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The School Leader's Guide to Learner-Centered Education

The School Leader's Guide to Learner-Centered Education
From Complexity to Simplicity

Edited by:

August 2008 | 288 pages | Corwin
In the context of the current accountability and testing era, many school leaders have become fearful and feel disenfranchised. Their knowledge and experience are not being validated, and often they are forced to engage in practices that go contrary to what they know will provide a positive school climate and culture for their staff and students. This book will introduce a model of leadership as part of a transformation process arising from a learner-centered system. Among the issues considered by educational leaders as the most pressing are:the relationship between moral leadership and school change (based on an ethic of responsibility for preparing all learners to function in a global worlddiversity: the role of school leaders to promote success for all marginalized groups of studentspersonalizing learning and authentically engaging students to make school more effective for all learnersincorporating learning standards and high expectations without sacrificing the personal and authentic engagement with studentsThis book addresses each of these concerns from the perspective of learner-centered systems, in which leaders distribute leadership among key constituents in the educational systemùstudents, teachers, other school staff, parents, community membersùand empower them to engage in a lifelong learning process of continuous growth and improvement.áIt also provides a detailed and comprehensive treatment of LCP, as well as helpful exercises and tools that can be applied to practice.
About the Authors
1. Why This Is a Time for Change
Why Read This Book?

Schools as Living Systems

What Does "Learner-Centered" Mean?

How This Book Is Organized

How Do You Like to Learn?

2. What We Know About Learning and Leading
What Kind of Learner and Leader Are You?

What Does Existing Evidence Say About Leadership?

The "Big Picture" View: An Ecology of Learning Model

What It Means to Be Learner-Centered

A Learner-Centered Educational Model

What Are the New Notions of Schooling as Part of Living Systems?


What's Next

3. What the Learner-Centered Model Means for Practice
What It Means to Be a Learner-Centered Leader

What the Research Shows About the Effectiveness of Learner-Centered Models

How the Learner-Centered Principles Translate Into Practice at the School Level

Implications for Leadership and Building Communities of Learners


What's Next

4. The Tools Needed for the Journey
Tools for the Journey Within

Tools for a School-Level Assessment System and Leadership Process

Implications of Implementing Learner-Centered Leadership Tools

Tools for Answering the Truly Important Questions

Self-Assessment and Reflection Tools to Chart the Journey


What's Next

5. What Learner-Centered Assessment Tools Can Accomplish
What Is Expected of Our Educational System?

How School Leaders Can Provide What Is Wanted

The Big Issues Facing Today's School Leaders

The Leader's New Role in Staff Development

Background and Supporting Research for the Assessment of Learner-Centered Practices Surveys

Experiencing the School-Level Assessment of Learner-Centered Practices Survey for Yourself


What's Next

6. How We Can Move Toward New Student and System Outcomes
Understanding What Is and What Could Be

Aligning the New Vision With Existing Realities

Dealing With Current System Inequities in New Systems Designs

The Learning Partnerships and Networks That We Need

The Learning Partnerships You Will Need


What's Next

7. How We Develop Leadership Qualities From Within
New Ideas From Brain Research

Preparing for the Future

Other Characteristics of the Needed Framework

Further Leadership Challenges in Creating Learner-Centered Models

What It Means to Develop Capacity From Within

A Summary: Moving From Complexity to Simplicity




Introduction to Summary Chapter

Introduction to Additional Resources

8. Summary of Major Points in Each Chapter
Chapter 1: Why This Is a Time For Change

Chapter 2: What We Know About Learning and Leading

Chapter 3: What the Learner-Centered Model Means for Practice

Chapter 4: The Tools Needed for the Journey

Chapter 5: What the Learner-Centered Assessment Tools Can Accomplish

Chapter 6: How We Can Move Toward New Student and System Outcomes

Chapter 7: How We Can Develop Leadership Qualities From Within

Glossary of Learner-Centered Terms

"This book is for any school that promotes book studies for professional development or that is looking for ways to reach the student in a personal manner."

Jean L. Krsak, Faculty, CalStateTEACH
California State University, Fullerton

“The time is right and the need is profound for learner-centered practices in schools. McCombs and Miller describe the tools available and how a school can use them to make substantial changes that increase student performance.”

Jean W. Pierce, Professor of Educational Psychology
Northern Illinois University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Barbara L. McCombs

Barbara L. McCombs directs the Human Motivation, Learning, and Development Center at the University of Denver. The center focuses on the professional development of educators, personal and organizational change, systemic educational reform, and school violence prevention. McCombs’ current research is directed at new leadership models for redesigning outdated views of schooling and learning. This research has led to her international and national recognition in areas that include transformational teacher development approaches, motivating hard-to-reach students, and the use of technology as a primary tool for empowering youth and... More About Author

Lynda Miller

Lynda Miller began her professional career as a junior high school English teacher in Westminster, Colorado. Her interest in language and cognitive development led her to graduate studies, which culminated in a PhD in language development and disorders and learning disabilities. She has held teaching positions at the University of Colorado, the University of Montana, and the University of Texas at Austin, where she pursued her research on cognition, learning styles, and intelligence. Her research and teaching focused on identifying and describing students’ learning strengths and abilities, and on translating that information into... More About Author

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