Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Fullan, M. G., & Miles, M. B. (1992). Getting reform right: What works and what doesn't. Phi Delta Kappan, 73, 745-752.

The authors of this article argue that an understanding of the change process is critical if education reform is going to be successful. Rather than develop a new strategy for each wave of reform, the authors suggest that we must use basic knowledge about the do's and don'ts of bringing about continuous improvement. In this article, they present seven basic reasons why reform fails: faulty maps of change, complex problems, emphasis on symbols over substance, impatient and superficial solutions, misunderstanding resistance, attrition of pockets of success, and misuse of knowledge about the change process. They then offer seven propositions that could lead to success: change is learning, change is a journey, problems are our friends, change is resource-hungry, change requires the power to manage it, change is systemic, and all large-scale change is implemented locally. These propositions embody the idea that local implementation by everyday teachers, principals, parents, and students is the only way that change happens.

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