The New Meaning of Educational Change; Moving Leadership Standards into Everyday Work

By Manthey, George | Leadership, November-December 2007 | Go to article overview

The New Meaning of Educational Change; Moving Leadership Standards into Everyday Work


Manthey, George, Leadership


It's somewhat ironic that a textbook has never been included in these recommendations of books worth reading. But that is no longer the case. Michael Fullan's "The New Meaning of Educational Change (Fourth Edition)," is in my opinion a must-read for every educator serious about improving learning and teaching.

Fullan divides this broad topic into three parts: Understanding Educational Change, Educational Change at a Local Level, and Educational Change at the Regional and National Level. The book provides not only a broad history of how schools have changed, but also insight into what is needed to sustain change.

For example, in Part I Fullan points out, "Neglect of the phenomenology of change--that is, how people actually experience change as distinct from how it might have been intended--is at the heart of the spectacular lack of success of most social reforms.... Solutions must come through the development of shared meaning. The interface between individual and collective meaning and action in everyday situations is where change stands or falls."

The section on change at the local level includes descriptions of the role of teachers, principals, students, parents and district administration. The final section lays the foundation for what state and national agencies must address to sustain change at the local level.

This book provides meaningful insights for school and district leaders as they work to improve their schools, but also as they serve as resources for the policy makers who guide our systems. …

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