Teachers College Press









Distributed Leadership in Practice


James P. Spillane and John B. Diamond, Editors
Critical Issues in Educational Leadership Series
Pub Date: August 2007, 208 pages

Paperback: $32.95, ISBN: 0807748064
Cloth: $64, ISBN: 0807748072
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“Nobody does it better. Spillane and Diamond expose the myths of distributed leadership on a topic beset with confusion. They lead us through the conceptual minefield with pristine clarity and the authority that comes from deeply grounded knowledge of life in real schools and classrooms.”
John MacBeath, Chair of Educational Leadership, University of Cambridge

“Spillane and Diamond, in the best of research traditions, add to their conception of distributed leadership. Studying real practice enriches their work immeasurably. A must read for leaders and those who study them!”
Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Distributed leadership has become an important term for educational policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in the United States and around the world, but there is much diversity in how the term is understood. Some use it as a synonym for democratic or participative leadership. This book examines what it means to take a distributed perspective based on extensive research and a rich theoretical perspective developed by experts in the field. Including numerous case studies of individual schools and providing empirically based accounts of school settings using a distributed perspective, this thorough volume:

  • Explores how a distributed perspective is different from other frameworks for thinking about leadership.
  • Provides clear examples of how taking a distributed perspective can help researchers understand and connect more directly to leadership practice.
  • Illustrates that the day-to-day practice of leadership is an important line of inquiry for scholars and those interested in improving school leadership.

Contributors: Patricia Burch • Amy F. Coldren • John B. Diamond • Tim Hallett • Richard R. Halverson • Jennifer Zoltners Sherer • James P. Spillane

James P. Spillane is Olin Chair in Learning and Organizational Change at the School of Education and Social Policy and Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. He is also a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and a senior research fellow with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. John B. Diamond is Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.


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