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Building Trust for Better Schools
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Building Trust for Better Schools
Research-Based Practices

  • Julie Reed Kochanek - American Institutes for Research, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

April 2005 | 144 pages | Corwin
"While trust has been shown as a key mechanism for facilitating school improvement, how that can be accomplished is not altogether clear. In this excellent book, Kochanek, through in-depth case studies and sophisticated quantitative analyses of data from a large urban school system, convincingly demonstrates how principal leadership can promote and sustain trust among administrators, teachers, and parents."
-Barbara Schneider, Professor of Sociology
University of Chicago

"Kochanek's book not only clearly explains the theoretical underpinnings of trust development in schools, but also provides rich case studies that explore this theory in action."
-Carmen Manning, Assistant Professor of English Education
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Why is trust in schools so important? What does trust mean to a school's productivity?

Relationships between principals, teachers, and parents cannot be ignored when attempting school reform. No matter how innovative the changes or ideas, reform is unlikely to succeed unless the adults work together to implement it. Building Trust for Better Schools answers the question of how to build trust within the school community.

Parents are dependent on teachers to educate their children. Teachers are dependent on principals to create school conditions that are conducive to helping children learn. This excellent new resource identifies links between the growth of trust and positive organizational outcomes that benefit school improvement efforts.

But how do we build trust? Kochanek offers an innovative process model of trust building. Increased trust in schools:

  • Fosters participation among faculty in school reform efforts
  • Creates a greater openness to innovation among teachers
  • Increases outreach to parents
  • Produces even higher academic productivity in schools
There is a need for efficient sharing of information in schools across role relationships. This can be done with the building of trust between principals, teachers, and parents as they work together toward a common goal!

Anthony S. Bryk
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Introduction: Making a Case for Trust
Why Is Trust in Schools So Important?

 
Efficient Schools as Network Organizations

 
How Is Trust Defined in Schools?

 
What Do We Know About Building Trust?

 
Summary

 
 
2. Trust Building as a Developmental Process
Setting the Stage for Positive Interactions

 
Fostering Low-Risk Exchanges

 
Creating Opportunities for High-Risk Interactions

 
Illustrating a Model With Case Studies

 
 
3. MacNeil Elementary School: Improving a High-Trust School
The Principal in the Office

 
New Leadership: The People's Principal

 
Refining Relationships for Higher Levels of Trust

 
Summary

 
 
4. Mills Elementary School: Starting From a Lack of Trust
A School in Conflict

 
A Principal Under Siege

 
Developing Relationships From the Lowest Levels of Trust

 
Summary

 
 
5. Cole Magnet Elementary School: Coming Back to Trust
A Temporary Intrusion

 
Returning to Normal: The Maintenance Principal

 
Shared Governance, Facilitated Relationships, and a Lack of Direction

 
Summary

 
 
6. An Examination of Trust Building Through Quantitative Analyses
How Does a Low Base State of Trust Affect the Effectiveness of Trust-Building Strategies?

 
In Schools With Growing Parent-Teacher Trust, How Does Parent Involvement Vary With the Economic Level of the Parents?

 
How Important Is a Buffer Between Teachers and Parents in Schools Where Parental Involvement Is Strong?

 
Does the Growth of Teacher-Principal Trust Lead to a Growth in Teacher-Teacher Trust?

 
Summary

 
 
7. Implementing Trust-Building Strategies in Your School
Which Strategies Are Effective in Building Trust?

 
Conclusion

 
 
Resource A: CCSR Relational Trust Measures
 
Resource B: Measures of Key Concepts of Trust Building
 
References
 
Index

"While trust has been shown as a key mechanism for facilitating school improvement, how that can be accomplished is not altogether clear. In this excellent book, Kochanek, through in-depth case studies and sophisticated quantitative analyses of data from a large urban school system, convincingly demonstrates how principal leadership can promote and sustain trust among administrators, teachers, and parents."
-Barbara Schneider, Professor of Sociology
University of Chicago

Barbara Schneider, Professor of Sociology
University of Chicago

"Kochanek's book not only clearly explains the theoretical underpinnings of trust development in schools, but also provides rich case studies which explore this theory in action."
-Carmen Manning, Assistant Professor, English Education
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Carmen Manning, Assistant Professor, English Education
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Key features

 

  • Case studies to exemplify trust-building in schools
  • Implementation strategies for school leaders and their staff
  • Builds on recent research tying relational trust to school improvement

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