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Conversations With Principals

Conversations With Principals
Issues, Values, and Politics

March 2006 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The book orients and prepares aspiring and practicing administrators to be more effective in dealing with real and practical issues and problems in schools. It is a succinct, problem focused, oral history of issues articulated by newly hired and experience administrators as they consider their decisions. It reflects the honest introspections of practicing administrators, and is unique and original in its approach. It both reinforces existing knowledge and introduces new ideas and insights. Paramount to the information conveyed is the style in which it is presented. By examining leadership issues through the actual words of school leaders, Conversations with Principals distinguishes itself from other leadership material. The text lends itself to a Socratic style of teaching, making it is easy to discuss the issues and themes presented in an open-ended format whereby students exchange ideas and engage in the activities of questioning and analyzing administrative behavior and action. Each oral account is prefaced by contextualizing information about the school leader and the demographics of his or her school. Following each interview there is an analysis of the case, as well as a section with questions and activities for students to complete.
The Role of the Principal

Connecting the Principal to the Reader

How the Principal Interviews were formulated

Organization of the Book

Connecting Across Interviews

Matrix of Principal Interviews

Chapter 1: Changing the School Culture
Chapter 2: Personal and Professional Belief Systems
Chapter 3: Maintaining Stability and History
Chapter 4: Social Exchange and Power
Chapter 5: The Lens of Decision-Making
Chapter 6: Leadership Focus and Planning
Chapter 7: Evaluation and the Political Arena
Chapter 8: Students in Transition
Chapter 9: Perceptions and Assumptions
Chapter 10: Addressing Organizational and Personal Needs
Chapter 11: Group Dynamics and Multi-Nationalism
Chapter 12: A Principal’s Approach to NCLB
Chapter 13: A Superintendent’s Perspective on NCLB
Readings and Resources


“This book meets a need faced by school leader preparation programs—that of bringing reality to abstract concepts. . . . This book will work well as a springboard for discussion with students.” 

Brenda LeTendre
Pittsburg State University, Kansas

"Books on educational leadership are often detached from the practicalities of managing a school. This cannot be said of Dubin's new volume. The many years Dubin spent as an administrator and professor are evident in the insightful and probing questions he poses. This volume will make an outstanding addition to the libraries of scholars interested in the vital role principals play in educational reform, and it will prove to be an invaluable teaching resource in the training of principals."

A. Cooley
Limestone College

"The preparation of educational leaders is a daunting yet crucial undertaking. This synthesis of a few of the principal interviews conducted and analyzed in Conversations with Principals: Issues, Values and Politics provides an enlightening window into their professional experiences, lives and decision-making approaches. These conversations connect and, almost through osmosis, mentor the aspiring educational leaders to understand the demands, complexity and impact of school leadership. Through these principals’ ‘inner voices,’ candidates can become more sensitized and prepared to assume decision-making roles in our K-12 schools."

Educational Leadership and Administration: Teaching and Program Development
The Annual Journal of the California Associaion of Professors of Educational Administration

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

chapter 2

chapter 3

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412916363
ISBN: 9781412916356

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