Foreword by: Andy Hargreaves
Publication Date: April 8, 2016
During the past quarter century, conceptions of leadership have evolved in concert with breakthrough discoveries in science and generative learning. Liberating Leadership Capacity captures these new ideas through the integration of the authors’ earlier works in constructivist leadership and leadership capacity. What emerges is a pathway through which educators can become the primary designers of their own learning and that of their students, thus creating sustainable systems of high leadership capacity. This vision of leadership reframes professional learning designs and knowledge creation, describing how these ideas are richly manifested in local, national, and international programs. The context is democratic communities; the learning is constructivist; the leadership is shared. The result is wise schools, organizations, and societies. Liberating Leadership Capacity speaks to all adult learners who are engaged in educational improvement.
Linda Lambert is professor emeritus at California State University, East Bay, an international consultant, president of Lambert Leadership Development, and a novelist. Diane P. Zimmerman, a former superintendent of schools, is a writer and consultant focusing on building human capacity. Mary E. Gardner is a former school district superintendent and an educational leader, lecturer, and consultant. They are coauthors of The Constructivist Leader, Second Edition.
"From a school district leadership perspective, the true value of this book lies in the authors’ synthesis of prior research with their own and providing concrete examples
of applied practice." —School Administrator Magazine
"There are many very good ideas in this book, and there is also great wisdom. It is a book that can not only set you and your school free but also set you off in a determined direction to foster a more inclusive and inspiring place for your students and fellow educators alike."
—From the Foreword by Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College
“What could be a more worthy goal than creating wise schools? Liberating Leadership Capacity strikes a chord with those who believe that education is more than a series of tasks and tests, and that curiosity, wonder, and emerging leadership should define the experiences of students and teachers alike.”
—Deborah Walker, president and CEO, Collaborative for Teaching and Learning (CTL)
“Leadership is widely regarded as a key ingredient of school success, and in this important and informative new book the work done by innovative educational leaders is carefully analyzed and explored. The insights conveyed are profound and should be shared with educators and policymakers who seek to help schools make a difference for children—particularly those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds—and our society. Written in clear and accessible language, it is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to understand how to address the many challenges facing our nation's schools.”
—Pedro A. Noguera, distinguished professor of education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
“ Liberating Leadership Capacity teaches us not only how to think about systemwide change but how it is developed and what it looks like in practice. At last we have a authoritative text on how to organize trusting relationships, knowledge development, and collaboration as principals and teachers take on the leadership challenge together.”
—Ann Lieberman, senior scholar at Stanford University
“In Liberating Leadership Capacity, a compelling driving concept is that ‘leadership capacities are present in the room.’ The authors describe organizational conditions that promote skillful dialogue, continual learning, building trust, and sharing a common vision among members. In such schools teachers become the leaders of learning and students become the leaders of the future.”
—Arthur L. Costa, professor emeritus, California State University, Sacramento
“In this accessible and comprehensive examination of leadership and leadership capacity, Linda Lambert and her colleagues have cleverly woven together the major themes of scholarship in leadership practice over the past quarter century. In defining and developing their concept of constructivist leadership, they have designed a model that is at once sustainable, distributive, ecological, and transformational. It is an approach that connects with Dewey and the finest traditions of American democracy and stands in stark contrast to market-based leadership models that view professional educators as human capital. I would recommend it as a must-read for anyone interested in dynamic, creative, and inviting schools and school systems.”
—Dean Fink, author and consultant
“This visionary book is grounded in practice. The authors bring unique, forthright insights into the deep links between strategies and structures for leading adaptive organizations and the historic ideals of democratizing learning, teaching, and leading within school communities. The offering is a “systems” framework for leading—drawn from national and international perspectives—showing how we are liberated by connective thinking and co-constructing knowledge.”
—David Hyerle, codirector, Thinking Schools International
“ Liberating Leadership Capacity is a refreshing alternative and counternarrative to the constraints of the past and the depleting testing focus educators are confronting. Follow this guide to creating a culture that allows staff, students, parents, and, ultimately, the leaders who set it all in motion to flourish, and you will find a sustainable and systemic path to continued success for every student.”
—Alan M. Blankstein, founder, Solution Tree and HOPE Foundation;
author, Failure Is Not an Option