Creating a school culture that is built upon professional and positive dialogues takes time, trust and respect among all who work within. But sometimes it can be difficult to focus on these discussions as schools are notably hectic environments with the pressures of the workload creating barriers to such sustained and positive deliberations. Sometimes, staff meetings can be controlled by the priorities of a certain individuals who are more concerned about their own distinct agendas, rather than focusing on the bigger picture and reality.
In their new book – Leadership Dialogues: Conversations and Activities for Leadership Teams – John West-Burnham and Dave Harris (@bravehead) propose changing the dialogues that take place in school with a collection of questions and activities which teams can collaboratively explore to examine the mechanics and structures within. The book is not meant to be read sequentially, however the topics within cover: teaching and learning; effective leadership; innovation and change; accountability; thinking strategically; managing resources; collaboration; leading people; organisational change and personal change, and; engaging with students, parents and community.
Accompanied by a comprehensive CD-Rom, the book sets the scene of dialogues with critical questions, (such as – How far would you characterise your school as being committed to developing a culture of creativity?) plus further notes, quotes and discussion points to support a positive dialogue between leaders at all levels within the school.
The book is a fantastic starting point to reflect on how your school operates, being applicable to primary and secondary school who are looking to create a framework of self-improvement, dialogue and to create a positive learning environment for everyone who attends.
Available in Paperback, Leadership Dialogues: Conversations and activities for leadership teams, by John West-Burnham and Dave Harris has an RRP of £24.99* available from Amazon.