iUniverse’s Don Broadwell addresses the need for educational reform in his new book, Collaborative Leadership for Classroom and School, which is making great strides in the academic community.
Collaborative Leadership for Classroom and School is a commentary on school reform and the status of young millennials today. The book argues that students must have a voice in classroom decision-making to raise achievement, bond children into something greater than themselves, and prepare them for life in the interactive workplace of the future.
For 14 years under No Child Left Behind, students have suffered the collateral damage of being unprepared for work in the more collaborative environment they now face. Those students, led by command-and-control of the Industrial Age, are victims; in the words of JFK, “A child miseducated is a child lost.” The remedy is to lead children using collaborative models in the classroom. My book shows how.
The unforgettable Joseph Conrad is my mentor. I know of no other author whose words tumble down the page as do those of Joseph Conrad. Also, I am influenced by Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.
As for my subject, I am indebted to the life and work of Thomas Gordon, who’s Teacher Effectiveness Training (1974) set the bar in place for collaborative leadership with students. My book is a succeeding synthesis more than a simple extension of Gordon’s thought. It presents collaborative leading in an incremental, developmental manner, making for easy learning, high retention, and next-day application in the classroom.
I was inspired by the trajectory of my own life, having spent time as a Marine officer and as a member of the clergy. Coincidentally, I lived six years in each post. My effort to merge those roles into a leader model have given me, in the words of Abraham Maslow, a measure of self-actualization. The resulting Bi-Polar leader model of chapter 4 describes not just Authority and Collaboration, but includes more than 20 problem-solving methods. (Research shows that children are captivated by teachers who ‘flex’ between leader styles and are motivated to adapt their followership to many different interventions.)
Teacher/leaders who embrace my model can hammer out their own set of preferred styles, perhaps four or five of the 24 identified on my Bi-Polar chart. Thus, they can become captains of their own school reform, oblivious to the politically inspired demands of Corporate America, right-wing foundations, and governing agencies.
Copies are in the hands of three university professors of education. Those individuals are striving to connect me with teaching opportunities together with adding my title to undergraduate reading assignments. We will expand on that theme while we do book signings and public presentations on the necessity of taking back school reform from the political elites. Collaborative Leadership for Classroom and School has earned an iUniverse’s Editor’s Choice Award.
Beyond the writing, which is gratifying for me (for reasons that will appear below), I much appreciate the regular contact, help, advice, etc. that comes from iUniverse. Everyone seems willing to see my project succeed and I am never left on my own with this project.
I advise those who are themselves bi-polar, as I am, to get creative with some aspect of life, especially if creativity can develop into a career. Bi-polar mental distress can be conquered with creative living.