How can we prepare practicing and aspiring education leaders for the complex, adaptive challenges they face? In Helping Educators Grow, Eleanor Drago-Severson presents a new approach to leadership development.
Too often, she argues, we teach leadership development the same way we teach world history: just the facts. Instead, we need to create professional learning environments that invite educational leaders to experience the conditions that support adult growth, even as they are learning about them.
The book takes as its starting point the premise that adult development is leadership development—that is, the task of school leaders is to develop the capacities of adults as well as students. Drawing on the principles of constructive-developmental theory, Drago-Severson offers a framework for conceptualizing growth based on the core elements of care, respect, trust, collaboration, and intentionality. Richly informed by examples of effective, developmentally oriented learning experiences for aspiring and practicing leaders, the book includes application exercises and reflective questions to help readers engage with the ideas presented.
Widely respected for her groundbreaking work in adult development, leadership, and capacity building in learning communities, Drago-Severson provides the tools and concepts to make any professional learning initiative a developmental opportunity for individuals and groups in a variety of contexts: university-based seminars, professional development workshops, professional learning communities, or peer-to-peer networks.
Understanding and growing internal capacities—cognitive, emotional, self-to-self, and self-to-others—is central to the growth and development of education leaders, wherever they are in their careers. Drago-Severson deftly interweaves theory and practice to help individuals develop these capacities and become more effective and engaging leaders. By investing in our leaders and their development, we improve the learning experiences for all who enter our schools. — Ed Dieterle, senior program officer for research, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Drago-Severson maintains that for schools to be places of academic excellence for students, they must first be places of academic excellence for educators. This book is a blueprint for improving the talents and capacities of our teachers and school leaders—the key to improving outcomes for children. — Deanna Burney, executive director, Leading by Learning, LLC
This book speaks so thoughtfully to the myriad ways in which school leaders may become active makers of their school communities. It takes very seriously the art and craft of adult development by offering practical strategies and approaches to building educational communities filled with possibility, deep learning, and hope. — Richard Ackerman, professor of educational leadership, University of Maine, College of Education and Human Development, and facilitator, Center for Courage and Renewal