The Unlearning Leader | AASA Central
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The Unlearning Leader

Book Cover: The Unlearning Leader

Leading for Tomorrow's Schools Today

Michael Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak

The Unlearning Leader is about how today’s leaders need to connect for success. The premise of this book is that we all need to unlearn. In order to change and prepare for tomorrow, the authors submit that much of what leaders have learned must be unlearned as we aim to create a new tomorrow for our nation’s children.

The learning purposes of this book include:

  • Energize people to think, act, and lead differently
  • Embody innovative mindsets
  • Model and share new ways of leading from within the organization
  • Put forth the power and positive impact and legacy for leadership
  • Unlearn old truths to lead in new ways
  • Leverage connection opportunities like #suptchat to lead and learn for tomorrow

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

Nick Polyak, Ed.D. is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter.

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Preface: The Time Is Now
List of Tables and Figures
Chapter 1: Unlearning Connection
Chapter 2: Unlearning Planning and the Change Process
Chapter 3: Unlearning “That’s the Way We Have Always Done it”
Chapter 4: Unlearning Fear of Social Media
Chapter 5: Unlearning Professional Development
Chapter 6: Unlearning Leadership
Appendix A
About the Authors

Reviews:Tech & Learning Leader wrote:

From connecting with other education leaders to creating a new model of professional development, where practitioners are the experts and professional educators help each other get better at their practice, the book is chock-full of real-world examples of this new kind of leadership.

School Administrator wrote:

The popular moderators of the Twitter chat #suptchat, Michael Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak, have taken some of their social media musings to print. Their combined experiences as superintendents in suburban Chicago permeate the text, along with professional learning network contacts they befriended. The result is a highly practical book centered around the idea of ‘unlearning.’ ‘Unlearning That’s the Way We Have Always Done It’ is a chapter title that will ring true for many education leaders. The innovations in the duo’s school systems form the basis of the text, peppered with correlating research. At a realistic 97 pages, The Unlearning Leader is a just-right read for individual school leaders, a professional learning community and aspiring leaders in preparation programs.

Jim Burgett, author, speaker, president of the Burgett Group, Illinois Superintendent of the Year wrote:

The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today is a book that will make a difference. Unlearning implies relearning, and that relates to change. The once constant in education today is change. Leaders must know how people learn, communicate, and think. Nick and Mike are energetic, innovative, creative experts in promoting effective leadership that embraces today’s vastly different environment. This book is not an option – it is fundamental to building educational attitudes and behaviors that produce exceptional learners.

George Couros, Learner, Educator, and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant; author, "The Innovator's Mindset" wrote:

In The Unlearning Leader, the authors beautifully deconstruct some of the narratives of what many see as traditional schooling, and create a compelling narrative on why we need to embrace and create a new (and much better) narrative of K-12 education. With many powerful examples throughout the book, this book will spark many ideas on how you can create meaningful changes that will empower your students in a world that needs them to make a difference in the lives of others.

Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators wrote:

Mike Lubelfeld and Nick Polyak are champions for children. As I travel across the country, I strongly encourage superintendents to stay engaged with professional peers within their regions, their respective states and throughout the country. Mike and Nick are doing just that. Through a variety of platforms, they're effectively leveraging the power of social media, which is why I applaud their efforts to 'celebrate the connected leader' in this book. They have mobilized scores of like-minded educators from coast to coast for a common cause — breaking down the barriers from education's bygone days and building a culture of innovation to create more opportunities for students to be successful.

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