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Renegade Leadership


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Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES FOREWORD ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR INTRODUCTION: RENEGADES NEEDED What Is Renegade Leadership? Why Renegade Leadership? The Renegade CODE Special Features Outcomes CHAPTER 1. RENEGADE LEADERSHIP DEFINED Renegade Leadership Defined Epic Fail: Neglecting to Acknowledge Standard Work The Code of the West The Renegade CODE Best Practice and Innovation The Renegade Leadership Difference Equity in Action Instructional Leadership in Action What Renegade Leadership Is Not Real-Life Renegade: Atul Gawande What Are We Saying "Yes" To? Renegade Leadership Scale Directions Double Down on Self-Reflection CHAPTER 2. RELATIONSHIPS AND CULTURE Relationships and Connectedness Real-Life Renegade: Lucy Stone Understanding School Culture The Science of Accelerated Change Starting a New Leadership Position Equity in Action Renegade Profile: Sarah Thomas Traditions Perpetuate Mindsets Putting People First How to "Flip" Your Open House Epic Fail: Putting Paperwork Before People How to Reprioritize Relationships Through Relational Rounds Best Practice and Innovation Instructional Leadership in Action Renegade Research Double Down on School Culture CHAPTER 3. THE RENEGADE CODE The Renegade CODE The Renegade CODE in Action Epic Fail: Talking Technology Without the Mention of Pedagogy Best Practice and Innovation Inherently Connected Understanding the Status Quo Understanding State Standards Real-Life Renegade: Jackson Pollock Where Pedagogy Meets Innovation Renegade Research Modeling the Renegade CODE Creating Culture Renegade Profile: Adam Welcome How to Practice the Renegade CODE Double Down on Modeling Connected Learning CHAPTER 4. COLLABORATION FOR DIGITAL-AGE STUDENTS Collaboration Real-Life Renegade: Rosa Parks Modeling the Renegade CODE Creating Student Wins Creating Culture How to Start a Collaborative Podcast Parent Partnerships Digital-Age Communications Renegade Profile: Jen Hegna Understanding the Status Quo Fearless Collaboration Great Minds Think Differently Passport to Passion Equity in Action Trickle-Down Collaboration Instructional Leadership in Action Double Down on Collaboration CHAPTER 5. OWNERSHIP: EMPOWERING DIGITAL-AGE STUDENTS Ownership Real-Life Renegade: Patsy Sherman Creating Culture Epic Fail: Underestimating What Kids Are Capable Of Students as Stakeholders Renegade Profile: Jennie Magiera Amplify Student Voice Potential Pitfalls Creating Student Wins How to Bring Student Ownership to Board Meetings The Renegade Leadership Difference True Learner Empowerment Traditions Perpetuate Mindsets Double Down on Student Ownership CHAPTER 6. DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY FOR DIGITAL-AGE STUDENTS Digital Connectivity Real-Life Renegade: Ole Kirk Christiansen Classrooms as Mirrors Deeper Learning Through Flipped Instruction Consider the Positives How to Live-Stream a School Event Transparency Transforms Learning Relationships and Connectedness Potential Pitfalls Parent Partnerships THINK Social Media Scaffolding Equity in Action Renegade Profile: Daisy Dyer Duerr Creating a Culture How to Create a Culture of Connectedness Using a School Hashtag Where Pedagogy Meets Innovation Double Down on Digital Connectivity CHAPTER 7. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IS DEEPER LEARNING Experiential Learning Real-Life Renegade: Noah Webster Relationships and Connectedness Understanding State Standards Best Practice and Innovation How to Facilitate Experiential Learning With Drone Technology Where Pedagogy Meets Innovation Creating Student Wins Instructional Leadership in Action Creating a Culture Modeling the Renegade CODE Relationships Are the Experience Renegade Profile: Sandy Otto Double Down on the Learning Experience CHAPTER 8. INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP FOR THE DIGITAL AGE Improving Practice Real-Life Renegade: Dick Fosbury Instructional Leadership in Action Renegade Profile: Jill Johnson Best Practice and Innovation Improving Practice Through Conversation Equity in Action Epic Fail: Being Unprepared to Respond to Culturally Insensitive Comments Confronting Racism Through Conversation How to Hold a Culturally Responsive Conversation Creating Culture True Learner Empowerment How to Bring MakerSpace Learning to Your School How to Fund a MakerSpace Transforming Learning Spaces Improving Practice Through Renegade Leadership Double Down on Improving Practice CHAPTER 9. PERSONALIZED PD TO EMPOWER EDUCATORS Microcredentialing and Digital Badges Real-Life Renegade: Dave Grohl Amplify Student Voice True Learner Empowerment Renegade Profile: Sheilah Jefferson-Isaac How to Create Breakout Sessions for Staff PD Instructional Leadership in Action Creating Culture Modeling the Renegade CODE Renegade Profile: Todd Nesloney Renegade Research How to Cultivate Connected PD How to Organize an Edcamp Bring the Edcamp Experience to Your Staff Creating Student Wins Putting People First Best Practice and Innovation Epic Fail: Undercommunicating Change Double Down on PD CHAPTER 10. ACTIVATE YOUR RENEGADE LEADERSHIP Six Subtle Shifts Subtle Shift 1: Help Mentor Teachers Double Down on Mentoring Subtle Shift 2: Make Our Own Learning Visible Renegade Profile: Jon Corippo Double Down on Learning Subtle Shift 3: Celebrate and Support New Teachers Renegade Profile: Jimmy Casas Double Down on Support Subtle Shift 4: Prioritize 10 Percent-Type Conversations Double Down on 10 Percent-Type Conversations Subtle Shift 5: Revitalize Hiring Practices Double Down on Hiring Subtle Shift 6: Focus on a Pedagogy That Amplifies Learning Double Down on Focus Call to Action RESOURCES REFERENCES INDEX

About the Author

Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal in Minnesota. Brad has pioneered efforts to update pedagogy so it is responsive to the needs of digital age students. He is a TEDx and keynote speaker who exudes a passion for learning that is palpable. Brad was a national Digital Innovation in Learning Award (DILA) winner, and a Bammy Award Finalist in the category of Elementary School Principal. He was also a finalist for National Distinguished Principal in 2016. Brad's blog, Adjusting Course, was recognized with an Editor's Choice Content Award by Smartbrief Education. It was named as a "Must-Read" K-12 blog by EdTech Magazine, and a finalist for Best Administrator Blog by the EduBlog Awards. Brad earned his Doctoral degree at Bethel University where his research focused on innovation and professional development. You can connect with him on Twitter via @GustafsonBrad or visit his website at


It is important that we start to think differently about leadership. Renegade Leadership is so crucial to the work that we do in education. If we do change right, schools can be a place where we are not just trying to catch up to the innovation around us, but we can be leading it for the entire world. Think about it ... why can't schools be the place that other organizations look to for innovation? -- George Couros "Renegade Leadership is a gold mine of inspiring stories, practical ideas and authentic examples of school transformation. It's a book that all educators should read, as we can all be leaders in improving schools no matter what our title or position." -- Jennie Magiera, Author of Courageous Edventures "Renegade Leadership demonstrates what student-centered schools look like in the digital age. When we get relationships and pedagogy right, we can transform the very nature of learning. The vulnerability of Brad Gustafson's open sharing combined with his practical advice make this an incredible classroom resource. This is a book our students desperately need us all to read." -- Erin Klein, Scholastic Top Teacher and Michigan Teacher of the Year "WOW! Renegade Leadership is loaded with great ideas that any educator could adapt in their own space. I particularly loved the concrete examples of innovation happening in Brad's school; from the drone challenges, and community service group, to the live-streaming of events so students with sensory issues can join from their classrooms. This book offers a glimpse into the future of best practice. The pedagogy is presented by a practitioner who understands the importance of purpose and higher-level learning. I am so inspired by this text and cannot wait to try some of the ideas in our own district. This is a MUST READ for all educators and especially educational leaders!" -- Tony Sinanis, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Author In Renegade Leadership, Dr. Brad Gustafson provides invigorating, concrete examples of strategic thinking and skills for educational leaders to fill the vacuum that exists in many educational settings. Gustafson asserts that leadership and change in education are irrevocably intertwined. Renegade Leadership is there for everyone to partake - you just have to decide to commit. -- Jon Corippo "Dr. Brad Gustafson's compendium of workable ideas will provide school leaders with guidance and the best PD they will have had for a long time. Readers will be moved by his contagious enthusiasm as he shares the great ideas that worked in his school." -- Neil MacNeill, Head Master "A great combination of discussion on pedagogy, professional learning, digital age instructional leadership, culture, and relationships - this book provides so many opportunities for reflection as well as turnkey strategies that will impact the cultures of our schools. The power of the instructional leader is captured in inspiring ways; I found myself wanting to put this in the hands of all my principals for immediate use in their buildings." -- Rich Hall, Director of Elementary Education "The concept of renegade leadership is an idea whose time has come in an age of educational volatility and insecurity." -- John Robinson, High School Principal "Engaging, sincere. Creative ideas are presented within every chapter as well as rich possibilities for innovating student and staff learning ... This text contains content with the potency of a time machine many school leaders dream of having: take me to relevant, simple yet profound ideas to bring instruction and curriculum at my school into the new realm of learning to prepare students for their world." -- Virginia E. Kelsen, Executive Director, College and Careers "Be prepared to be inspired! I'm a huge fan of Brad Gustafson because of the energy and passion he puts into his leadership. In Renegade Leadership: Creating Innovative Schools for Digital-Age Students, readers will feel that energy and passion in each and every page. Gustafson offers a step-by-step how to guide for school leaders. Read, learn and innovate!" -- Peter DeWitt, Author and Consultant Renegade Leadership has the most comprehensive companion website I've seen. It offers flipped videos, community forum components, and diverse opportunities to extend educators' learning as far as they choose. The book and website together provide extensive and intensive personalized professional development that readers will want to dive into over and over again. -- Jason Bretzmann, Teacher and Author of Flipping 2.0 and Personalized PD

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