How teachers teach depends on their motivations, capacities, and the conditions under which they work. If the conditions in which they work are not supportive and caring, teachers have less incentive to teach at peak levels. As such, students who do not have supportive and caring classrooms have less incentive to perform and learn at levels at which they might be capable.
Based on a groundbreaking study of "soft conditions" (i.e. supportive relationships; school climate) and their effects on teachers' work, well-known author, Kenneth Leithwood, offers for school leaders a path toward building this important and often hidden infrastructure of quality teaching. School leaders will learn how to craft the conditions that support all their teachers so that teaching and learning, the work of schooling, can be conducted at maximum levels.
Dr. Leithwood is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at OISE/University of Toronto. His research and writing concerns school leadership, educational policy and organizational change. Dr. Leithwood has published more than 70 referred journal articles, and authored or edited more than thirty books. For example, he is the senior editor of both the first and second International Handbooks on Educational Leadership and Administration (Kluwer Publishers, 1996, 2003). His most recent books (all with Corwin Press) include Leadership With Teachers' Emotions In Mind (in press), Making Schools Smarter (3rd edition, 2006) and Teaching for Deep Understanding (2006). Among his current research projects is a large, five-year, Wallace Foundation study, with colleagues, aimed at determining how state, district and school-level leadership influences student learning. Dr. Leithwood is the recent recipient of the University of Toronto's Impact on Public Policy award. Dr. Brenda Beatty is designer and Director of the highly regarded Monash Master in School Leadership and the Mentoring for first Time Principals and Human Leadership: Developing People programs, delivered on behalf of the Victoria State School Department of Education. Dr. Beatty is a Senior Lecturer for the Faculty of Education at Monash University. She lectures and conducts research on the emotions of leadership, leadership development, school improvement, creating collaborative cultures, organizational change, student sense of connectedness and well being at school and the use of interactive web-based technologies to support the development of professional learning communities. As an international scholar, guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she has presented her work in China, Ireland, England, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Australia and Italy and - via the net based meeting system, WebEx - at various other national and international conferences. Born in Canada and a doctoral graduate of OISE University of Toronto Canada, where she worked with Professor Andy Hargreaves, her research is published in various refereed journals and her chapter in The Essentials of School Leadership, is entitled "Emotional Leadership". Various forthcoming publications will consider theories of learning for leadership development, emotional epistemologies, the development of leaders for the future and the role of emotion in sustaining leader wellbeing. Dr. Beatty's doctoral dissertation Emotion Matters in Educational Leadership: Examining the Unexamined, won the Thomas B. Greenfield award for best Canadian doctoral dissertation of the year in educational administration. Dr. Beatty is working with the Canadian Council on Learning, University of Toronto, the Canadian National Council on Prevention of Crime, Prosperous Pathways, Safe and Healthy Schools, the OECD and Unesco to develop national and international knowledge exchange and support systems to assist local communities anywhere in the world to increase social capital and social cohesion through the development of dynamic, functional, mutually beneficial learning communities.