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Book Review                                                   Page 40

 

Leading for Instructional

Improvement

 How Successful Leaders Develop Teaching and Learning Expertise

by Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif., 2011, 271 pp. with index, $30 softcover

 Book_LeadingInstruction

In Leading for Instructional Improvement, authors Stephen Fink and Anneke Markholt have written a book that clearly defines what instructional leadership is and offers ways for leaders to improve their skills.

The authors draw on their research from the Center for Educational Leadership, an affiliate of the College of Education at the University of Washington, where both are directors and professors.

The book offers sample classroom observations to explain the techniques that administrators can use to analyze the teaching strategies they witness. It then suggests how to translate the observations into feedback for the teachers, all according to the center’s research findings.

The authors also discuss the need for administrators and teachers to develop a shared vision of instruction.

Once teachers and leaders are working toward the same objective, leaders need to participate in professional development activities along with their teachers and work as coaches and colleagues to improve the educational experience. The authors also suggest the importance of principals knowing their teachers as learners in order to guide, support and nurture teacher learning that will lead to student improvement.

This is an excellent book for any administrators who evaluate teachers. The techniques emphasize thinking reflectively and questioning classroom instruction practices. The authors remind us that classroom observations are not meant to be confrontational, but rather used as a means of improving individual methods.

Reviewed by Edythe Austermuhl, superintendent, Deerfield Township School, Rosenhayn, N.J.

 

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