.Nameplate February 2013 Issue
Book Review                                     Online Exclusive

Educational Leadership

at 2050   

by Fenwick W. English, Rosemary Papa, Carol A. Mullen and Ted Creighton, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Md., 2012, 112 pp., $39.66 hardcover

Book Educational Leadership

Educational leaders must be proactive and prepare for the future not only at the school level but also at the professional preparation level. Authors Fenwick English, Rosemary Papa, Carol Mullen and Ted Creighton are highly respected professors of educational leadership who attempted to look into the future and determine what educational leadership will be like in the year 2050 and what professional preparation programs should look like to prepare these future leaders.

Educational Leadership at 2050: Conjectures, Challenges and Promises is packed with information about the current status of American education and how these current trends may manifest themselves in the future.

The authors conclude that future educational leaders must be “pedagogically centered as collegial, participatory and democratic in nature and … one that decenters hierarchy and blurs or bends superior subordinate relationships, creating new combinations of relationships that are more contextually sensitive to the work accomplished.”

The shift from management-focused preparation to pedagogically centered leadership will require a restructuring of current educational leadership programs, including the melding of the preparation programs with teacher preparation programs.

The barriers to shifting the current leadership preparation paradigm include the rigidity of current educational accreditation standards that restrict preparation programs to a set of predetermined standards, the current mindset of accountability, which focuses on individual accountability rather than team effort and the rigidity and silo effect that exist in schools of education. The social factors affecting current education also are discussed in depth.
Although the discussion of the possibilities and potential for the future of public school leadership is interesting, the beginning of the book, which examines the current status of public education in America, is a treasure trove of information and insight. The impact of “philanthrocalitalists,” resegregation, standardization, marketization, inequality and social injustice are discussed in a clear and concise manner.

While reading this book, I found myself marking almost every page and writing “key point” at the top of the page. The information presented gives a clear picture of the critical education policy issues in public education today and provides the reader with a wealth of information for future reference.

The book is only 112 pages, but it is not an easy read. There is just too much information to digest as a casual reader and requires a great deal of thought and reflection. This book would be very useful as a discussion focus for professors of educational leadership who want to prepare for the future and a great resource for superintendents who want their management team to understand the forces impacting public education today and then develop a cohesive vision for the future.

Reviewed by Paul M. Hewitt, assistant professor of educational leadership, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.


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