Building a Plan for Reform
Download Workshop 8 PDF
Principle: Principal as Navigator Through Chaos
Focus question: How do we figure out where to begin? And how do we keep everybody
involved and on track?
Where to begin?
We revisit a few of the principals in this series who have been through
the process of initiating a reform effort in teaching and learning
in math or science as they look back to the very early stages of the
process. This workshop promotes ways to overcome obstacles and work
toward the goal of sustained and coherent change in math and science.
We watch our panel participate in an activity on creating a continuum
of support for reform.
We suggest that
you read the following article, included in the Appendix at the back
of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 8:
in this series describe the first steps they took in their reform
Evans, in a
keynote address to a large group of teachers and principals, talks
about resistant teachers in the context of why people in general resist
"Overcoming resistance to change"
In her previous
job as principal of Taylor Elementary School in urban Philadelphia,
Wendy Shapiro implements a new math curriculum. She brings the faculty
together to articulate the problems they are having with the program.
As a group, you
may want to try the panel activity on creating a continuum of support.
Here is an outline of the activity:
- Panel brainstorms
a list of ways principals support school change. Write first individually,
I buy cookies for staff meetings
I make sure that everyone has the textbooks they need
I make it my business to learn about math and science
- Compile a
continuum that ranges from higher-level to lower-level support.
- Using the
continuum, discuss what is meant by 'support' and the factors that
influence the type of support the leadership gives to a program/project.
Site Discussion Questions
(remember to choose a Structure from those listed
on pages 12 to 14)
- What do I
do about dissident voices?
- How can I
know if we are on track?
- Given that
we know that change is chaotic, how can I keep things going?
- If we are
a collaborative organization, how hard can I keep pushing?
- Where would
you start? And why?
- What data
are valuable to use as you carry out a plan?
- How far ahead
can you plan?
- How can change
be documented to help sustain the effort?
- What else
can be done to sustain the work?
Deal, T. E. and
K. Peterson. The Principal's Role in Shaping School Culture.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1991.
Fullan, M. The
New Meaning of Educational Change (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers
College Press, 1992.
Change Forces. Bristol, PA: Falmer Press, 1993.
Fullan, M. "Guidelines
for Action." What's Worth Fighting for in the Principalship?
New York: Teachers College Press, 3 (1997): 25-41.
and G.G. Wehlage. Successful School Restructuring. Madison,
WI: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, 1995.
Smart Schools. New York: Free Press, 1992.
B. The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform. San Francisco:
B. School Change. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995.
Schein, E. "How
Can Organizations Learn Faster? The Challenge of the Green Room."
Sloan Management Revue Winter 1993: 85-92.
AASA Total Quality
Network. Internet Address: http://www.aasa-tqn.org
for School Reform. Internet Address: http://www.aisr.brown.edu/
for Effective Schools. Internet Address:
Essential Schools. Internet Address: http://www.ces.brown.edu/ces
Go ENC. Internet Address: http://www.goenc.com/
Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST).
Internet Address: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ncrest/
Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/pdp/
Reform. Internet Address: http://
The Well Connected
Educator. Internet Address: http://www.gsh.org/wce/