Book Review

Effective Communication for School Administrators

by Theodore J. Kowalski, George J. Petersen and Lance D. Fusarelli, Rowman & Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2007, 243 pp. with index, $34.95 softcover Many school administrators are reaching out to the local community to gather input concerning in difficult decisions that will have a major impact on the financial and educational outcomes of members of the community.

In their book, Effective Communication for School Administrators: A Necessity in an Information Age, Theodore J. Kowalski, George J. Petersen and Lance D. Fusarelli use their years of research and experience in educational leadership to lay out a foundation for a textbook on communications for administrators.

The book has two sections. The first part provides a basis for understanding communication related to school reform and public relations. The second part focuses on applications of relational communications with respect to: (1) making a school a learning organization; (2) practicing democratic leadership; (3) performing critical tasks such as visioning and planning; (4) managing conflict; (5) building positive relationships; and (6) working with school councils. Each chapter starts out with a story of situations that school administrators may find themselves in. The authors dissect the scenario by offering their insights on proper strategies based on sound communications research.

Each author is a chair of educational leadership at the university level. Over the years of educating hopeful administrators, they have seen some of their students stumble as they stepped into an administrative role because they failed to properly communicate. Effective Communication for School Administrators provides an opportunity for potential and current administrators to see the pitfalls of poor communication and the success of effective communication.

Reviewed by William A. Clark, superintendent, Milton Area School District, Milton, Pa.