Systems Thinking: Foundation, Uses and Challenges

This book provides a wealth of knowledge about systems thinking, enables readers to deeply understand what systems thinking is, and why it is so important in their work. Readers will learn the conceptual foundations of systems thinking, as well as its tools and the proper ways to use them. These tools will facilitate defining problems and designing solutions in an environment increasingly characterized by chaos and complexity. Since systems thinking is not a discipline, but rather an interdisciplinary conceptual framework used in a wide range of areas, this book presents the applications of systems thinking in different domains, including systems engineering, project management, healthcare, psychology and education.

Systems Thinking for School Leaders: Holistic Leadership for Excellence in Education

This book presents a new approach to school leadership: Systems School Leadership, defined as a holistic approach through which principals lead their schools by employing the systems thinking concept and procedures. Systems thinking can be explained succinctly as a holistic approach that puts the study of wholes before that of parts. It does not seek to break systems down into parts in order to understand them; instead, it focuses attention on how the respective parts interact. The connections between systems thinking and school leadership have not yet been investigated sufficiently, which is precisely what this book does, by describing the framework of systems thinking in school leadership from a holistic and integrative perspective.

Preparing Future Leaders for Social Justice

In today’s Western school systems, white, straight, middle-class and physically-able students reach higher achievements, drop out less, and have a greater chance of learning in higher education institutions than their counterparts who do not possess these characteristics. While many agree that theory, research and practice should be intertwined to support the type of schooling (and society) that values rather than marginalizes, few scholars offer ground-breaking, pragmatic approaches to developing truly transformative leaders. The purpose of this book is to offer a practical, process-oriented model aimed at helping educational leaders to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions and then to take action against the oppressive elements of reality. To this end, this book utilizes transformative andragogy, which leads to a new way of seeing and a new way of being. It is the art and science of helping others to think critically and act responsibly, to examine beliefs, to accept, reject or modify values, and to engage in activism and advocacy with and for others. Therefore, this book is of great value to those who wish to prepare tomorrow’s school leaders for their role as promoters of social justice and excellence.

Leading Holistically: How Schools, Districts, and States Improve Systemically

This book explores systems thinking in educational leadership—a comprehensive framework that enables leaders to improve their practice by taking a holistic perspective, instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all solution to discrete aspects of their organization. Aiming to expand the existing literature on systems thinking in educational leadership and policy, renowned educational leadership scholars come together in this valuable book to examine systems thinking at the school, district, and state/national levels, providing strategies to guide educators toward success. This important book unpacks the complexity and nuances of systems thinking in educational leadership and policy, helping educators face the growing complexity, change, and diversity in education to realize the promise of improvement for all those connected to and involved in the important endeavor of education.

New Explorations for Instructional Leaders: How Principals Can Promote Teaching and Learning Effectively

The existing literature on instructional leadership mainly examines the components, procedures, and mechanisms of instructional leadership and its influence on school performance and student academic results. The application of instructional leadership is insufficiently discussed. Moreover, despite longstanding efforts to campaign for instructional leadership’s prioritization, several studies have shown that the time devoted by principals to instructional leadership activities is inadequate. These disappointing statistics make the research on instructional leadership application most necessary. Why do principals find it difficult to put instructional leadership into action? What can help them overcome the challenges involved in applying instructional leadership? What functions of instructional leadership do school leaders tend to sidestep? New Explorations for Instructional Leaders: How Principals Can Promote Teaching and Learning Effectively answers these questions and addresses the need for additional research-informed literature on instructional leadership application. The findings of Haim Shaked’s studies, conducted over the past five years among principals working in the Israeli school system, are presented in this book in a way that can be used by researchers, policymakers, school leaders, and educators in different countries.