Covey, Stephen. The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness One Child at a Time. New York: Free Press, 2009.
Reviewed by J. d'Artagnan Love
The Leader in Me is a program implemented in K12 school systems based on Covey's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This program is implemented in most of the schools in my local community with at least one of the schools being categorized as a "Lighthouse" school. A Lighthouse school is, apparently, a school that has reached a certain level of sponsorship and implementation of the this program.
This book, The Leader in Me, describes how this program started at A.B. Combs Elementary school. Essentially, the principal at A.B. Combs wanted to make the school a magnet school focused on fostering leadership skills. Covey's ideas weren't the only ideas she used but, instead, she pulled from the work of leaders all over the world to build the program. The concepts were interwoven into the culture of the school and results seems to indicate increased teacher satisfaction, improved test scores, and reduced discipline issues.
I read this book as part of a research project I'm working on so it is hard for me to give a "review" in terms of quality for the general reader. I'd say this is definitely interesting stuff for educators and parents to comb through, but you should also be aware that this isn't the only program out there doing great things in schools. There is actually a lot of controversy surrounding the Leader in Me program especially when it comes to the cost of implementing the program through the official sponsoring organization.
Overall, the book does a good job describing the program, its roots and how to implement it. The bias is quite obvious so readers definitely need to use critical thinking skills when determining whether this is something to consider for their own school systems.
RECOMMENDED FOR: K12 educators, parents, and researchers interested in education. Just keep the bias in mind and don't let it blind you.
NOT RECOMMEND FOR: The general public--it isn't a book to read unless you have a specific interest in education.
3 darts out of 5