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Creating Great Schools: Six Critical Systems at the Heart of Educational Innovation

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7690-3
288 pages
February 2005, Jossey-Bass
Creating Great Schools: Six Critical Systems at the Heart of Educational Innovation (0787976903) cover image


In Creating Great Schools, Phillip C. Schlechty—one of the nation’s best-known experts on leadership and change in schools—offers a hands-on primer that will help arm school leaders with the tools they need to buck the system from within. Creating Great Schools shows educational leaders how they can sustain continuous innovation and improvement in order to create truly great schools. Schlechty outlines the six critical systems that define the norms and expressions of the school’s organizational culture¾recruitment and induction, knowledge transmission, power and authority, evaluation, direction, and boundaries¾and shows what it takes to lead effective systemic change in order to sustain new values and direction. The book is filled with effective strategies and offers guidelines for introducing the “disruptive innovations” that are necessary to change the fundamental norms of an educational organization and truly revitalize a school. He offers suggestions for working through the thorny issues that arise from the efforts to introduce new norms and provides school leaders with valuable insights of the critical rules, roles, and relationships in schools.  
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Table of Contents


The Author.

Part One: The Need for Change.

1. From Compliance to Engagement.

2. Understanding the Normative System.

3. Patterns of Commitment, Engagement, and Compliance.

Part Two: Six Critical Systems.

4. The Recruitment and Induction System.

5. The Knowledge Transmission System.

6. The Power and Authority System.

7. The Evaluation System.

8. The Directional System.

9. The Boundary System.

Part Three: New Norms, New Values, New Directions.

10. The Changing Context.

11. The Future of Public Education in America.

Appendix A: Creating Engaging Schoolwork.

Appendix B: Creating a Learning Community to Transform Schools.



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Author Information

Phillip C. Schlechty is founder and CEO of the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform. The creator of some of the nation's most innovative professional development programs for educators, he has been the recipient of the American Federation of Teachers Quest Citation and the American Educational Research Association's Professional Service Award. Schlechty is the author of Working on the Work, Inventing Better Schools, Schools for the 21st Century and Shaking Up the School House.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Phillip Schlechty is one of the nation's best-known experts on leadership and change in schools
  • Offers a solid conceptual framework for understanding school systems
  • Provides practical advice for engaging school personnel in the change process, coordinating effort with multiple players, and more
  • "Key Questions" at the end of each chapter provide guidelines for practical application of concepts
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