Leading Educational Change Wisely

Examining Diverse Approaches to Increasing Educational Access

Despite over 40 years of research and writing about how to lead educational change, we still can’t get it right. Although we keep fine tuning our present ways, we are yet to come up with an approach that enables educational change to happen successfully and sustainably. Although this book acknowledges the importance of learning from our past, it also highlights a key deficiency that has consistently compromised these efforts. To date, our approach to leading educational change has mainly focussed on trying to come up with the perfect practical strategy or plan. In contrast, this book argues that leading educational change successfully is not about following a clearly defined process like following a recipe, but it is an improvisational art more like driving down a busy main street during peak hour traffic. The successful leadership of educational change is an improvisational art because although the leader needs to have an overarching strategy, a guiding plan, what they actually do from moment to moment cannot be scripted. The leader has to move back and forth from their plan to the reality currently being experienced so that the plan is being achieved but any adverse effects on those involved are being empathically and immediately attended to as well. This approach to the leadership of educational change emphasises the need of the leader to be able to cope with the unforeseen, the unexpected, and the idiosyncratic. Moreover, this approach to the leadership of educational change emphasises the relational as well as the rational requirements. While such views might be familiar to many, what is new and unique about this book is that it describes how it all can be achieved. It provides clear, research supported, guidance for those who wish to finally lead successful and sustainable educational change.

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Readership
Educational Researchers and their students
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