Implementing Innovative Leadership in an Inclusive Learning Environment

Author(s): Joseph B Cuseo, Aaron Thompson, Houston M. Barber

Edition: 1

Copyright: 2020

Pages: 140


Details: Electronic Delivery EBOOK | 180 days |


"If ever we needed the transformative power of culturally competent educational leadership to drive deep learning, it is now. We need the Why, the What & the How. The Authors of 'Implementing Innovative Leadership in an Inclusive Learning Environment' deliver - with compelling clarity - on all three fronts."
- Anthony Mackay, President & CEO, National Center on Education & the Economy ( NCEE ), Washington DC

Renowned educators and leaders Aaron Thompson, Ph.D., Houston Barber, Ph.D., and Joe Cuseo, Ph.D., collaborate to share their collective knowledge on the successful implementation of diversity into the classroom and community—across all ages and levels.

This publication provides future and current educational leaders with ­effective, research-based strategies for delivering culturally competent, responsive, and inclusive school leadership. The tools offered serve to close the achievement gap while simultaneously promoting the academic achievement and personal development of all students. Created with P-20 students in mind, these proven tactics are applicable across the entire spectrum of education and community development.

Features include:

  • Authors’ Experiences
  • Internet Resources
  • Practical Applications
  • Chapter Purpose and Preview


This is what Allison Slone, Special Education Teacher and Founder of Kentucky Teachers in The Know, has to say: 

In a time when equity, diversity, and social justice are the center of societal unrest and revolution, now more than ever we need the kind of leadership in education that results in innovation, growth mindset, inclusiveness, and unbiased decision making.

In Implementing Innovative Leadership In An Inclusive Learning Environment, Thompson, Barber, and Cuseo share how the most effective qualities of school leadership increase buy-in, engagement, and success of both educators and students, especially minority students when diversity in curriculum is intentional, purposeful, and all-encompassing. Reading this book was like having everything I had ever personally felt, believed, or experienced in my own leadership journey spelled out in front of me. 

Thompson, Barber, and Cuseo show how leadership often materializes from a place of need or passion rather than training or certification. My own leadership status came from a need to change the education system to ensure my son and others like him, diagnosed with dyslexia, received an appropriate, equitable education. That led to ensuring teachers had the information and resources they needed to stay in the know. I use many of the leadership best practices included in this book to lead twenty-two thousand plus educators by being transparent, dependable, reflective, and resourceful. I always say leading from the front isn’t always the best leadership. Great leadership often means standing beside your charge, walking hand in hand. Accomplished leadership comes when you can stand behind them providing encouragement and guidance, as they pave their own leadership journey. 

The book demonstrates exactly that, how good leaders encourage others to be leaders, form groups that set and meet goals, give presentations that immerse participants in the learning process, design assessments and activities that address cultural differences and achievement gaps, and strive to not only own, but also address, their own unintended biases. I’ve always considered myself to be fair and open minded, but as I read this book I often found myself self-reflecting about my own practices and misconceptions. 

Through the use of personal stories, quotes, best practices, reflective questioning, and shared resources Thompson, Barber, and Cuseo naturally urge readers to reflect on their personal journey, evaluate prior actions and decisions, and develop a new mindset that includes a more solutions oriented, culturally competent, and inclusive approach to leadership. This book is the most relevant, comprehendible, and useful guide to date that addresses how leadership effectiveness positively impacts diversity in education and results in higher success rates for minority students.

Chapter 1
The Essence of Leadership:
Essential Attributes, Foundational Theories, and Powerful Practices

Chapter 2
The Benefits of Diversity Education:
What Every School Leader Should Know

Chapter 3
The Societal Context for Diversity Education:
Family, School and Community

Chapter 4
Leading Schools:
Models for Facilitating Teamwork & Student Success

Chapter 5
Models for School Leadership:
Creating a Sense of Belonging

Chapter 6
Leadership Application and Culturally Inclusive Assessment:
Evaluating Student Learning with Equity and Validity

Joseph B Cuseo

Joe Cuseo holds a doctoral degree in Educational Psychology and Assessment from the University of Iowa and is Professor Emeritus of Psychology. For more than 25 years, he directed the first-year seminar—a core college success course required of all new students.
He’s a 14-time recipient of the “faculty member of the year award” on his home campus—a student-driven award based on effective teaching and academic advising; a recipient of the “Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award” from the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition; and a recipient of the “Diamond Honoree Award” from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) for contributions made to student development and the Student Affairs profession.
+++__Currently, Joe serves as an educational advisor and consultant for AVID—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the college access and college success of underserved student populations. He has delivered hundreds of campus workshops and conference presentations across North America, as well as Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

Aaron Thompson

Aaron Thompson is a nationally recognized leader in higher education with a focus on policy, student success and organizational leadership and design. He serves as President of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and as professor of sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He recently served as interim president of Kentucky State University. Thompson holds a doctorate in sociology in areas of organizational behavior and race and gender relations.

His leadership experience spans 27 years across higher education, business and numerous non-profit boards. Thompson has researched, taught and consulted in areas of diversity, leadership, ethics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, cultural competence and organizational design throughout his career.

As a highly sought after national speaker, Thompson has presented more than 800 workshops, seminars and invited lectures in areas of race and gender diversity, living an unbiased life, overcoming obstacles to gain success, creating a school environment for academic success, cultural competence, workplace interaction, leadership, organizational goal setting, building relationships, the first-year seminar, and a variety of other topics. He continues to serve as a consultant to educational institutions (elementary, secondary and postsecondary), corporations, non-profit organizations, police departments and other governmental agencies.

Thompson has published more than 30 publications and numerous research and peer reviewed presentations. He has authored or co-authored the following books: Changing Student Culture from the Ground Up, The Sociological Outlook, Infusing Diversity and Cultural Competence into Teacher Education, Peer to Peer Leadership: Changing Student Culture from the Ground Up. He also co-authored Thriving in College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success, Thriving in the Community College and Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic Success and Personal Development, Diversity and the College Experience, Focus on Success and Black Men and Divorce.

Houston M. Barber

Houston Barber is the Superintendent with the Frankfort Independent School District, where he utilizes expertise in leadership and equity, fiscal management, education policy development, and instructional effectiveness to achieve milestones and ensure full operational fulfillment. Houston has worked with highly-qualified, cross-functional teams and has experience interfacing with staff, faculty, and the community in order to foster communication and connection between all parties involved in a given district initiative.

He attended Marquette University, and upon graduation, coached various teams of Cross Country and Track and Field at South Oldham from 1998 – 2001. Afterwards, Houston went on to get his Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville where he was named Most Outstanding Master’s Degree Student. He transitioned to becoming a principal in Jefferson County Public Schools and served as Principal at Fern Creek High School. During this time, he received his PhD from the University of Louisville in 2007. Dr. Houston Barber and his team turned around Fern Creek High School and he was awarded the 2013 Hilliard Lyons Outstanding Principal. In December of 2013, Dr. Barber was appointed the Principal of the Academy at Shawnee in West Louisville. Houston was awarded a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the Louisville Metro Council in 2014. Houston also received the Region 7 Kentucky Outstanding Civic Leadership Award in 2014 from Secretary of State Allison Grimes. Business First recognized Houston as one of the 20 People to Know in Education and in 2015 Leadership Louisville recognized Houston as a 2015 West Louisville Connector.

In addition, he has taught leadership and education courses at Bellarmine University, University of the Cumberlands, and University of Louisville. Houston has co-written and published several research articles.

Dr. Barber currently serves as the Vice President for the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents and Vice President for Kentucky Capital Development Corporation (KCDC). Houston also serves as a board member on the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation. He teaches and mentors new superintendents in Kentucky through the Kentucky Association of School Administrators. Furthermore, he is on the Board of Managers for Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute for School Principals. He was selected on the Education and Workforce Development Transition Team for Governor Elect Andy Beshear in 2019. Dr. Barber completed the District Leadership Institute for GEAR-UP in 2020, the National Institute of School Leadership Superintendent’s Academy in 2019, and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement American Express (AMEX) Fellowship in 2019.

Dr. Barber is currently enrolled in the Harvard Business Analytics Program and participates in the Schlechty Center’s Superintendent’s Network and National Center for Education Research and Technology (NCERT).

Houston holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change, as well as an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Louisville. Houston is married to his wonderful wife Darra Jarrett Barber and is a father to four beautiful children – McLain, Preston, Kenzie, and Parker.

Implementing Innovative Leadership in an Inclusive Learning Environment is absolutely marvelous. I started reading the book and then I had to stop because I had to go and get a pen and a notepad and a highlighter. I hadn’t even made it out of chapter one without taking copious notes and a multitude of highlights. Everyone reading this book needs to start with a pen and a notepad and a highlighter by their side. I especially liked Chapter 5, Models for School Leadership, and Chapter 6, Leadership Application and Culturally Inclusive Assessment.
Here are my recommendations:
- Mandatory reading for all juniors in high school
- Mandatory reading for all freshmen entering college
- Mandatory reading for all first year teachers.
- A resource guide for all teachers administrators and leaders of nonprofit and community organizations
- Edward Powe, founder of Focus on Race Relations (FORR), Frankfort, KY

Implementing Innovative Leadership by Thompson, Barber, and Cuseo is a timely contribution to professional educators in the era of COVID-19.  The nation’s schools are challenged by the task of delivering high quality and inclusive academic contexts to schools filled with diverse learners.  The goal of providing appropriated and accommodating school settings has been further complicated by the recent adoption of online instruction, stay at home schooling, and limited opportunities for direct engagement.  Thompson and colleagues provide just-in time guidance for school teachers and leaders struggling to make certain that all children have access to learning settings that enable them to acquire content knowledge and application strategies for the competitive marketplace of work and/or higher education.  This volume delicately balances theory and practice in a manner that provides for both use as an academic text and personal resource guide.  Implementing Innovative Leadership is a must have for any educator committed to creating safe and equitable learning environments for all students.
- M. Christopher Brown II, Ph.D., President, Kentucky State University

Thompson, Barber, and Cuseo offer valuable and authentic information and guidance for those leaders wishing to implement innovative leadership and create an inclusive learning environment. Each chapter is a thoughtful mix of information and inspiration. There is enough content here to carry an undergraduate or graduate course, to lead a series of workshops for practitioners, to satisfy scholars, and to enable an individual to manage her own professional development. This is a well-researched, audience-focused, authentic journey of a read. I highly recommend it for all levels of leaders and I encourage all measure of thought-partners to use this book to enrich our communities of learning and learners through the conversations Thompson, Barber and Cuseo invite.
 - Beverly Schneller, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and SACSCOC Liaison at Kentucky State University

Implementing Innovative Leadership in an Inclusive Learning Environment promotes acceptance and appreciation for all students. Deeper learning leads to the essence of leadership to be adaptive and bring about transformation for students. An exceptional read to bring about change in our schools. 
- Randy Poe, National Center for Transformational Leadership Strategies (NCTLS); NKY Education Council

This is perhaps one of the most relevant and actionable resources for educators on the market today. I believe the best educators are leaders. While there are a many resources to develop leadership skills for those in the business world, there are too few that take the approach of explicitly lifting up educators as leaders. Today's educators need the skills of motivating, innovating and leading by example to successfully create a classroom culture of authentic relationships and shared respect.

The material is very relevant for what is happening in our world right now, while also offering timeless perspectives on the role of leadership in education. The many connections made to recent research, even the context of offering theories in development, provide the most current thinking on tough subjects. The storytelling component offers a historical context that illuminates issues of equity that society and education have struggled with throughout history - and yet, it is encouraging to see the window of opportunity to go faster in today's efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion as assets.
- Kimberly Lipp, Executive Vice President, Jobs for Maine's Graduates, Inc.

Related ISBN's: 9781792436802, 9781792425387




ISBN 9781792436802

Details Electronic Delivery EBOOK 180 days