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Learning to Change: Teaching Beyond Subjects and Standards

Learning to Change: Teaching Beyond Subjects and Standards

Andy Hargreaves , Lorna Earl , Shawn Moore , Susan Manning

ISBN: 978-0-787-95863-3

Mar 2002, Jossey-Bass

240 pages



The success of school reform measures greatly depends on the support and commitment of teachers. This book examines the realities of educational change from the frontline perspective of reform-minded teachers. It charts the perceptions and experiences of twenty-nine teachers in grades 7 and 8 from four school districts--showing how they grappled with such initiatives as integrated curriculum, common learning standards, and alternative modes of assessment.

This book moves beyond the bandwagons of rhetorical change and examines how these changes work in practice for better and for worse. Authors Andy Hargreaves and Lorna Earl focus on how reform proposals have brought new complexities to teaching practice and why major investments of time and support are required if teaching innovations are to become lasting and effective. Most importantly, they highlight the intense emotional demands that school change imposes on teachers, and they outline practical strategies for helping teachers through the difficult transition process--thus ensuring that worthwhile reforms flourish and endure.
Introduction: The New Educational Orthodoxy.


Standards and Outcomes.

Classroom Assessment.

Curriculum Integration.


The Intellectual Work of Change.

The Emotional Work of Change.

Supporting and Sustaining Change.

Conclusion: Learning to Change.
"At a time when schools are dominated by prescriptive standards, subject-centered coverage, and high-stakes testing, Learning to Change offers us a glimpse of a more hopeful and enriching pedagogy. I highly recommend this book for its pedagogical contribution and its political lessons." (James Beane, Professor, College of Education, National-Louis University)

"In this optimistic and fine-grained study of learning to change, Andy Hargreaves and Lorna Earl graphically illustrate, with a degree of clarity rarely previously achieved, how the professional work of teachers mediates the translation of the new educational orthodoxy into sustained and enhanced levels of student learning." (David Hopkins, Professor and Dean of Education, University of Nottingham, UK)

"At last we have a book that get beneath the slogans of reform! In a compelling highly readable book the reader learns what supports and hinders teachers' struggle to create higher standards for their students. The authors go way beyond the technical and intellectual work of teaching recognizing the highly emotional cultural aspects of change. But this is no mere academic treatise, but rather a call to intelligent and informed action." (Ann Lieberman, visiting professor at Stanford University and senior scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)

"Hargreaves and his colleagues have crafted a book that describes the harsh reality of change efforts at the level where true differences are made: the school and classroom levels. But more importantly, they outline the intellectual and emotional work that must be done for these efforts to succeed. Showing that there is no substitute for clear thinking, careful planning, and hard work, they demonstrate what is needed for deep and abiding change in schools." (Thomas R. Guskey, professor of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, University of Kentucky)

"Many teachers will read (this book) and feel vindicated, or at least relieved, that someone has finally confirmed what they have been saying about education reforms." (Professionally Speaking Magazine, 6/01)

"This book will interest those concerned with examining the process of change at the classroom level.... Hargreaves and his colleagues argue persuasively for placing the practical, emotional, and intellectual needs of teachers front and center the school reform efforts." (American School Board Journal, 8/01)

"..this one is a must..."(Times Educational Supplement, 31 August 2001)