Academic writing in the field of education often presents a theoretical understanding that is disconnected from field realities. As a teacher educator, I have often found pre-service teachers struggling with theories, models and perspectives that are built on the basis of research carried out in foreign contexts and texts written in a language that is alien to them. Giridhar’s work is a welcome change in such an academic landscape. The book serves two valuable purposes. First, it documents practitioners’ experiments and innovations. Years of practical knowledge from the field which each principal and teacher covered in the book has accumulated, developed and refined through his/her experience has been presented for educationists to learn from. The second important purpose is that it lends voice to practitioners from the field. The documentation of teachers’ work and journeys is not from the lens of a researcher observer; the author presents teachers’ stories from their standpoint and experience.
The book is divided into five sections. Each section celebrates initiatives taken by practitioners in different areas of education. The first section, ‘The Head Teacher as CEO’, presents stories of school administrators who have worked towards improvement in school efficiency and student learning. The stories from each of the schools located in rural areas in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, and Rajasthan, point towards the need for a good leader in schools.