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Pearl R Kane

Professional Background

Educational Background

  • B.A., City College of New York
  • M.Ed., Smith College
  • Sixth year certificate in Administration and Supervisor, Hunter College
  • Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Doctoral Interdisciplinary focus: Teacher training, administration, and organization development.  Advisor and dissertation sponsor, Lawrence A. Cremin

Scholarly Interests

Independent schools. Private school governance. School choice and privatization. Professional development of teachers and administrators.


Selected Publications


  • The Colors of Excellence (TC Press)
  • Independent School, Independent Thinkers (Jossey-Bass).  

  • The First Year of Teaching: Real World Stories from America's Teachers (Walker).

  • The Challenge in Trusteeship (Association of Governing Boards).

  • "Leadership in the New Millenium" (Independent Schools).

office hours

By appointment.

ORLA 4071: leadership of private schools and non-profit organizations

How can leaders transform "good" schools into excellent schools? The purpose of this course is to equip dynamic individuals with skills and knowledge for aligning schools to accomplish challenging goals. Students study how mission and vision, governance, teamwork, social intelligence, and organization behavior contribute to effective leadership practice. They assess barriers to school change and explore strategies to overcome them. They analyze culture and ways to develop the habit of continuous school improvement. The course uses a variety of approaches with a focus on case studies. Permission of the instructor is required.

ORLA 4900: Research and independent study in educational leadership

For students wishing to pursue independent study and/or research on topics not covered in regular courses. Requires faculty member's approval of a study plan, reading list, and final paper or other products or projects. Permission required from individual faculty.

ORLA 5587: Strategic management of independent schools and nonprofit organizations

The purpose of this class is to equip educators with the skills needed for effective independent school practice. Classes are organized to develop skills in the following broad areas: staffing and management, coaching and feedback, strategic planning and organization structure, external relations, and transitioning into a new work environment. To develop proficiency in these important leadership skills, students have opportunities to learn about and then practice skills in the classroom context with feedback from peers and experienced practitioners. Permission required.

ORLA 5689: School heads colloquium

Enrollment limited to 20 participants. The purpose of the symposium is to provide renewal and reflection on issues relevant to school leaders through intensive study and collaboration with professional peers from independent and international schools. Topics include moral leadership and current education issues in public and private schools. Participants also conduct research on a topic of interest to their schools. Through on-site visits, students use the diversity of schools in New York City and the rich cultural resources as a laboratory for learning. Permission required.

ORLA 6461: Internship in school and school district leadership

A 450-hour supervised field experience in school district leadership. Partially satisfies New York State requirement for School District Leaders certificate. Permission required.

ORLA 6900: Directed research and study in education leadership

For students wishing to pursue independent study or original research as they prepare for their doctoral certification examination and/or dissertation proposal. Permission required from individual faculty.

ORLA 8900: Dissertation advisement in educational leadership

Individual advisement on the doctoral dissertation. Students register for this in the first semester after their dissertation proposal has been approved and continue registering in this (or in another course, with sponsor approval) until the dissertation is completed. Requires ongoing consultation between the student and dissertation sponsor. The fee equals three points at the current tuition rate for each term. Permission required from individual faculty.

Centers and Projects

Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership
Website: http://www.klingenstein.org

Full-year and Two-Summer master’s  programs and funded fellowships in leadership development for independent school educators. Programs serve early career teachers, mid-career administrators and heads of schools from a broad range of schools around the world.  All Klingenstein Center programs focus on instructional leadership, collaboration and teamwork, a commitment to social justice and diversity, and reflective practice.