What Is Needed for Educational Change

adsit80By John Adsit
Editor, Curriculum & Instruction

This article springs from an exchange of opinions on what is needed to effect change, and I was challenged to start a new discussion on the most important factors in making change work. In that original exchange, I argued that the most important factor is leadership, and I will start this new discussion with that premise. I believe skilled leadership is the most important factor in making change happen.

A couple of decades ago I spent some very painful years when the opposite was believed to be true. There was a belief, spurred in large part by the Annenberg Institute’s Re:Learning project, that the change leaders in education had to come from within the faculty. Change had to at least appear to be a grassroots effort, and school administrators sought to develop teacher leaders for reform efforts. The theory was that teacher leaders would initiate a reform, it would work, and the idea would slowly progress through the ranks until it had taken over. The administrators would intentionally fade into the background and let this magic work. Continue reading