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A guide to decision making for school administrators.
Why another book on decision making? In this increasingly complex world, there are many tensions inherent in the daily practice of educational leaders. This book illuminates these tensions, and acknowledges the reality that there are already multiple approaches to decision making in any educational context. The authors offer a guide to integrate the influences of school and community members as well as data and organizational context into the decision making process. They focus on underexamined dimensions of decision making, including (1) the art of theory-use, (2) organizational context, (3) political dynamics, (4) inferential leaps and causal assumptions, (5) the role of intuition, (6) data-driven decision making, (7) the role of emotions and affect, and (8) making the tough decision. Dispositions that enhance success are highlighted. These ideas will empower school principals, superintendents, and other educational leaders to approach with confidence the decisions they are called on to make.
“Well written and a very engaging read, the volume does an outstanding job of bringing together diverse lenses from several fields to help understand the dynamics of decision making in school settings.” — Ronald H. Heck, author of Studying Educational and Social Policy: Theoretical Concepts and Research Methods
“A must read for prospective school leaders.” — Alan R. Shoho, University of Texas at San Antonio
Bob L. Johnson Jr. is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. Sharon D. Kruse is Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Akron. Her books include Building Strong School Cultures: A Guide to Leading Change.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Figures
Part I. Decision-Making Theory and Theorizing
Introduction: Leadership, Decision Making, and Underexplored Issues in Decision Making
Theories, Theorizing, and the Art of Theory-Use in Decision Making
Part II.Context and Contextual Issues in Decision Making
Organization as Context: Decision Making in Educational Organizations
The Political Context of Decision Making in Educational Leadership
Part III. The Decision Maker: Logic, Intuition, Data Use, and Skill
The Logic of Decision Making: Problematizing Decision Assumptions and Examining Inferential Leaps
The Intuitive Decision Maker in the Information Age
Data-Driven Decision Making for School Improvement
Dispositional Aspects of Effective Decision Making and the Competent Decision Maker
Making Tough Decisions: Issues and Considerations
Part IV.Conclusion: Underexamined Issues in Decision Making
The Educational Leader as Decision Maker: Themes, Inferences, and Conclusions