"The Importance of Being Little" and other reading picks for district leaders

By: | December 11, 2015

The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups


Children come into the world hardwired to learn in virtually any setting and about any matter. Yet in today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has been reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that too often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain.

Author and Yale early childhood expert Erika Christakis explains what it’s like to be a young child in a world designed by and for adults, and where society has confused schooling with learning.

She offers real-life solutions by looking at children’s use of language, their artistic expressions, the way their imaginations grow, and how they build deep emotional bonds to stretch the boundaries of their small worlds. The Importance of Being Little

Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need


This book, based on work done at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, reveals the challenges of changing how children are educated and presents techniques for creating technology-rich, collaborative and learner-centric schools.

Academy principal Chris Lehmann and former teacher Zac Chase present 95 ideas to help educators and administrators open conversations that examine specific practices in their own schools and districts. Lehmann and Chase challenge educators, administrators and parents to construct more modern and humane learning spaces for today’s students. Building Schools 2.0.

Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning: Tools for Achieving Success in Your School


Balanced leadership is key to challenging the status quo to move schools forward, authors Bryan Goodwin and Greg Cameron say. This book identifies the attributes associated with effective leadership and show how they relate to three overarching responsibilities: establishing a clear focus, managing change and developing a purposeful community.

The authors describe specific practices for each of these three areas and illustrate concepts with stories from real school principals who have become great leaders. Balanced Leadership for Powerful Learning

A Tale of Two School Principals: And the Superintendent Who Wanted to Lead Them

Bart & Company Inc.

Presented in a narrative format, A Tale of Two School Principals helps district administrators become more effective leaders by addressing four simple questions: Do principals know what to do? Do they know why they should be doing these things? Do they know how to do it? Do they know what they should care about while doing it?

As Chris Bart and Margot Trevelyan’s characters examine these questions at a fictional district, educators learn how to promote district goals, motivate their teams and impact the organization as a whole. A Tale of Two Principals