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Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative Leadership
Six Influences That Matter Most

Foreword by John Hattie, Afterword by Russell Quaglia, A Joint Publication With Learning Forward

August 2016 | 232 pages | Corwin

Get the fuel you need to drive collaborative leadership in your school!

What type of leadership do you practice? If your answer is transformational or instructional, you’re not alone. Many of us rely on these tenets. But there are better advantages in applying a holistic angle including all stakeholders—an approach known as collaborative leadership.


Peter DeWitt unpacks six leadership factors in Collaborative Leadership, all framed through the lens of John Hattie’s research. Adding insight, practical experiences, and vignettes, DeWitt paints a powerful scheme: meet stakeholders where they are, motivate stakeholders to strive for improvement, model how to do it. The meet, motivate, model blueprint will inspire you to

  • Transform your leadership practice
  • Identify where you can make immediate changes
  • Build and empower your leadership team
  • Incorporate all stakeholders into the conversation


Designed to shape collective teacher efficacy and foster teacher voice, Collaborative Leadership will leave you motivated to work together.

Check out a special podcast on Collaborative Leadership from Peter DeWitt.

Collaborative Leadership

What You Will Find in This Book

Why This Book?

About the Author
Chapter 1: What Do You Want to Be to Leadership?
What If You Could Be the Kind of Principal You Want to Be?

Motivating People to Be Their Best Every Day

What Is Collaborative Leadership?

Meet, Model, & Motivate

10 Critical Issues Facing Education

School Story—Many Hands Make Light Work

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 2: Instructional Leadership (.42)
What Do Instructional Leaders Do?

Collaborative Leadership: A Positive Effect on Learning

The Politics That Distract Us From Making Learning the Main Priority

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Flipping Our Focus to Learning

Student-Centered Leadership

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 3: Collective Teacher Efficacy (1.57)
To Be Effective, Teachers Need to Be Motivated

School Climate: The Plate Everything Lies On

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Enhance Communication to Promote Teacher Efficacy

Risk-Taking and Rule-Following: Finding the Balance

Within-School Variability

Fostering Teacher Voice to Increase Collaboration

Collective Teacher Efficacy

School Story—Teachers Need to Have a Voice, Too!

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 4: Assessment-Capable Learners (1.44)
Assessment-Capable Learners

Student Voice Needs to Come First

Inspiring Assessment-Capable Learning

Be More Than Visible

A Collaborative Leadership Mindframe

We Need Evidence to Collaborate Effectively

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 5: Professional Development (.51)
What Does Good Professional Development Look Like?

Flipped Faculty Meetings

Collaborative Leaders Debate, Dissect, and Discuss

The Core Business of Learning

School Story—Using Research to Engage All Stakeholders

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 6: Feedback (.75)
Feedback Is Complicated

Feedback to Move Learning Forward

One to Grow On

The Multiple Avenues of Effective Feedback

Teacher Observations: The Collaborative Approach

School Story—A New Collaboration

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 7: Family Engagement (.49)
Nurturing Family Engagement

Why Family Engagement Is Difficult

How We Communicate With Parents

Flipping Family Communications

The Partnership Approach

Branding Your School

School Story—Engaging Families at the High School Level

Meet, Model, & Motivate

Discussion Questions

Chapter 8—What Are Your Next Steps?
The Place to Start—Strengths

The Implementation Dip

Moving Forward by Discovering Your PLN

Don’t Negotiate or Regulate as Much as You Collaborate

Discussion Questions

Afterword—Russ Quaglia

"Collaborative Leadership brings together the essence of how leaders maximize impact. DeWitt unpacks Hattie’s six leadership keys, adds his own considerable insights and makes the whole phenomenon of efficacious leadership come alive with vignettes, and ‘meet, model, and motivate’ ideas in each chapter. Above all, he makes it personal. Be a better leader, he urges, and then shows the way."

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus
OISE/University of Toronto

"Peter DeWitt's brilliant book is by a proven leader for other leaders. It shows that collaborative leadership means more than distributing responsibilities, including others in decision-making, or managing data teams. Collaborative Leadership is about working or laboring together to accomplish extraordinary things. It is about defining directions as a community and also implementing them to best effect. DeWitt is a hugely accomplished writer, stellar blogger on social media, and the most humble leader you could meet. You will be unable to put this truly inspiring and deeply practical book down."

Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

Collaborative Leadership has confirmed a core truth in education:  We must create an educational learning community grounded in trust and responsibility, not testing and accountability. DeWitt has provided a framework to challenge our current thinking, make us reflect, and perhaps even become a little uncomfortable with current practices as school leaders. He has challenged us to have higher expectations of ourselves and those around us—to work collaboratively, simultaneously building trust and responsibility between all stakeholders striving to reach shared goals.

Russell Quaglia
Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations

"To most educators, leadership books have about as much impact as the leaves that cover my lawn each fall. But Peter DeWitt’s advice in Collaborative Leadership is of hardier stuff. Like the leaf that clings to the tree long after the winter has arrived, this book will stay in readers’ thoughts and affect their actions for many seasons to come. DeWitt delivers a strong message on how to begin this necessary work, where to focus, and most importantly how you grow as a leader."

Raymond J. McNulty, Dean, School of Education
Southern New Hampshire University

"As I read Collaborative Leadership: Six Influences That Matter Most, I kept being reminded of the great quote by the late business guru Peter Drucker, 'If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.' Peter DeWitt has hit the mark; he teaches all of us how to truly take a deeper dive into the important aspects of collaborative leadership and provides a new model and pathway to get us there through proven influencers. His personal leadership journey, stories from the field and practitioner's lens breathes life into the ideas."

Dr. Steve Constantino, Speaker, Leader and Author
Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles

"It is time we realized that the top-down model of leadership often guarantees failure in professional communities. Peter DeWitt offers us a way forward with a revolutionary new approach to leadership that recognizes that everyone’s brain is required for complex change—not just the brain of the “leader.” If you want to have an impact, you should study this book and put these ideas into practice as soon as you can."

Jim Knight, Author of Instructional Coaching and Director
Instructional Coaching Group

“This book is much more than about collaborative leadership. It feels collaborative for it has a generous and inclusive tone and is packed with the authentic voices and stories of students, parents, teachers, leaders and researchers. It provides a strong case for being collaborative and will inspire all who read it to reflect on their understanding of what it means to be a collaborative leader and on how they can increase their educational impact through greater collaboration.” 

Viviane Robinson, Academic Director and Distinguished Professor
University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership

"Peter DeWitt's comprehensive combination of Hattie's evidence, personal and practical experience, clear, useable frameworks and illuminating blogs and articles make the case for collaborative leadership a cause for immediate action."

Shirley Clarke, independent education consultant and Associate
University College London Institute of Education

"In this compelling book on leadership, Peter DeWitt tackles comprehensive and convincing reasons for the need to be collaborative. He accompanies his reasons with recommendations that guide. Supported by valued research and accompanied by stories from leaders in the field, DeWitt pulls no punches. He shares, with honest reflection, his own experiences as he grew as a leader, writer, and professional developer. The stories and the research combine to deliver a book that informs and guides. It is the kind of book one keeps close after reading, a go-to as the reader develops themselves as a collaborative leader for this century."

Jill Berkowicz, Corwin Author & Education Week Blogger, Co-Author
The STEM Shift

"Peter DeWitt's excellent book Collaborative Leadership builds bridges from evidence to practice, providing a wealth of ideas for developing a collaborative vision, strategy and frameworks for action. DeWitt presents real insight into the potential benefits of collaborative leadership, and this book should surely encourage its adoption. It might also encourage all educators to see the value of evidence based practice and to consider how we might gather, compare and act on our own evidence to improve student experience."

Gavin Dykes, Co-Founder and Chair
Education Fast Forward, London

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

Peter M. DeWitt

Peter DeWitt (Ed.D) is the founder and CEO of the Instructional Leadership Collective. He was a K-5 teacher for 11 years and a principal for 8 years. For the last 10 years, he has been facilitating professional learning nationally, and internationally, based on the content of many of his best-selling educational books.    DeWitt's professional learning relationships are a monthly hybrid approach that includes both coaching and the facilitating workshops on instructional leadership and collective efficacy.  Additionally, in the Summer of 2021, DeWitt created a year long on-demand, asynchronous coaching course through... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781506337111