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Thebook “School Leadership the Works: From Research to Results”, waswritten by Robert Marzano and his team composed of his colleaguesfrom Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning. The twocolleagues were Timothy Waters and Brian McNulty. This group ofauthors centred their task in writing about leaders and schools basedon answering two major questions: based on a school`s effectivenessor ineffectiveness, to what extent does the leadership plays a role?And what amount of the school’s impact has the leadership on thestudent’s performance? The book discusses the outcome of ameta-analysis that the team carried out together with theimplications of the result.
Thebook is sub divided into two sections that discuss several aspects indetail. The first section is focused on the current research basewhile the second discusses the practical application of the research.It has been organized to cater for the need of both researchers andpractitioners. The sections of the book are further divided intochapters, which look deeper into certain features of schoolleadership. The general theme of the book is centred on theapplication of sound research in the practical field of leadershipand in a similar way the authors have presented the information tothe readers. They begin by providing strong evidences of the researchthey did through meta-analysis and eventually translating them intospecific skills used by educational leaders. The final setting of thetheme is to try to create a plan for effective leadership inschools[ CITATION Mar05 l 2057 ].
Thefirst chapter “Search of School Leadership,” starts by giving thevarious challenges that one may encounter in researching educationalleadership. Here they discuss the different types of analyses used inthis field together. They also explain the lack of a clearlydistinguished quantitative analysis of the relationship between theperformance of the student and the school leadership. Previously, itseemed to be an inadequate amount of research that guide on strongleadership character however, the authors have it that when useddifferently, it can be actually used to identify firm leadershipbehaviour for the improvement of student achievement, however, smallit may be.
Inthe second chapter of this book: Some Theories and Theorists onLeadership, the authors theoretical framework of analysis andconclusions is drawn from the outcome of their research. This chapterhandles both the collective leadership theories that researchers useto draw their references, and the prominent researchers that focus onleadership theories. The chapter’s importance revolves around thethree theories namely transactional leadership, transformationalleadership and the instructional leadership[ CITATION Mar05 l 2057 ].Further, it discussesthe work of the theorists in that it helps the researcher to have abroader framework view.
Thesubtopic meta-analysis covers the meta-analysis itself in which theauthors apply some methods that are relatively rigid to come up withtheir results. In these methods, the authors input studies that meetsome specific principles in statistical models and use thecorrelation to determine the effect of leadership on the improvementof student performance. After they have given the general overview ofthe meta-analysis earlier, the authors start the chapter by givingthe criteria they apply in the meta- analysis. The studies they didwere within the 64 studies between the year 1978 to2001 that examinea total of 2599 schools. The mean correlation between the leadershipand the student performance was found to be 0.25 on average.
Inthe following “The 21 Responsibilities of the School Leader”section, they focus on the practical analysis of the result of themeta-analysis. They found that the previously stated value of 0.25could only be taken from at the face value because the study wascarried out differently. They now had to take a look at each case byexamining the elements of each study. They studied 21 principles’behaviours that they called responsibilities. They analysed theimpact of each responsibility, and though all the responsibilitiescounted on the general leadership of the school, situationalawareness and flexibility had the highest impact.
Thefollowing title “Two Types of Change,” covers the practicalapplicability. All the 21 responsibilities that they analysed werenot mutually exclusive, but they related to each other. Fordetermining the level of their relationships, they conducted a factoranalysis of the day-to-day practices. There were two types of changesthat the principles engaged in: the first and second order change orrather incremental change and dramatic change. All the 21responsibilities were found to apply to the incremental changewhereas only seven of them were applicable to the dramatic change.
Theauthors finally discuss and introduce a new issue that was notcovered in the meta-analysis. They consider the notion that when theschools are working towards the improvement of the studentperformance, they must ensure that they are working towards improvingthe right things. In the chapter “Doing the Right Work”, theauthors discuss two reform models earlier outlined in themeta-analysis. They include the comprehensive school reform andsite-specific approaches. The two can assist schools in identifyingan intervention that are direct and those that do not directlyaddress the academic improvements.
Inthe final analysis, they seek to provide the schools with a plan foran effective leadership in the topic, “A Plan for Effective SchoolLeadership.” They give five-step plan based on the meta-analysisresults.
Thebook revolves entirely on the need for school reformation as afunction of leadership. It makes an important part of the schoolleadership literature.
Marzano, R. W. (2005). School Leadership that Works: From Research to Results. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.