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

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  • Schlechty, P. C. (1990). Schools for the 21st century: Leadership imperatives for educational reform. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Schlechty states that the change process that schools face today is the most significant endeavor that school leaders have ever faced. This era is characterized by new technological, cultural, and political impacts that frame evolving educational needs and goals. In order for schools to be successful, he feels that schools must find a shared vision by answering the following questions: What are the present rules, roles, and relationships that impede the capacity of schools and teachers to respond to needs of the students and invent school work products that satisfy those needs? What are the resources that the schools can allocate? What are the present structures that preclude flexible distribution of these resources available in schools? How can a new system provide structure that an educational organization needs and still destructure those things that stifle education? As the questions are answered, a new vision will emerge that incorporates the community's culture and economics. This restructuring will be characterized by participatory leadership from all levels, dispersed power and authority, purposeful action, knowledge work, and success recognition. This process will also create a curriculum based not on content knowledge but on applied knowledge (Schlechty calls this the "uncommon curriculum"). This curriculum creates a situation where quality instruction rather than standardized tests becomes the focal point of concern. One other element that Schlechty includes is marketing education. He promotes the idea that it is not enough that a quality school is created; educators must make an effort to gain recognition for systemic and individual success both within and out of the educational institution. This book presents a view of the future that combines the needs of both the society and the educational system.

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