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Book Review                                      Online Exclusive

 

Finding, Preparing and

Supporting School Leaders 

Critical Issues, Useful Solutions  

 BookFindingPreparingandSupporting

edited by Sharon Conley and Bruce S. Cooper, Rowman & Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2011, 168 pp., $55 hardcover, $24.95 softcover

Sharon Conley, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Bruce Cooper, professor at Fordham Graduate School of Education, grouped the content of Finding, Preparing and Supporting School Leaders into three sequentially ordered themes: job training, personal aspirations and matching the job with its context.

The editors began their book with a review of Janet Mulvey and Cooper's 2009 work on the Six R's model that applies to careers in teaching and school leadership. The Six R's — recruiting, reviewing, responding, rewarding, renewing and retaining — forms the conceptual framework for retaining quality personnel.

The new book devotes a half dozen chapters to issues that educational leaders will confront in their careers. Chapter 2 integrates the policy, research and case studies of programs to specify recommendations for quality leader preparation. Chapter 3 broaches the key factors influencing novice teacher retention and the role principals play in selecting, inducting and developing a school's staff. Chapter 4 explores what leaders need to know about applying the talents of teachers who enter the profession after having worked outside of education.

Chapter 5 references quantitative methods to examine the role that isolation plays in new principals' sense of self-efficacy, along with the impact of stress factors such as ambiguity, role overload and emotions. Chapter 6 discusses moving into the superintendency and the key finding that assistants who reach their 50’s are much less likely to seek the top post, meaning that the preparation and training must start earlier if assistants are going to rise to the top positions.

Chapter 7 pays particular attention to the needs of school leaders and what we can learn from their experiences to prepare the next generation.

Reviewed by Leon T. Hobbs, president, Credentialed Leadership Consultants, Flowery Branch, Ga.

 

 

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