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Workshop 8:
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.

Workshop 8 – Preparatory Readings

We suggest that you read the following article, included in the Appendix at the back of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 8:

Workshop 8 – Videoclips

Montage–All shows
"Starting points"

Principals featured in this series describe the first steps they took in their reform efforts.

Speech–Rob Evans
"Why resistance?"

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 change.

Wendy Shapiro–Taylor Elementary School
"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.

Additional Acitivty Panel

As a group, you may want to try the panel activity on creating a continuum of support. Here is an outline of the activity:

  1. Panel brainstorms a list of ways principals support school change. Write first individually, then brainstorm.

    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

  2. Compile a continuum that ranges from higher-level to lower-level support.

  3. 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.

Workshop 8 – 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?

Workshop 8 – Bibliography

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.

Fullan, M. 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.

Newmann, F.M. and G.G. Wehlage. Successful School Restructuring. Madison, WI: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, 1995.

Perkins, D. Smart Schools. New York: Free Press, 1992.

Sarason, S. B. The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.

Sarason, S. 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.

Web Sites

AASA Total Quality Network. Internet Address: http://www.aasa-tqn.org

Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Internet Address: http://www.aisr.brown.edu/

Association for Effective Schools. Internet Address: http://www.mes.org

ATLAS communities. Internet Address:http://www.pz.gse.harvard.edu/atlas_communities.php

Coalition of Essential Schools. Internet Address: http://www.ces.brown.edu/ces

Go ENC. Internet Address: http://www.goenc.com/

MiddleWeb. Internet Address: http://www.middleweb.com/

The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST). Internet Address: http://www.tc.columbia.edu/ncrest/

Project 2061. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/pdp/

Blueprints for Reform. Internet Address: http:// project2061.aaas.org/tools/bluepol/blpframe.html

Serendip. Internet Address: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/

The Well Connected Educator. Internet Address: http://www.gsh.org/wce/


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