Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
  1. Home
  2. Teacher Education
  3. Educational Leadership
  4. Principalship
  5. Four Dimensions of Principal Leadership, The: A Framework for Leading 21st Century Schools


As schools progress, evolve, and change, the ways in which educational professionals lead and organize must also change. The Four Dimensions of Leadership provides readers with an invaluable guide to the latest reforms and modifications to school systems and comprehensively incorporates each major leadership principle advocated for modern-day school leaders at all levels. The text not only gives readers an opportunity to read and study leadership principles, it also provides tools to operationalize those principles and enhance their capacity to lead through the use of inventories, activities, and real life scenarios.


Applicable to courses in general leadership, instructional leadership, participatory governance, and organizational behavior, this companion text confronts the challenges of the recent redefinition of leaderships roles in schools: how it is being informed by competencies, standards, and accountability measures and how this movement forges a connection between school leaders and overall student achievement. Furthermore, the book presents a leadership preparation program that confronts the challenges and complexities of these new standards using a multi-dimensional approach: 1) Understanding Self and Others; 2) Understanding the Complexities of Organizational Life; 3) Building Bridges through Relationships; and 4) Engaging in Leadership Best Practices.


The book is a companion text to Practicing the Art of Leadership: A Problem-based Approach to Implementing the ISLLC Standards.

Table of contents

CONTENTS                                                                                                               Page   


Preface                                                                                                                       i

Introduction                                                                                                                Viii

  Part I                   Establishing a Foundation for Leadership in Schools 1


Chapter 1:      Preparing Leaders for Twenty First Century Schools              1                                                                

Introduction                                                                                                      1

Twenty-First Century School Leadership Defined                                              3

Standards, Competencies, and Accountability Measures                                    6

The Competencies                                                                                            12

Styles of Leadership for 21st Century Schools                                       15

Accountability Measures                                                                                   22

Making the Connection: The Remaining Chapters                                              24

Implications for Leadership                                                                               27

Reflective Practice                                                                                            29

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            30

References                                                                                                       31


Part II                   Dimension 1: Understanding Self and Others           34


Chapter 2:        Leading with an Understanding of Self                                       35


Introduction                                                                                                      35

The Value of Understanding Self                                                                       38

Observing the Effects of Leader Behavior                                                          44

            Scenario: The Leader Behavior of Principal Carter                                45

Processes for Acquiring an Understanding of Self                                              53

Outcomes from Acquiring an Understanding of Self                                           62

Implications for Leadership                                                                               63

Reflective Practice                                                                                            64

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            65

References                                                                                                       66


Chapter 3:        Leading With an Understanding of Others                                             69


Introduction                                                                                                      69

Developing an Understanding of Others                                                 70

The Benefits of Understanding Others                                                   78

Implications for Leadership                                                                               85

Reflective Practice                                                                                            87

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            88

References                                                                                                       89



Part III       Dimension 2: Understanding the Complexity of Organizational Life                                                       91


Chapter 4: The Social Interaction in Schools                                                      92


Introduction                                                                                                      92

Organizations Defined                                                                           93

            Scenario: Harpo Allen Middle School                                       94                    Elements Contributing to the complexity of Organizational Life                       97

Implications for Leadership                                                                               116

Reflective Practice                                                                                            117

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            118

References                                                                                                       119


Chapter 5: Perspective on School Structure: Chaos or Efficiency                       121     


Introduction                                                                                                      121

Organizational Structure Defined                                                                       122

The Different Types of Structure                                                                       124

Elements of Organizational Structure                                                                 84

Two Models of Structure Impacting Schools                                                     89

The Mechanistic Bureaucratic Model                                                    125

The Organic Humanistic Model                                                 131

Structural Configurations for the Twenty-First Century Schoolhouse      133

                Scenario: Superintendent Chooses First Year Principal to

Lead Fresh Start School                                                                       138

Implications for Leadership                                                                               151

Reflective Practice                                                                                            152

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            153

References                                                                                                       154

Chapter 6: The Principal’s Role in Establishing and Retaining a

                              Quality Teaching Faculty                                                                 158


Introduction                                                                                                      158

Teacher Recruitment, Selection, Induction, and Placement                                 159

Instructional Supervision                                                                                   165

A Mentoring Program for Teachers                                                                   170

Professional Development and Career Advancement                                         174

Implications for Leadership                                                                               178

Reflective Practice                                                                                            179

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            180

References                                                                                                       181




Part IV       Dimension 3: Building Bridges through Relationships          184


          Chapter 7: Developing Relationships for Effective Leadership in Schools            185


            Introduction                                                                                                      185

            Relationships Defined                                                                                        187

The Importance of Establishing Positive Relationships in Schools                        188

Types of Relationships Needed to Foster Goal Attainment                                 190

Approaches to Building Effective School Relationships                          198

Benefits Derived from Establishing Effective Relationships                                  207     

Implications for Leadership                                                                               210

Reflective Practice                                                                                            211                  Chapter Essentials                                                                                                212                  References                                                                                                       213


Part V        Dimension 4: Engaging in Leadership Best Practices 216                                                                                                   


Chapter 8: Utilizing Leadership Practices for Educational Renewal                     217


            Introduction                                                                                                      217

            Understanding Best Practice                                                                             218

The Thirteen Core Competencies and Related Best Practices                220

Putting Best Practices into Action                                                                      245

Implications for Leadership                                                                               245                  Reflective Practice                                                                                                247                  Chapter Essentials                                                                                            248                  References                                                                                                       249                                                                                                     

Chapter 9: Putting Instructional Leadership into Practice                                    253


            Introduction                                                                                                      253

            Setting the Stage for Change                                                                             254

            Creating and Communication the Vision                                                            256

            Identification of the Discrepancy                                                                        260

Selecting the Program Strategy                                                              261

Assessing the School’s Capacity for Change                                                     263

Building the Capacity for Change                                                                      265

Implementing the Identified Change                                                                   268

The Evaluation Phase                                                                                        271

Implications for Leadership                                                                               274

Reflective Practice                                                                                            276

Chapter Essentials                                                                                            277                  References                                                                                                       278                                                                                                     

For teachers

All the material you need to teach your courses.

Discover teaching material