Linda Bendikson

Dr. Linda Bendikson has been involved in educational leadership in New Zealand her whole career, as a principal of a two-teacher school serving a rural Māori community, as an adviser to rural schools, as a deputy principal and then as a principal of a provincial city school in the 1990s. She went on to become a regional manager in the Ministry of Education of New Zealand for ten years whilst completing a PhD on “The Effects of Principal Instructional Leadership on Secondary School Performance” under the supervision of Professors Viviane Robinson and John Hattie at the University of Auckland. She then worked for the University of Auckland, spending eight years leading the Centre for Educational Leadership before heading into private consultancy work in 2019. Her schooling improvement and leadership development programs (Leading Teams and Leading Improvement) are delivered online to New Zealand and Australian schools. Her programs support teams of leaders to do the real work of improvement. She guides leadership teams through the process of implementing improvement cycles and effectively leading change. She has been actively involved in researching school improvement and leadership since completing her PhD, frequently publishing with Dr Frauke Meyer. Linda is a pragmatist who draws on her practical experience and her academic interests in goal theory and improvement science to support school leaders to carry out their roles more strategically and effectively. As someone who never had the benefit of leadership training until very late in her career, her mission is to improve learners’ outcomes by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of leaders in schools and schooling systems.

Books by Linda Bendikson:

It's Not Rocket Science - A Guide to the School Improvement Cycle
With Examples from New Zealand and Australian Schools

It's Not Rocket Science - A Guide to the School Improvement Cycle: With Examples From New Zealand and Australian Schools presents an easy-to-read, practical guide to effectively leading school improvement. It walks leaders through each step of ‘The School Improvement Cycle’ developed by Bendikson and Meyer, providing case studies, examples, and helpful tools from primary and secondary schools for the implementation of each step. The book will support school leaders in implementing improvement cycles without making the classic mistakes of failing to develop measures of improvement and test change actions before scaling up. Schools and system leaders will benefit greatly from this practical guide, in which Bendikson and Meyer demonstrate that implementing improvement cycles is not a difficult process. While the book uses examples from Australian and New Zealand schools, the lessons that the book teaches can be applied to school leaders everywhere.

The authors show how to make the complex work of improving student learning and outcomes at least somewhat simpler. They do this by describing and illustrating improvement steps that they have found to work in practice, providing examples from their work in schools to show the application of these ideas. If implemented properly, the cycles become “self-propelling,” thus reducing the cognitive load involved in planning how to improve. A range of evidence from international research and the authors’ own research and development work in schools explains the cycle and illustrate it.

The book is entitled It’s Not Rocket Science because this is the common reaction from leaders once they understand the improvement cycle process. The book is perfect for a variety of courses in Education Leadership, Professional Development, and any other curriculum devoted to improving schools and student performance.

Perfect for courses such as: Educational Leadership, Professional Development

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