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Book Review Moral Leadership: Getting To The Heart Of School Improvement By: Thomas J. Sergiovanni

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Essay Preview: Book Review Moral Leadership: Getting To The Heart Of School Improvement By: Thomas J. Sergiovanni

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The heart of leadership has to do with what a person believes, values, dreams about, and is committed to. - Sergiovanni


Target Audience of the Book:

According to the author in the introduction of the book, this work was basically intended to serve as a guide for developing moral leadership in schools geared toward superintendents, supervisors, principals, and any other persons at the upper levels of school management. The author's design was to provoke thoughts and raise questions in the minds of these people to help them analyze the leadership processes in their schools and help them make adjustments to the leadership process that will in the end reduce the need for "direct" leadership in favor of "moral" leadership. He also makes point that this book can serve as a "counterpoint" to some of the textbooks, currently being used in university courses on leadership. Sergiovanni also states that the book would be useful for parents, school board members and policy makers. Because I have been involved in the education process from the teaching side of education, I see this book as being of particular value to teachers as well. Overall, this book is for anyone who cares about improving the leadership in our schools.

The Scope of the Book:

The aspects of leadership covered are broad, from analyzing the traditional leadership roles, to the tapping of higher levels of human potential. It is written from the standpoint of managers or leaders and covers point by point the author's ideas of how to shift the environment of schools from that of a "factory" to one of a "learning community. Sergiovanni discusses "living school" in leadership rather than just being concerned with the facts and figures involved in "playing school." The viewpoint of the author is being concerned about the leadership processes in schools that are presently accepted as the norm. Sergiovanni would like to see school leadership shift to one that is self-motivated by teachers who want to do a great job, not one where the teachers feel they have to as a result of dependency on "extrinsic" rewards. A school, he says, is a community with a shared sense of values and purpose. He describes a "virtuous school" as one founded on the beliefs that a school must be a community, that this school community includes parents, teachers, students and other community members. He believes that every student can learn, that caring for the whole child is the key to academic success, and that mutual respect and positive expectations are the operating dynamics.

Throughout this book, Sergiovanni is attempting to reframe the role of leadership in a school from an old paradigm focused on management and control and the view that a school is a formal organization, to a new paradigm of empowerment through caring, acknowledging the expertise of teachers and students, and facilitating their active participation in the



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