Applying Theory to Practice
Author: Carlos Nevarez,J. Luke Wood,Rose Penrose
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
This book presents leaders and aspiring leaders in community colleges with a theoretical and practical framework for analyzing their leadership styles, and determining the dimensions of leadership they need to improve in order to strengthen their capacity to resolve complex issues and effectively guide their institutions. It does so through presenting theories about leadership that are congruent with the notions of equity, access, diversity, ethics, critical inquiry, transformational change, and social justice that drive the missions of community colleges, and at the same time provides the reader with the strategic skills to prepare for and navigate the profound changes ahead. Readers will gain an understanding of how to use theory as a tool to guide their practice, better understand the intricacies of the issues confronting them, the power dynamics and organizational context in which they operate, predict potential outcomes, and develop processes to achieve desired outcomes. Utilizing theory in conjunction with case study analysis provides community college leaders with the tools needed to comprehensively interrogate and inform decision-making processes. The authors provide a number of rich and realistically complex case studies, all of which are situated in a community college environment, to which readers can apply the various theories and perspectives, develop their view about the principles and actions most likely to lead to satisfactory outcomes, and hone the approaches to leadership that are authentic to them, and effective. The authors aim to help readers develop the multi-faceted approach to leadership that is essential to running complex organizations. They aim to promote development of the “whole” leader through a three-fold framework of theory, practice, and introspection in context of institutional change. In doing so, leaders will be better equipped to lead community colleges in challenging times. The authors tie AACC’s competencies to the leadership theories they cover, as well as to the analysis of the case studies, and leadership inventories, as an essential framework for developing the skill sets to enact the community college mission. The book is suitable for personal reading and reflection, institutional leadership retreats and training, and as a text for higher education courses.