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Compassionate Leadership for School Belonging

A highly readable book offering a message of hope for education in an uncertain world.

Compassionate Leadership for School Belonging draws on forty years of international research and professional practice to show how schools can be places of safety and fulfillment, even in the most difficult of circumstances. When belonging is a school’s guiding principle, more young people experience a sense of connectedness and friendship, perform better academically, and come to believe in themselves; their teachers feel more professionally fulfilled, their families more accepted. The originality of this highly readable book lies in its scope. It offers international analysis from the OECD alongside insights from the author’s extensive research in schools, powerfully supported by observational vignettes and drawings from the children, young people, and teachers who have been her co-researchers. The book reveals patterns of dislocation, disaffection, and exclusion, and highlights the points of intervention in policy and practice needed across school systems to create the conditions for school belonging. The methodologies, concepts, and research tools offered can be used by practitioners and researchers in their own contexts and to guide school leaders towards creating their own places of belonging.

162 pages | 30 color plates | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Education: Pre-School, Elementary and Secondary Education

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Table of Contents

Dedication List
of Vignettes, Figures and Tables

- Karen Seashore Louis

- Kathryn Riley

the Author



PART I:  Why
School Belonging Matters 

1. Searching for a place

2. On the outside looking in

3. I belong here

PART II: The Practice of School Belonging

4. Community engagement

5. Schools where belonging works

6. Tools to take your thinking forward 

PART III: Rethinking
Leadership for Belonging

7. Leading through the Labyrinth

8.: Leading with Compassion

9. Re-framing ‘what is’ to ‘what can be’


Appendix 1: Research on Place and Belonging – Kathryn Riley

Appendix II:
 Research Methodology and Further Tools

III:  Videos and materials linked to
place and belonging



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