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MICHAEL FULLAN

Presentation — Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems


National Title 1 Annual Conference
Long Beach, California, January 2007

Using Change Knowledge

NCLB  NCLB as been a massive failure of opportunity lost.


 The key to success is to use practical change knowledge as the basis for
strategizing.
 Success is defined as raising the bar and closing the gap on a very large scale
— whole districts, whole states, whole countries.

England – Literacy:
Percentage Level 4
or Above

— DfES, England, 2004


England - Numeracy:
Percentage Level 4
or Above

— DfES, England, 2004

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

Tri-Level Reform

The Turnaround  Awful


Problem  Adequate
 Good
 Great

Gap Consequences  The biology of low psychological factors as they affect health hinge on the
extent to which they cause frequent or recurrent stress.
 Low status has corrosive social consequences such as feeling looked down on,
which lead to depression, anxiety, helplessness, hostility, insecurity and a lack
of sense of control.
— Wilkinson, 2005

Turnaround • Have a heavy preponderance of external input and control, and fail to produce
Strategies internal capacity and motivation.
• Under conditions of external control teachers either comply (thus getting short
term gains) or if they have options (often the better teachers) leave.
• Initial focus on control reduces gross inefficiencies, and reverses decline, but
only initially — from awful to adequate and then at best plateau.
— Minthrop, 2004

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

Newish Concepts  Capacity building with a focus on results


 Learning in context
 Professional learning communities
 Lateral capacity building
 De-privatization and precision
 System identity

What is Change?  New materials


 New behaviour/practices
 New beliefs/understanding

The Pathways
Problem

6 Key Insights:
Insight #1 Shared vision or ownership is more an outcome of a quality process than a
precondition.

Insight #2 The size and prettiness of the planning document is inversely related to the amount
and quality of action, and in turn, to student achievement.
— Reeves, 2006
Insight #3 Behavior changes before beliefs.

Insight #4

The Implementation Dip The J Curve


— Fullan, 2003 — Jellison, 2006

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

Insight #5 Brain Barriers


BB#1: Failure to See
BB#2: Failure to Move
BB#3: Failure to Finish
— Black & Gregersen, 2002
BB #1: Failure to See
 The comprehensiveness mistake
 The ‘I get it’ mistake
 Illuminate the right thing
— Black & Gregersen, 2002
BB #2: Failure to Move
The clearer the new vision the more immobilized people become! Why?
— Black & Gregersen, 2002
Right Thing Poorly
The clearer the new vision, the easier it is for people to see all the specific ways in
which they will be incompetent and look stupid. Many prefer to be competent at
the old wrong thing than incompetent at the new right thing.
— Black & Gregersen, 2002
BB #3: Failure to Finish
People get tired.
People get lost.
— Black & Gregersen, 2002
Insight #6 Technical vs Adaptive Challenge
Heifetz distinguishes between technical problems and adaptive challenges.
Technical problems are ones for which our current know-how is sufficient. Adaptive
challenges are more complex and go beyond what we know. Heifetz identifies
several properties of adaptive challenges:
1. The challenge consists of a gap between aspiration and reality demanding a
response outside our current repertoire.
2. Adaptive work to narrow the gap requires difficult learning.
3. The people with the problem are the problem, and they are the solution.
4. Adaptive work generates disequilibrium and avoidance.
5. Adaptive work takes time.
— Heifetz & Linsky, 2002

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

10 Elements of 1. Define closing the gap as the overarching goal


Successful Change 2. Attend initially to the three basics
3. Be driven by tapping into people’s dignity and sense of respect
4. Ensure that the best people are working on the problem
5. Recognize that all successful strategies are socially-based
6. Assume that lack of capacity is the initial problem and then work on it
continually
7. Stay the course through continuity of good direction by leveraging leadership
8. Build internal accountability linked to external accountability
9. Establish conditions for the evolution of positive pressure
10. Use the previous nine strategies to build public confidence
— Fullan, 2006

The Three Levels  Schools


 District
 State/Federal

Influences on School
Capacity and School
Student Achievement

— Newmann, King & Youngs, 2000

School Capacity The collective power of the full staff to improve student achievement.
School capacity includes and requires:
1. Knowledge, skills, dispositions of individuals
2. Professional community
3. Program coherence
4. Technical resources
5. Principal leadership

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

Professional Learning  Reflective dialogue


 De-privatization of practice
 Collective focus on student learning
 Collaboration
 Shared norms and values
— Kruse, et al, 1994

Worries About PLCs • Superficiality


• The latest innovation
• Bias of school autonomy
— Fullan, 2006a

6 Elements of 1. A focus on learning


Professional Learning 2. A collaborative culture re learning for all
Communities
3. Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality
4. Action orientation: learning by doing
5. A commitment to continuous learning
6. Results orientation
— Dufour, et al, 2006

Influences on School
Capacity and School
Student Achievement

— Newmann, King & Youngs, 2000

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

District-Wide Reform • Leading with purpose and focusing direction


• A comprehensive and coherent implementation strategy
• Developing precision in knowledge, skills, and daily practices using data
informed inquiry and decisions
• Building administrator and teacher capacity across all schools and levels

State/Federal • Capacity building with a focus on results


• Operational version of this depends on context; see the Ontario strategy next
slide for a full version

The Ontario Strategy • Guiding coalition


• Peace and stability/distractors
• The literacy numeracy secretariat
• Negotiating aspirational targets
• Building capacity
• Enhanced and targeted resources
• The evolution of positive pressure
• Connecting the dots with key complementary components

Breakthrough Results • Achieving 95% proficiency in literacy and numeracy by age 11


• Professional development is not professional learning
• Every teacher, every school, every district improving every day

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

Triple ‘P’
Core Components

— Fullan, Hill & Crévola, 2006


Breakthrough
Framework

— Fullan, Hill & Crévola, 2006

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

CLIP • Mapping the instructional path


• Measuring and monitoring learning
• Using the data to drive/inform instruction
• Classroom organization
• Loops and detours in CLIP
• Beyond early literacy
• Locking in ongoing improvement
— Fullan, Hill & Crévola, 2006

Action Bias It is not learning by doing but learning by “thinking” in relation to doing.
Improvement is more a function of learning to do the right thing “in settings where
you work”. The problem is that there is almost no opportunity to engage in
continuous and sustained learning in the settings in which people actually work
(Elmore,2004).
If the re-authorization of NCLB does not get the core points about capacity building
nothing has been learned about the failure of NCLB to reach anywhere near its
potential.

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Turnaround Schools/Turnaround Systems

References
Black, J. & Gregersen, H. (2002). Leading strategic change. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Dufour, R., Dufour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2006). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning
communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Department for Education and Skills (DfES). (2004). Results of school reform in England. London: Author.

Fullan, M. (2006). Turnaround leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, M. (2006a). ‘Leading Professional Learning’. The School Administrator. November.

Fullan, M., Hill, P., & Crévola, C. (2006). Breakthrough. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin; Toronto: Ontario Principals
Council.

Heifetz, R. & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Jellison, J.M. (2006). Managing the dynamics of Change: The fastest path to creating an engaged and
productive workplace. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kruse, S., Louis, K.S., & Bryk, A.S. (1994). Building professional learning communities. Madison, WI: Center on
Organization and Restructuring of Schools.

Minthrop, H. (2004). Schools on probation. New York: Teachers College Press.

Newmann, F., King, B., & Youngs, P. (2004, April). Professional development that addresses school capacity.
Paper presented at the American Education Research Association annual meeting. New Orleans.

Reeves, D. The learning leader. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. 2006.

Wilkinson, R. (2005). The impact of inequality. London: New Press.

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