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The Human Side of Changing Education


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Arthur Levine Acknowledgments About the Author INTRODUCTION Becoming Agents of Our Own Learning Schools That Support Human Development The Core of Change Is Learning Change Is a Developmental Task Chapter 1. WHAT'S WORTH LEARNING? YOUR NORTH STAR A Rising Tide of Consensus Worthy Skill 1: Self-Directed Learning Worthy Skill 2: Creativity and Innovation Worthy Skill 3: Planning, Adaptability, and Agility Worthy Skill 4: Strengths Awareness and Application Worthy Skill 5: Self-Efficacy Worthy Skill 6: Global Citizenship Worthy Skill 7: Relationship Building Worthy Skill 8: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Key Points Questions for Reflection and Action Chapter 2. HOW DO WE REDESIGN AN EXISTING SYSTEM? The Pedagogy Needs to Reflect the Outcomes We Seek Changing Pedagogy Changes Your Culture Moving From the Industrial Educational Model to a Postindustrial Model What Kind of Change Is It? Differentiating Your Approach Key Points Questions for Reflection and Action Chapter 3. FIVE SUCCESS FACTORS FOR CHANGE Success Factor 1: Sustained Leadership and a Visionary School Board Success Factor 2: A Shared Vision of the Change Success Factor 3: Unleashing Talent and Building Teams Success Factor 4: Rethinking the Use of Time and Space Success Factor 5: Overhauling the Assessment Structure of Learning and School Performance Leading Transformative Change Requires Adult Development From Socialized Minds to Self-Authoring Minds Moving Away From the Patriarchal Model of Education Key Points Questions for Reflection and Action Chapter 4. LEADING YOUR ORGANIZATION THROUGH CHANGE: STRATEGIES Success Factors in Action Strategy 1: Your Learning History Strategy 2: The Future: Where Would You Like to Go? Strategy 3: Building Organizational Change Capacity Strategy 4: Helping Others Through Change-The Power of Development Strategy 5: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint-Leading Through the Uncertainty of Change Strategy 6: Building Effective Teams Strategy 7: It Could Be a Library or . . . Strategy 8: Measuring What We Value Key Points Questions for Reflection and Action Chapter 5. LEADING YOURSELF THROUGH CHANGE When You Are or Are Not in Charge The Hero's Journey Stages of the Hero's Journey The Hero's Journey of Real People Like You Key Points Questions for Reflection and Action CONCLUSION Getting Clear on Your "Why" and Taking Action Summary Questions for Reflection and Action Appendix Organizational Change Capacity Questionnaire Individual Development Plan The Strengths-Based Conversation References Index

About the Author

Julie M. Wilson is a coach and advisor to school leaders, educational institutions, and foundations whose mission is to shape the future of K-12 education. She has over 15 years experience building effective learning environments that unlock human potential and enable organizational culture to adapt and grow during times of change. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Institute for the Future of Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping transform the factory model of education. Projects include working with school leadership and teacher teams to reimagine curriculum and pedagogy, researching the current state of the K-12 transformational landscape, and coaching school and district leaders. Julie has worked with a diverse range of clients including public schools, independent schools, public charter schools, and educational philanthropic organizations. In addition to helping schools and communities lead sustainable change, Julie highlights great practice and shares reflections on curriculum, pedagogy, and change at www.the-IFL.org. Speaking engagements include TEDx, fuse, the Center for Transformational Leadership, and the Ideas in Education Festival. Julie graduated from Harvard's Graduate School of Education with a Master's degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education, and a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration and French from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. During her time as a staff member at Harvard, Julie was the recipient of the 'Harvard Hero' award for outstanding contributions to the University. Connect with Julie via twitter @juliemargretta or via email: jwilson@the-IFL.org


Julie Wilson dares to turn common sense into an action plan. This is an urgent, important book for all educators and parents.

-- Seth Godin, Author
A refreshing and hopeful perspective on transforming the education system to prepare students for the demands of an unpredictable, unknown, and complex future. Wilson offers tools for educators to develop the necessary habits of mind to conquer wide-scale change. -- Elise Foster, Founder and President; Co-Author
Julie Wilson is both a visionary and a pragmatist. Her book is a wonderfully clear and concise guide for leaders who seek to navigate the road to educational transformation.
-- Tony Wagner, Author

If you want to understand what it takes to create innovative and lasting change, then forge ahead with The Human Side of Changing Education, and bravely create your own hero's journey. This is a valuable guide, with practical advice and real-life examples to support you in this very complicated and challenging work.

-- Ann Koufman-Frederick, Chief Academic Officer

Julie Wilson's advice is spot on: Find your north star, embrace the process of change, and focus on the adults in your system. Every educator needs to not only read this book, but also commit to the journey of change that Wilson has thoughtfully implored us to take.

-- Ken Kay, CEO; Founding President
If everyone working in U.S. K-12 education were to read this book and put even half of its thinking into practice, we would be well on our way to a far better society. It is timely, visionary, and relentlessly practical - a rare combination. Discover what our future could look like if enough of us dare to make it happen.
-- Andy Calkins, Director

Julie Wilson has emerged as an important thought-leader among those seeking to transform America's outdated, industrial model of education. With this important book, she has produced an invaluable resource designed to make sense of the myriad initiatives crowding the educational landscape. Concise, thoughtful, and based on a comprehensive review of the field, this book will serve as a catalyst for your own thinking, and for your school's transformation.

-- Andy Willemsen, Director

This book is a call to action. Drawing on proven wisdom, Julie Wilson sets out a path for championing change within the education system

-- Michael Bungay Stanier, Author; Senior Partner

At long last, Julie Wilson's thinking about how to transform school culture and teacher mindsets is now in print for the global education community to consider within their individual school innovation plans. The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning has greatly benefited from Julie's on-site workshops and we are grateful to now have Julie's wisdom for immediate reference when she is not available in-person.

-- Glenn Whitman, Director; Co-Author

The desire for an evolution in education has reached a fevered pitch over the last few years. Amidst this forward momentum, Julie Wilson's book serves as a useful pause button; a reminder that education, at its core, has been and always should be a human-centered enterprise. It is worth noting how useful it is to have someone point out something that, once a light is shone, seems so obvious. I thank Julie - and this book - for being that beacon.

-- Chris Jackson, Chief Communications Officer
Where other books focus on the what and why of school change, Julie Wilson's book empowers leaders to deal with the human side of school change. Julie shares examples, tools, strategies, and resources to schools who are striving to change the paradigm to build schools of the future.
-- Bo Adams, Chief Learning and Innovation Officer; Executive Director

I have seen Julie Wilson teach school leaders using the principles she captures here so clearly. This book will offer system-shifting school leaders the practical strategies, skills, dispositions, and tools they need to navigate successfully their journey to modernizing our schools.

-- David Monaco, Allen Meyer Family Head of School; Founding Partner

Transforming schools is truly a human endeavor. It requires a community commitment to a new set of student learning outcomes, as well as teachers and leaders willing to give students voice and choice over their own learning. Julie Wilson's book is an essential guide to teachers and leaders ready to take on this challenge.

-- Tim Presiado, Chief Operating Officer

Huge gratitude to Julie Wilson for illuminating such important dimensions of school transformation. The human side of change - leadership, culture, emotions, and process - can make or break any effort to build models of design that better prepare students to thrive in the 21st century. This book provides practical tools and inspiring stories from real practitioners who are leading change. A key read for anyone seeking to build the future of learning.

-- Jeff Wetzler, Co-Founder

Every now and then, a book comes out that has the power to not only inspire but to also instill change. Julie Wilson's, The Human Side of Changing Education is this book. If you are passionate about improving education (and yourself), read this as soon as you can. Weaving commentary from a variety of sources, Wilson masterfully merges research with practice and engages the reader in thoughtful reflections on the changing needs of education. This exceptional book not only asks why but gives the reader tools for how they can enact change on a personal and organizational level.

-- Susan Reinecke, Societal Advancement K-12 Faculty

Julie Wilson's practical insights for bringing the human element into school transformation face major obstacles in a school culture obsessed with data. Nonetheless, her insights deserve attentive reflection and action by every person looking for our children to be seen as flesh and blood learners instead of measurable numbers.

-- Jim Bellanca, Executive Director; Co-Editor Rethinking How Students Learn, 21st Century Skills; Senior Fellow

With clarity and grace, Julie Wilson guides educators through the difficult task of unlearning the old habits and lessons of the past to create schools that cultivate the post-industrial skills our students need. She models the innovative thinking and processes required to create the schools our students and society deserve.

-- Ethan R. Cancell, Executive Director

For educators to facilitate and sustain meaningful school change, they must first embody the change they envision for their students. Julie Wilson's book provides a solid explanation of the change process and practical tools for individuals who seek to not only transform the world of education but transform themselves as well.

-- Amy Timmins, Teacher

"A call to arms. This book not only provides a great platform for schools or districts to intimate conversations about change, but lays out an easy to follow scaffold on which an action plan can be developed."

-- Ray Boyd, Principal

"Very engaging. Offers practical advice to educators who want to be change leaders. I felt enthused and motivated after reading it. Julie Wilson conveys there are no quick fixes."

-- Louis Lim, Vice-Principal

"A vital subject that is fresh and timely. It will be very helpful to many school leaders."

-- Holly Leach, Superintendent

"This book is right on target with the needs of today to create an efficient, engaging, exciting, learning situation in schools. Julie Wilson left me ready to continue what we are doing in our school. The book is probably one of the most relevant ones I have seen in quite a while."

-- Sister Camille Anne Campbell, President

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