Fall Vanguard: Rowing the Boat Together

Excerpts from feature interview: “Listening Within and To Those Around Us” – An Interview with Michael Fullan.

“Change is only a mirage unless people actually experience the reality of improvement” (Fullan, p. 57).

Change is something we have become quite accustomed to over the past few years, but we are unsure whether those changes will lead to improvement in our school systems. Dr. Michael Fullan, internationally known for his work in educational leadership, knows how to move forward during the toughest of times. In his new book, Change Leader (2011, Jossey-Bass), Fullan offers educators ideas on how they can move forward during one of the most difficult financial times we have seen in our educational history. The keys? Reflection and Collaboration.

Fullan suggests that educators look within their own practice first before they read books and articles. That reflective practice has to be honest. They need to look at their practice through a critical lens that focuses on both the positive and the negative attributes of their practice. Lastly, those educators who are focused enough to move forward cannot do it alone. They must work collaboratively, across buildings and job responsibilities. That said, Fullan believes that school leaders have been forced to lead with the wrong drivers. The four wrong drivers are external accountability, focus on individuals, technology, and piecemeal reform efforts. He believes we should be focusing on: capacity building, teamwork, and other forms of collaboration, pedagogy, and systemic strategies. Basically, we should not be moving forward alone. We need our collective wisdom to get us through these difficult times.

Full story in the Fall issue of SAANYS Vanguard Magazine.