Taking Charge is a practical guide to the "craft knowledge" of leading schools from an experienced principal, school reformer, and educational consultant. Drawing on his own experiences as well as the experiences of other school leaders, Shaw captures the essence of what principals do and the leadership traits they need to take charge for school improvement. Through vivid portrayals, the book presents the strategic actions taken by principals in their first 15 months on the job and demonstrates the importance of taking action quickly. From these narratives of practice emerge four guiding principles, or "pillars," that underpin participatory leadership in high-performing school learning communities:
1.;Knowing the student well
2.;Strong inclusive professional relationships
3.;Continuous development of intellectual capital
4.;Powerful and cohesive pedagogical responsiveness in teaching across all classrooms
This book delivers a comprehensive program for successful school leadership that will speak to new and experienced principals, as well as any school leader who wants to make a difference in the life chances of all students.
Paul L. Shaw is president of Southern Cross Educational Inc., an educational consulting company. He works with principal groups, school districts, and governments to design and develop programs for the professional learning of participants. He is also a research and teaching associate with the Faculty of Education, University of Victoria, Canada.