1st Edition

Leading Holistically How Schools, Districts, and States Improve Systemically

Edited By Haim Shaked, Chen Schechter, Alan James Daly Copyright 2019
    266 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Leading Holistically explores systems thinking in educational leadership—a comprehensive framework that enables leaders to improve their practice by taking a holistic perspective, instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all solution to discrete aspects of their organization. Aiming to expand the existing literature on systems thinking in educational leadership and policy, renowned educational leadership scholars come together in this valuable book to examine systems thinking at the school, district, and state/national levels, providing strategies to guide educators toward success. This important book unpacks the complexity and nuances of systems thinking in educational leadership and policy, helping educators face the growing complexity, change, and diversity in education to realize the promise of improvement for all those connected to and involved in the important endeavor of education.


    Foreword – Michael Fullan


    Part I – Systems Thinking at the School Level

    Chapter 1: System Self-Regulation and Static Equilibria: How Socio-Cognitive Control Processes Regulate School Responses to External Reform – Ebony N. Bridwell-Mitchell

    Chapter 2: Systems Thinking to Drive School Turnaround – Sharon F. Rallis & Rachael B. Lawrence

    Chapter 3: Schools as Soft Systems: Addressing the Complexity of Ill-Defined Problems – Sharon D. Kruse

    Chapter 4: Principals' Systems Thinking: The Meaning and Measure of a Leadership Construct – Haim Shaked, Pascale Benoliel, Nechama Nadav, & Chen Schechter

    Part II – Systems Thinking at the District/Regional Level

    Chapter 5: Using Hierarchical Growth Modeling to Promote District Systematic Improvement in Ohio and Texas – Alex J. Bowers, Xinyu Ni, & Jennifer Esswein

    Chapter 6: Whole District Transformation: Leading Systems Change for Sustainability – Cynthia L. Uline & Lisa A.W. Kensler

    Chapter 7: ‘Holistic Engagement’: Framing Theory, Strategic Communication, and the Superintendency – James Coviello & David E. DeMatthews

    Chapter 8: System Leadership for Continuous Improvement: The Role of District-Level Leaders in Creating the Conditions for System-Wide Improvement – Christina J. Dixon & David Eddy-Spicer

    Part III – Systems Thinking at the State/National Level

    Chapter 9: The Impact of the "Social" in Social Media Space: A Systems Perspective on Educational Policy and Leadership – Alan J. Daly, Miguel del Fresno, & Jonathan A. Supovitz

    Chapter 10: Using the Systems thinking Approach in Educational Policy Setting: A Choice among Compromises – Adam Nir

    Chapter 11: School Turnaround Reform: Optimizing Confluence of Influence and Dynamic Disequilibrium – Andrea Rorrer, Vicki Park, Cori Groth, & Janice Bradley

    Chapter 12: Improving Schools in Victoria, Australia: System, Region and School Perspectives – David Gurr & Lawrie Drysdale

    Contributor Bios




    Haim Shaked is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Head of the Department of Education at Hemdat Hadarom College of Education, Netivot, Israel.

    Chen Schechter is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Educational Administration and Professor of Leadership, Organizational Development, and Policy in the School of Education at Bar Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

    Alan J. Daly is Chair and Professor of Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego, USA.

    "Leading Holistically is a one of a kind book. It provides a set of examples of what leading systemically looks like across the three levels of systems. It gives us 'applied system thinking in action'. It sets as new standard for systems theory. Above all it invites new applied scholarship using the power of systems thinking to understand and take actions that affect whole systems for the better. It presents a new and powerful friend into the neighborhood. It makes system thinking that much more accessible."
    From the Foreword by Michael Fullan, Global Leadership Director, New Pedagogies for Deep Learning

    "It is high time that a book that presents research on systems theory to practice be published.  We have books and articles that focus on practice at various levels of the larger educational system but there is no definitive book where the theory is used to guide and present research across the three levels of the education system—school, district, state/national. This book fills this gap."
    — George White, Iacocca Professor of Education, Lehigh University