leadership based on values, beliefs, and ethics
  • Provides an annotated bibliography and a significant number of references
  • Offers rich case studies and an abundance of examples

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1 excerpt

For instructors

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