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Leading Change in High Schools
|Leading Change in High Schools offers inspiration, insight, models, practical advice, and effective tools to improve high schools through sustainable change. It is not simply about adopting best practices, but rather about creating a culture that recognizes strengths and weaknesses, encourages innovation and initiative, and adapts best practices and ideas from others. The goal is not to make every school the same, but to enable each one to construct its own solutions.
The resource kit examines three major change activators that uniquely define the International Center’s model of change.
Chapter 1: The High Schools We Need defines the issues around the need for high school change. While high schools are preparing many students for postsecondary success and further vocational study, there are still many students who either drop out or drift along ill-prepared for their future. All students deserve an education that prepares them for college, the workforce, and life. Successful schools focus on the future and help students think on their own.
Chapter 2: Understanding the Dynamics of Change reviews literature and research from business and education leaders. The chapter explains why change fails and the mechanisms that can be put in place to sustain change. It also details the process of change. Four themes emerge from the most credible and up-to-date research and expertise on change: change initiators, change process, change principles, and change strategies.
Chapter 3: Why Change and How to Do It lays out the reasons that secondary education must change and outlines key facets of the principles of change and the strategies that form a unique model of school change. Schools usually need to address four interconnected questions in order to achieve high academic standards for all students — why, what, where, and how. Resources for both administrators and teachers are included. The chapter also introduces the concept of schools as “living systems” which must adapt to their ever-changing environments.
Chapter 4: Principles of Change — Practitioner Perspectives shifts from theories of change to the practice of change. Successful high school leaders share their perspectives, each related to one of 13 principles of change. These articles offer inspiration, give some practical advice, and serve to stimulate conversation among school leadership teams.
Chapter 5: Components of School Excellence describes the International Center’s Components of School Excellence, which help administrators organize and analyze improvement efforts, as well as to make sense of the complex array of change initiatives. The eight components derived from the International Center’s work with rapidly improving schools.
Chapter 6: Tools and Techniques for Professional Development is a collection of activities and checklists to equip administrators and teachers with the tools needed for success.
Electronic versions of these and other activities and checklists are on the accompanying CD.
A DVD has five video presentations. Bill Daggett, President of the International Center, describes the why of change and what to change. In another presentation, he explains the process of change using the Components of School Excellence. Ray McNulty, Senior Vice President, describes the where of change and incorporates the Learning Criteria to Support 21st Century Learners to set goals and measure progress. Dick Jones, Senior Consultant and author of this resource kit, outlines the how of change and the 13 change principles for success.
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