My work in change over the past 40 years started with the premise of finding out as much as possible about the problems of
implementation. The more we found out the more we got drawn to doing something about it. In the last decade and a half in particular, we have been teaming up with local practitioners and system politicians to cause greater implementation. What we discovered is wonderful news for research, namely ‘to do is to know more.’
It may seem strange to say that professional development—educators going to workshops and conferences, and taking courses—bears little relationship to classroom and school improvement. Similarly teachers toiling away as individuals do not add up to school or system success. What really counts is what happens ‘in between workshops’ or what I call learning is the work (Fullan, 2008).
Welcome to the workshop. Our goal is to provide an update of the ideas from some of the key work that we are engaged in in partnership with schools and school systems around the world. We base our work on three fundamental assumptions:
1. The Moral Imperative Realized (raise the bar and close the gap for all students on deep learning goals);
2. Whole System Involvement (100% of schools and jurisdictions are engaged);
3. Precision and Practicality (clear strategies that become jointly owned).
Welcome to the Workshop!
9-11:00 Module I-The Leader in You 11-11:30
11:30-1:00 Module II-Professional Cultures Module III-Leading Professional Capital
2:00-3:15 Module III-Leading Professional Capital (cont’d) Module IV -The Leader and Technology
Do your school reform efforts frequently sputter or stall? In this indispensable sequel to the
bestseller Motion Leadership, Michael Fullan shares the real-life strategies and results of educators who have
used motion leadership to propel entire organizations and systems forward. Success stories from the
US and around the world illustrate how educators can use a small number of specific actions to
generate momentum for lasting change. Motion Leadership in Action addresses:
• Creating and leading movement in the right direction and at the right time
• Implementing a "ready-fire-aim" mindset
• Emphasizing the importance of collaboration
• Forging relationships while handling resistance
• Establishing your change stance in order to get better results
You can’t make people change, and rewards and punishment either don’t work or are short lived—the only thing that works is people’s intrinsic motivation, and you have to get at this indirectly.
So far we have looked at deliberate practice as the crucible of learning, and empathetic resolute leadership committed to making learning better and better. But what is going to motivate the masses? Impressive empathy is a start, but you also need something to actually engage people. The big change problem, then, is how to get people to put in the energy to improve a situation when a
lot of them don’t want to do it. How do you get people to change their minds? Grasping the essence of quality change processes is the focus of this chapter.
Education PLUS is the hidden dividend that learners come to acquire if they are educated in what we call the new pedagogies ‐ powerful new learning modes steeped in real world problem solving now made more telling through recent, rapid developments in the use of technology for interactive learning.
We can and will define the core learning outcomes as the ‘Six Cs of Deep Learning’, but we first must understand the existential essence of this new human being. It is no exaggeration to say that the new pedagogies have the potential to support a fundamental transformation in human evolution. The result is that action, reflection, learning and living can now become one and the same. This seamless ‘ecology’ of life and learning occurs during what we used to know as formal schooling, post‐secondary and higher education, but then continues throughout life. In this model, learning, doing, knowing, adapting, inventing and living become practically indistinguishable. Although we offer here a philosophical note on Education PLUS we are deeply involved with practitioners around the world in doing this new work of learning on an increasingly large and deep scale. The
developments we describe are happening in real time, and we predict will take off in the immediate future.
Education is overloaded with programs and data. The growth of digital power has aided and abetted the spread of accountability-driven data—adequate yearly progress, test results for every child in every grade, common core standards, formative and summative assessments galore. Each data set shows a full continuum from below standard to exceed standards. Educators need to be able to put FACES on the data at all points on the continuum and, to know what to do to help individual children behind the statistical mask.
Drawing on a vast range of research, much of it focused on the dynamics of school life, Michael Fullan has distilled rich insights and wisdom of great value to the Irish school system in transition. In this paper he puts the spotlight on the pivotal role of the principal in the Irish education reform movement for the twenty-first century. Its tripartite format identifies how principals make a
difference, what barriers prevent them from realising their potential and what actions need to be taken ‘to create a new irreversible momentum of success’. The paper presents a concise and compelling case for constructive action, which we will ignore at our peril. As he remarks, the paper ‘has a decidedly action bias’, and he directs his specific recommendations to three agencies – the government, IPPN and individual principals. Fullan tells us that his recommendations are ‘intended to build on the strong educational traditions and practices in the Irish system’, but he is unequivocal on the need for action to secure the future well-being of the system.
The results of the latest MetLife Survey of the American Teacher confirm what many of us are experiencing and seeing in the depressing descent of the teaching profession. In the past two years, the percentage of teachers surveyed who reported being very satisfied in their jobs has declined sharply, from 59 percent to 44 percent. The number who indicated they were thinking of
leaving the profession has jumped from 17 percent to 29 percent. Imagine being a student knowing that every other teacher you encounter is becoming less and less satisfied, and close to one in three would rather be somewhere else.
Educational decentralization is a worldwide phenomenon, but as a concept it hides more than it reveals. It often refers to the devolution of some authority to the local school and community level, but two large problems remain. First, in all cases, key aspects of authority are retained at the regional and central level. In this sense, decentralization is a misnomer. Second, when decentralization does occur, it usually refers to structural elements (such as site- based councils), thereby missing the day-to-day capacities and activities that would make it work for school improvement.
In their aptly named book on organizational management, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton write about Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense. A hard fact is something for which there is solid evidence. A dangerous half-truth is when this fact is superficially applied. And total nonsense is often the outcome of not knowing the difference.
We can gain insight about the current state of school leadership by applying this organizational thinking to two of education’s hard facts: The principal is crucial to school success, and professional learning communities are more effective than individual professionals working in isolation. In doing so, we should remember that the danger in the half-truth is not just that it is incomplete or misleading, but that its proponents are unaware that it is not true.
Learning to Lead Change - The Pathways Problem
Participants will learn:
▪ How collegiality is deliberately cultivated
▪ How learning is the work
▪ How to turn accountability to your advantage
▪ How to tackle complexity with confidence and humility
▪ Which leadership qualities and strategies are crucial
This is the third in the series of short publications by the DfES Innovation Unit, intended to stimulate debate within and beyond the teaching profession on key issues. Previous pamphlets have touched on the importance of networks in stimulating and transferring better practice1; and on how the concept of personalisation has radical potential for transforming our education service2. This third concerns the systemic nature of modern education leadership. It is absolutely appropriate that it should
be authored by Michael Fullan, who has been a leader in the field for over three decades.
There is no substantial gap in what we need to know in order to improve schools and student learning and achievement on a very wide scale. In this brief paper I will (1) encapsulate what we obviously know; (2) what we should know but fail to understand (which thus makes finding the solution less likely); and (3) identify the action implications for teachers themselves, principals, district leaders, and system leaders.
This short piece addresses the question: “What strategy-based knowledge do we possess that will be effective in addressing the needs of the lowest performing 20% of students in large education systems?”
My first and most important response is that in order to improve part of the system you have to focus on the entire system — raise the bar and close the gap for all. But let me start with a single school example.
Technology and the Problem of Change
Charter schools, Teach For America, and the Knowledge Is Power Program may have their merits, but they are not whole-system reform. The latter is about improving every classroom, every school, and every district in the state, province, or country, not just some schools. The moral and political purpose of whole-system reform is ensuring that everyone will be affected for the better, starting on day one of implementing the strategy. The entire system should show positive, measurable results within two or three years. We have done this in Ontario, Canada, where we have had the opportunity since 2003 to implement new policies and practices across the system—all 4,000 elementary schools, 900 secondary schools, and the 72 districts that serve 2 million students. Following five years of stagnation and low morale, from 1998 to 2003, the impact of the new strategies has been dramatic: Higher-order literacy and numeracy have increased by 10 percentage points across the system; the high school graduation rate has risen 9 percentage points, from 68 percent to 77 percent; the morale o teachers and principals has improved; and the public’s confidence in the system is up.
Leadership is to this decade what standards-based reform was to the 1990s. Put another way, if you want to boost achievement scores from poor to good levels, a strong standard-based reform strategy can take you so far; but if the aim is to accomplish deeper, continuous improvement, leadership at many levels of the system is required.