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Caring School Leadership

Caring School Leadership

January 2020 | 192 pages | Corwin

Principles and possibilities to inform and inspire caring in your leadership practices!

Do you feel like something is missing in today’s schools? Do you feel student success is too focused on academic accountability, test scores, and college readiness? Recalibrate your leadership with the help of this book to promote the practice of caring which, with academic rigor, is essential to effective schooling.

Caring School Leadership is a research-based collection of ideas, principles, and values illustrated with numerous examples and stories that will inform, inspire, and guide you. Evaluate your current leadership practice and evolve to lead in the way to which you aspire. In addition to insights and lessons about caring from educators and human service professions like nursing and ministry, readers will be introduced to themes of

·         Caring in interpersonal relationships with students
·         Cultivating schools as caring environments
·         Fostering caring in families and communities

About the Authors
Introduction: Four Stories of Caring School Leadership

Giving and Taking the Chance


No One Graduates Alone

Chapter 1: Caring: The Heart of Caring School Leadership
A Case for Caring in Schools

What Do We Mean by Caring?

How Does Caring Work?

Cautionary Notes: Problems and Pitfalls of Caring

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 2: A Model of Caring School Leadership
Defining Caring School Leadership

A Model

Considerations for the Practice of Caring Leadership

Caring School Leadership and Educational Equity

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 3: Being Caring in Relationships with Students
Dynamics of Principal–Student Relationships

What Makes Student–Principal Relationships Caring?

Practices of Presence

Practices of Attentiveness and Inquiry

Interpersonal Communication With Students

Acting on Behalf of Students

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 4: Cultivating Schools as Caring Communities
The Meaning of Caring Community

Leadership as Cultivation

Approaches to Cultivating Caring and Community

Developing Capacity for Caring Community

Promoting Enabling Conditions

Engaging Parents and Caregivers

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 5: Fostering Caring in Families and Communities Beyond the School
Nature of the Work

Fostering Caring in Families

Fostering Caring in Communities

Insights From Community Organizing and Community Development

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Chapter 6: Developing Caring School Leadership
What Should Be Developed: A Review

Development Activities and Experiences

Learning From Experience

Avoiding the Problems and Pitfalls of Caring

Caring for Oneself

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Key features

This book will focus on caring and caring leadership at both interpersonal and organizational levels.  There have been very few treatments of caring as applied to school leadership.  Most attention has been paid to caring among teachers and students.  Moreover, most books in education on caring focus on the interpersonal dimensions of caring, the actions and interactions between the one caring and the one cared for.  While the interpersonal is very important in our conceptualization of caring school leadership, this book will argue that caring in leadership cannot be fully understood nor its benefits fully achieved without exploring caring organizationally and without examining the role of leadership in cultivating caring among others and promoting aspects of school organization conducive to caring.

This book is unlike many other books about school leadership practice.  Readers will not find in this book “to-do” lists or scripts.  Readers will not find compilations of strategies that are universally effective.  This book is an exposition of ideas, principles, and values illustrated with examples of how to make school leadership practice more caring.  We present caring school leadership as situational, dynamic, relational, and personal.  There is no “one size fits all” for caring leadership.  We eschew the notion of recipes, of telling readers specifically what to do.  Instead, we present principles and possibilities to inform and inspire.

A key feature of this book will be multiple vignettes of practice illustrating actions and interactions of caring and caring leadership in schools.  We have collected nearly 40 first-person stories recounting acts of caring and caring school leadership from practicing principals, assistant, and associate principals and teachers.  The authors will be collecting more of these stories as they prepare the final manuscript.  These stories include both “hits and misses”, that is, actions and interactions that achieve the aims of caring and those that fall short.


The authors will include summaries of arguments and take-away points at the end of each chapter.  These summaries will be accompanied by study/discussion questions that will aim to engage readers more deeply in the content of each chapter and challenge them to consider this content in relation to their own practice. 

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ISBN: 9781544320113