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Prof's New Educational Leadership Textbook Translates Theory into Practice

A new textbook by Old Dominion professor William Owings is being touted as an ideal resource for aspiring school leaders who wish to innovate, educate and make a difference.

"Leadership and Organizational Behavior in Education: Theory into Practice," published by Pearson Education for its Allyn & Bacon Educational Leadership Series, will be available in early August.

It is the 10th book or monograph Owings has written with Leslie Kaplan, a full-time education writer and retired school administrator in Newport News. A member of the ODU faculty since 2002, Owings is a professor of educational leadership and graduate program director of the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the Darden College of Education.

From theory to practice, Owings and Kaplan's latest collaboration presents a readable, teachable, relevant and timely look at educational leadership and organizational behavior aligned with the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards, with a strong focus on how to translate the theory into practice.

The authors take historical, contemporary, scholarly and research-supported ideas about leadership in organizations (particularly schools) and show their relevance in actual practice. Each chapter presents focus questions, realistic case studies and case study questions, plus socially mediated activities after each major concept, to guide readers as they explore the meaning and professional relevance of the leadership topics - and see how to apply those ideas to their actual work settings, now or in the future.

Owings and Kaplan tie new ideas to actual leadership behaviors through case studies and personal experiences so that readers get a firm understanding of the information and how to relate it to their own experiences or transfer it to new situations. The authors also address a number of "hot topics" in leadership to capture and keep the reader's interest.

"Leslie and I are very excited about what this book will offer aspiring and practicing school leaders. It is a nice blend of theory and its practical applications in education," Owings said.

Owings, who has taught at ODU for nine years, has worked as a public school teacher, an elementary and high school principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools. His books co-authored with Kaplan include "Teacher Quality, Teaching Quality, and School Improvement," "The Effective Schools Movement: History, Analysis, and Application," "American Public School Finance" and "American Education: Building a Common Foundation."

They also have co-written articles that have appeared in the National Association of Secondary School Principals' NASSP Bulletin, Journal of School Leadership, Journal of Education Finance and Journal for Effective Schools.

Owings and Kaplan serve as co-editors of the Journal for Effective Schools and Owings is on the editorial advisory board for Journal of Education Finance. He is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences and a consultant on educational leadership and instructional improvement.

This article was posted on: July 28, 2011

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