The School Principal : Visionary Leadership and Competent Management book cover
1st Edition

The School Principal
Visionary Leadership and Competent Management

ISBN 9780415806237
Published June 8, 2010 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

Over the past two decades, efforts to improve schools have significantly modified role expectations for principals. Today, school-level administrators are expected to be both visionary leaders and competent managers. Based on the conviction that administration is an amalgam of leadership and management, The School Principal emphasizes the need for practitioners to apply conceptual skills to make "what to do" decisions, to apply technical skills to make "how to do" decisions, and to apply relational skills to engage in democratic decision making.

Kowalski frames the book with a discussion of the nature of schools, the roles of principals, and their need to improve schools. The book then provides a balanced treatment of leadership and management, covering issues of personal behavior, instructional leadership, relationship building issues, finances, facilities, personnel management, pupil services, and maintaining safe schools. The text closes with discussion of the vital aspects of practice for contemporary principals, addressing problem solving, collaborative change strategies, and personal commitment to being a principal.

Special Features:

  • Vignettes introduce the subject matter in the context of common challenges faced by practitioners.

  • Knowledge-Based Questions and Skill-Based Activities prompt readers to engage with and reflect on the chapter content.

  • The School Principal aligns with the Educational Leadership Consortium Council (ELCC) Standards.

Treating principals as concurrently visionary leaders and competent managers, this excellent text addresses the needs of aspiring and practicing principals, providing the tools to build effective and efficient schools.

Table of Contents

Part One: Schools and Principals

1. Complex Nature of Schools

2. Principal Roles and Responsibilities

3. Effective Schools for All Students

Part Two: Leadership Expectations

4. Principal Behavior and Instructional Leadership

5. Organizing and Evaluating Instructional Programs

6. Building and Maintaining Relationships

Part Three: Managerial Responsibilities

7. Managing Material Resources

8. Managing Human Resources

9. Managing Pupil Services

10. Providing a Safe School Environment

Part Four: Vital Aspects of Practice

11. Problem Solving and Decision Making

12. Collaborative Efforts for School Improvement

13. Commitment to Being a School Administrator

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Theodore J. Kowalski is the Kuntz Family Chair and Professor in Educational Administration, University of Dayton.


"An outstanding contribution to principal preparation! Written by a thoughtful scholar with extensive school leadership experience, The School Principal highlights the complex roles, responsibilities, expectations, and demands faced by principals."
--Lance D. Fusarelli, Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, North Carolina State University

"Kowalski has succinctly comingled theory with practice for all facets of the principalship with an emphasis on recent school reform efforts. The School Principal is an informative read for aspiring and practicing school principals and is especially suited as a required textbook for the principalship course."
-- I. Phillip Young, Professor of Educational Leadership, University of California, Davis