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Thursday, February 14, 2013

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New Book by ODU's Owings Offers Advice to Principals on Reshaping School Culture

There's an invisible thread woven through every school that defines everything from dress codes to student success - school culture - and reshaping it yields highly visible improvements for teachers and students.

In their new book, "Culture Re-Boot: Reinvigorating School Culture to Improve Student Outcomes," Leslie Kaplan and William Owings guide principals and teams in improving leadership, teaching, learning, competence and trust throughout the school.

Drawing on the authors' combined 60-plus years in education, the book reviews the research, provides the means to assess, and presents activities and timelines involving the school leadership team in "rebooting" a school's culture.

This is the 13th book or monograph written together by Owings, professor of educational leadership at Old Dominion, and Kaplan, a retired school administrator and currently a full-time education writer.

Published by Sage, "Culture Re-Boot" reframes school culture to include organizational learning, relational trust, accountability, program improvement and teacher effectiveness while showing how to:

• Be the transformational leader the school needs to reinvigorate school culture

• Establish a student-centered learning culture focused on student outcomes

• Engage teachers in culture-focused leadership teams that support teacher and student learning

• Get parents and community on board to collaborate for student achievement

• Connect professional development and school culture for maximum results.

Packed with hands-on culture re-boot activities to help school leaders and faculty revitalize their school's values and practices, this practical handbook for school improvement promises to help energize any school's culture and build the capacity to help all students succeed.

Michael Fullan, the author of "Motion Leadership," states, "Ever since Seymour Sarason wrote his seminal book on 'The Culture of Schools and the Problem of Change,' we have known that 'culture' is at the heart of all organizational performance. But reformers keep forgetting this key fact. Kaplan and Owings' book changes all that. Now in one place you can find everything you need to know to 're-boot' you own school's culture."

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