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Leading for Learning. How to Transform Schools into Learning Organizations. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2212629
  • Book
  • May 2009
  • 352 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Leading for Learning

Written by acclaimed school reform advocate Phillip C. Schlechty, Leading for Learning offers educators the framework, tools, and processes they need to transform their schools from bureaucracies into dynamic learning organizations. Schlechty explains how to move beyond some of the deeply ingrained and negative conceptions of schooling that guide so much of their practice. He shows educators how they can take advantage of new learning technologies by increasing their organization's capacity to support continuous innovation.

"Clearly not for the fainthearted, Schlechty's engrossing appraisal of American education calls for a bold, truly fundamental transformation of how we run our public schools. Some books are thought-provoking; this one is action-provoking." ?W. JAMES POPHAM, professor emeritus, UCLA

"Dr. Schlechty has once again written an insightful book that educational leaders can use as a road map in transforming our schools into learning organizations designed to serve twenty-first century students." ?DR. RANDY BRIDGES, superintendent, Alamance-Burlington School System, NC

"Because education is ultimately a community responsibility, Schlechty's proposal to shift school systems from bureaucracies to learning organizations can open doors to citizens who are frustrated by the bureaucracy in their efforts to reclaim their role in education. This book is as much for them as it is for professional educators." ?DAVID MATHEWS, president, Kettering Foundation

"Anyone in a school leadership position?from the board room to the classroom?should read this engaging and thought-provoking book. It's a must-read for all immersed in or contemplating the transformation of public education." ?CLAUDIA MANSFIELD SUTTON, chief communications and marketing officer, American Association of School Administrators
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Preface ix

The Author xix

Part One Making the Case for Transformation 1

One: The Case for Transformation 3

Why Reformation is Not Enough 4

The Need for Transformation 5

Why We Tinker: The Problem Defined 19

Two: Systems and Technological Change 23

Understanding Schools as Complex Social Organizations 25

The Nature of Systemic Change 26

Disruptive and Sustaining Innovations 27

Critical Social Systems 29

Why Reform is So Difficult 31

Common Language, Power, and Separation 38

Three: Bureaucracies Versus Learning Organizations 39

Ideal Types: A Tool for Analysis 40

How is Social Control Established? 50

What is the School’s Function? 61

Images of School 68

Four: Bureaucratic Images of Schools 69

About the Metaphors 70

A Basic Framework 71

The School as Factory 74

The School as Professional Service Delivery Organization 87

The School as Warehouse or Prison 99

Getting the Problem Right 110

Five: A New Image of Schools 113

Learning Organization or Learning Community? 113

Transmitting the Knowledge Work Culture 123

The School as a Small Community or a Family 134

Critical Steps to Transformation 138

Part Two Getting Our Bearings: The Sociopolitical Landscape 141

Six: The Bureaucratic Impulse 143

Historic Roots 143

From Community Institutions to Government Agencies 148

The Consequences of Bureaucratization 153

The Need for Grassroots Action 156

Seven: Reassessing Standards 159

An Upstream Struggle 160

The Profit Motive 161

Who Are the Customers? 164

The Meaning of Standards 169

The Trivialization of Standards 170

No Tests for Standards 172

The Effects of Standards 173

Different Constituencies, Differing Standards 180

Eight: Restoring Civic Capacity and Building Social Capital: Two Keys to School Transformation 187

Schooling and the Decline of Communities 188

The Need for Community Building 191

Politics, Economics, and the Moral Order of Communities 193

The Need for School Board Leadership 195

Public Education as a Moral Imperative 199

Building Social Capital 201

Can It Be Done? 204

A Concluding Comment 206

Part Three Taking the First Steps: How Transformation Can Happen 207

Nine: Painting a New Image of Schools 209

The Uses of Metaphors and Mental Models 209

Lessons Learned About the Use of Metaphors 216

Selecting Metaphors to Aid in Transformation 218

A Suggested Exercise 219

Other Uses of Metaphors 219

A Concluding Comment 221

Ten: Creating the Capacity to Support Innovation 223

Capacity Building: A Point of View 223

System Capacity Standards 224

Persistence of Effort 238

Eleven: Standards as Sources of Direction 241

Reframing the Problem of Standards 242

Helping Communities Hold Schools Accountable 248

Organizational Performance Standards 253

Some Thoughts on State and Federal Policy 258

Accountability and Equity 259

A Word of Caution 262

Twelve: A Theory of Action 265

First Steps 265

Toward a Theory of Action 271

Subsequent Steps 275

A Theory, Not a Prescription 276

A Closing Comment 278

Thirteen: Engaging the Heart and Recapturing Our Heritage 281

Developing a Marketing Mentality 281

Some Additional Suggestions for Action 284

A Common Cause 287

Appendix A Organizational Properties and Systemic Qualities 289

Appendix B Images of School 307

Bibliography 313

Index 319

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Phillip C. Schlechty Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform.
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