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Leaders on Thinking


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Iowa Department of Education released a new report by two Iowa school administrators who examined the thinking and leadership of highly successful people as part of an ongoing project.

Watch the video.

The report, "Leaders on Thinking," summarizes the common themes developed from interviews with successful people, as well as steps that lead to better thinking. It was written by Lowell Ernst, director of curriculum and instruction for the Pella Community School District, and Dave Versteeg, superintendent of the Montezuma Community School District.

The report targets a broad audience, but it’s also applicable to Iowa schools.

"Business leaders talk about what they need, and it’s always problem-solving, communication skills and understanding of others," Ernst said. "If we’re asking students to develop higher-order thinking skills, we cannot develop tasks that only require understanding and recall. We have to build our instruction so that students have that training to analyze and evaluate."

Ernst and Versteeg started out with a goal to improve their own thinking and leadership. Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass, who was interviewed for the project, offered to share the report with Iowans and the rest of the world.

"My goal was to use the Iowa Department of Education's reach to share this work so that our schools, in particular, can start to study the thinking processes that exceptional leaders use and think about how we can grow those," Glass said.

Join the conversation about "Leaders on Thinking" at or on Twitter, using the hashtag #leadersonthinking.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on December 11, 2017 at 5:17am.