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The School Leader's Guide to Understanding Attitude and Influencing Behavior

The School Leader's Guide to Understanding Attitude and Influencing Behavior
Working With Teachers, Parents, Students, and the Community

November 2004 | 160 pages | Corwin
School leaders constantly face situations where they must understand the values, attitudes, and beliefs that a person or group brings to a given situation. Often these attitudes are based on faulty information or misguided beliefs, and, if left unchecked, can have serious consequences. This book will help educators to understand the how and why behind people's decisions, and to use this information to change attitudes and influence the behaviour of teachers, school staff, parents, and other members of their community.

This model has been used successfully in business, healthcare, social policy, and politics for years, but is only just beginning to be applied to education. By using this model, school leaders can make more effective, data-driven decisions.

Some examples of how model can be applied to education include:

- Teachers integrating technology in the classroom

- Parents monitoring their children's homework

- Formulating school policy

- Teacher retention

Educational leaders at LEA and school level, including advisors and SMT members will find this a invaluable tool for decision making and working with other school staff. Governors and other community members will find the information useful as well. In addition, this book is suitable for postgraduate students of educational leadership.

About the Authors
Part I: A Useful Model for Changing School Behavior
1. How Are Attitudes and Behaviors Formed?
2. How Are Attitudes Toward People Formed and Changed?
3. How Are Attitudes Toward Behaviors Formed and Changed?
4. How Is Perceived Social Pressure Formed and Changed?
5. Putting it All Together: The Model as a Whole
Part II: Conducting Your Study
6. Narrowing Your Interest
7. Collecting Your Data
Part III: Understanding and Applying Your Results
8. Analyzing and Reporting Your Results
9. Applying Your Results to Your Interest
Resource A: Glossary of Key Terms
Resource B: Sample Scales
Resource C: Sample Questionnaire
Resource D: Action Plan Checklist for a Study Using the Model
Resource E: Internet-Based Resources

"In this book, Brandt and Caroline Pryor have presented us with ideas and techniques that will assist the average administrator in successfully addressing needed improvements. It is my intention to add important concepts presented in this book to my principal and superintendent preparation courses."

Elvis H. Arterbury, Professor of Educational Leadership
Lamar University

"School administrators, as well as leaders in a variety of organizational settings, will find this book a valuable tool in their arsenal of strategies to run effective, efficient, flexible organizations."

James Gilsinan, Dean, College of Public Service
Saint Louis University

"A successful school leader is not only an instructional leader, she/he is also an opinion leader who sets the tone and direction for a school. This book can help a principal or other administrator by putting research on attitudes and a model for understanding them into a school context. It provides a  process that school leaders can follow when studying, and trying to influence, people’s attitudes."

Joe O’Reilly, Director of Research and Planning
Mesa Public Schools, AZ

"This book keeps its promises: it is truly a guide for action that will be used by educators, especially educational change agents. Each of the authors comes out of an unusual blend of theoretical sophistication and practical experience that make this book a stimulating intellectual read and a solid manual for practice."

Steven Tozer, Professor of Education
University of Illinois

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Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: How Are Attitudes and Behaviors Formed?

Brandt W. Pryor

Brandt W. Pryor is Director of The Evaluation Group, College of Education, at Texas A&M University, College Station, where he now leads statewide studies of high school reform efforts. He is also an educational research consultant specializing in attitude and behavior studies. He has previously served as Associate Professor, Department of   Educational Leadership, Lamar University, and Senior Research Associate in the College of Education at Arizona State University. He did his doctoral work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he studied attitude theory and measurement with Martin Fishbein, the world’s leading... More About Author

Caroline R. Pryor

Caroline R. Pryor is Assistant Professor and Regents Fellow in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, at Texas A&M University, College Station. In 2003 she was selected as a Wye Fellow of The Aspen Institute <http://www.>.  She holds a doctorate in Secondary   Education from Arizona State University. Her postdoctoral work at Arizona State University concerned the development of a citywide field-based preservice teacher education program, including staff development for princi-pals and mentor teachers. She holds teaching credentials in grades K–9, is a former elementary school... More About Author

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