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Peter De Witt’s book is clearly written from the heart, based on his own research and his extensive experience (and challenges faced) in many leadership roles. It is a book that will resound with, and be of immense value to, all existing and aspiring school leaders who attempt to balance the complexity of tasks and the demands of accountability and compliance, while also attempting to be leaders of learners.
So much has been written on the topic of instructional leadership, but too little is known about how to implement it. DeWitt once again finds a balance between research and practice by focusing on implementation, developing program logics, and evidence of impact. He is offering a road map to help leaders put their focus on learning and build credibility with staff while doing it.
The practical tips and reflections are highly informative. Continually Peter brings us back to the perception-reality gap that makes the day-to-day processes of educational leadership far more reactive than we think. As Peter explains, what we think we do as educational leaders is often neither what our colleagues observe or how time stacks up.
Instructional Leadership is the nexus between the key instructional leadership research and the practical day-to-day role of the school leader. For the first time, here is a book that addresses and provides the ‘why’ and ‘how’ underpinned by an implementation framework that can successfully be adopted to support the learning of all school stakeholders when addressing any school improvement.
Principals have the potential to magnify and multiple effective instruction. But far too often, this potential is not realized. Peter DeWitt provides a pathway to get the job done. This thoughtful and practical guide will help you become the instructional leader you have always wanted to be. And, if you take his advice seriously, the students in your school will learn more and learn better. I promise.
This book is long overdue! It is time instructional leaders heed the tools in this book to begin walking the walk of true instructional leaders. DeWitt clarifies that common language does not always equate to common understanding—it requires purposeful planning and design. He does a masterful job of defining instructional leadership and applying it through relatable situations throughout the book. This book alone would help to prevent what I refer to as SOS, Shiny Object Syndrome, in education.
This book will help leaders to overcome the challenge of operationalising instructional leadership. The six areas identified by Peter provide a clear and practical route map for developing the practice of instructional leadership. The mindful moments are timely and effective punctuations that help you to stop and think, process and apply the learning. Likewise, the student voice questions ensure that we calibrate what we think with what our students say, do and experience.
Peter tackles the topic of instructional leadership head-on as a researcher, consultant, coach and former school administrator. As is his style, Peter shares his findings as if the reader were having a personal conversation with him about the hard work of being an instructional leader and at the same time managing the day-to-day operation of the building. This work provides administrators with a road map in understanding this complex topic but, more importantly, identifies six areas of implementation. Peter provides a complete workshop wrapped up within the pages of this book.
Peter DeWitt draws on research and personal experience as he skillfully unpacks the complexities involved in the practice of instructional leadership. School leaders will find the ideas in this book relatable, practical, and significant in relation to improving student outcomes. If you aspire to lead school improvement by strengthening the quality of classroom instruction and reaching deep levels of implementation, this book will provide the guidance you seek.
Peter DeWitt has been a learner from day one since he first became a teacher, and especially shortly thereafter when he became a principal. In 2006 he enjoyed being a leader in a small rural community. Then he had a growing and compelling realization that something was wrong, and became what I would call a ‘positive rebel,’ devoting himself to making a difference. Now we have a short, focused book on what he has been learning over the past decade. ‘Instructional leadership’ is a crystal-clear treatise on ‘mindful moments’ organized around six principles.
Instructional leadership is something that we strive to foster in ourselves as well as those around us because we know, as leaders, it is the type of leadership that leads to the most significant impact on student success. This is not an easy task, as many of us do not fully understand what it means to be an instructional leader or how to successfully grow in that area.
DeWitt brings the heart of a true leader to every sentence in this book. He illuminates important leadership concepts about instruction, social-emotional learning, and collective efficacy with a humanity that allows us to see the potential we hold. DeWitt matches the courage to lead with the tools to do so and, in the process, lets readers see how coherence and clarity drive the growth of students and adults.
Blending personal experience, research, and observations acquired through coaching others, DeWitt offers important insights and practical guidance to school leaders aspiring to improve their students’ life chances.
DeWitt’s Instructional Leadership: Creating Practice out of Theory provides practical solutions to the challenges of being an instructional leader within an educational system not designed to meet the needs of all students. It provides a clear and concise program logic model that I will be using to broaden the impact of our initiatives. This book inspires us and gives us tools to engage teachers and students to co-create inclusive and supportive learning environments that will support our efforts to achieve equity in our schools.
Instructional Leadership provides actionable research-based methods to help teams move the needle as instructional leaders in a concrete way. It feels as though Peter is coaching you through the process as you learn to utilize the tools provided to make your schools successful. A perfect choice for principals, assistant superintendents, and superintendents!
Peter DeWitt’s conversational writing style will engage all leaders. He is knowledgeable and confident in writing about leadership, as he has been there, done the work successfully, and now writes about ‘living in’ the instructional leadership role. DeWitt challenges us to be reflective about the strategies that we collaboratively discern make a difference to attain all students’ growth and achievement. His thinking is clear about what leaders must do to move all students forward.
This book is well-timed in a world where school leaders are expected to be instructional leaders but also building managers. Peter understands that being an instructional leader is complicated, and this book has both challenged and reinforced my thinking around my leadership practices. His experience as a principal allows him to identify the many challenges and the important impact of instructional leadership on student achievement.
Peter DeWitt sets out to connect research and practice—and he has succeeded! The two are interwoven superbly, resulting in a book that is both practical and wise. The chapters dig deeper into the meaning and practices of instructional leadership in ways that are relevant to an international readership.
From his personal experience and urgency, Peter wrote this wonderful book about Instructional Leadership, as a practical ‘how to achieve the necessary impact’, with very helpful Program Logic Models. I especially loved the Mindful Moments and the Student Voice Questions, because this is how I came to know Peter: a person with a very large focus on the impact on students learning. To wrap it all up this books gives you a Reflection Framework to keep you going.
In his latest book, Peter provides practical ideas for how to implement instructional leadership strategies in a school, for principals with all levels of experience. It is a go-to resource that everyone should have on hand. Instructional Leadership is full of concrete ideas to start implementing instructional leadership the way it should be, with the ultimate goal of improving teaching strategies and having an impact on student learning.