Learning Forward’s book club is an opportunity for members to stay up to date, gain current insights that improve practice, and connect with field leaders. Through a partnership with Corwin, Learning Forward offers four hand-picked books annually and brings members together with authors for deeper discussion.

Learning Forward’s fall book club event featured authors Eleanor Drago-Severson, Jessica Blum-DeStefano, and Deborah Brooks Lawrence in a live, online discussion about their book, Growing for Justice: A Developmental Continuum of Leadership Capacities and Practices. As part of the discussion, the authors will discuss their new, research-based, developmental model of justice-centering educational leadership that will help participants meet the people in their care where they are, while advancing their own equity practices. The developmental model presented in the book is based on research with 50 diverse educational leaders in different roles from across the United States, in addition to the authors’ own combined decades of teaching and leading in schools and university educator preparation programs. Altogether, the research findings “helped paint a composite portrait of real-life leaders in education, at this moment in history, making sense of and enacting their commitments.”

Overall, the authors explained, they wrote the book to help answer the question: How might leaders committed to social justice support the growth and contributions of others while also developing their own capacities to engage, appreciate, understand, connect, and lead for change and transformation?

Learning Forward included Growing for Justice: A Developmental Continuum of Leadership Capacities and Practices as a 2023 book club selection to comprehensive members because of the unique way it approaches the topic to meet every educator where they are in their equitable education journey, according to Suzanne Bouffard, Learning Forward’s senior vice president of communications and publications. “The book presents multiple entry points for educators who are just beginning to examine their beliefs and also for those who are more established in the work.”

Learning Forward’s book club embodies our commitment to surfacing valuable ideas and resources that help educators at all levels meet their challenges and improve their practices, Bouffard said. “In October, we are thrilled to host a conversation with three authors who have ideated new approaches for educators to engage meaningfully in the important work of equity and social justice.”

Previous book club discussions in 2023 included Lyn Sharratt and Michael Fullan on their book, Putting Faces on the Data. Sharratt and Fullan shared their 14 parameters of system and school improvement, which were initially identified as key drivers for literacy and numeracy advancement.

In the 10th anniversary edition of their book, Sharratt and Fullan expanded the 14 parameters to encompass all subject areas. In the book, the authors noted that increased specificity in teaching, or knowing each and every student, allows educators to tailor student learning and define precise and intensive supports for instructional improvement. In the same way, school leaders can use student achievement data to differentiate support for teachers with targeted professional learning.

The final 2023 book club discussion will feature authors Gary Bloom and Jackie Owens Wilson discussing Blended Coaching: Supporting the Development and Supervision of School Leaders. Members do not have to read the book to benefit from the discussion.

Book club is a benefit of Learning Forward comprehensive membership.