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The New Meaning of Educational Change Paperback – 10 May 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 3 edition (10 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415260205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415260206
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.2 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,636,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Michael Fullan is professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and is special adviser on education to Dalton McGuinty, the premier of Ontario.He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and from Nipissing University in Canada. Fullan served as dean of the faculty of education at the University of Toronto from 1988 to 2003, leading two major organizational transformations, including a merger of two large schools of education. He is currently working as adviser and consultant on several major education reform initiatives around the world. He bases his work on research and practice on both the public and private sectors, finding an increasing convergence in this literature. He has written several bestsellers on leadership and change that have been translated into several languages. Four of his books have won book-of-the-year awards. His latest books are The Six Secrets of Change, Realization (with Lyn Sharratt), and Motion Leadership: The Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy.

Product Description


'A rigorous and lucid analysis...a highly perceptive account.' -- (Times Educational Supplement: praise for the second edition)

Grace and wit accompany powerful insights and hopeful commentary about the unfinished agenda of educational reform’ -- Paul J. Baker, Distinguished University Professor, Illinois State University, USA

‘Fullan's grasp of the complexities and subtleties of the change process is simply magnificent. ' -- Paul J. Baker, Distinguished University Professor, Illinois State University, USA

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
One person claims that schools are being bombarded by change; another observes that there is nothing new under the sun. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alan Waters on 26 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The latest edition is even better than the previous one, long a classic of its kind. Fullan gets to the heart of the educational change problem, and handles all its major aspects comprehensively, insightfully and with compelling engagement. A must for anyone interested in trying to bring about innovation in education of any kind, at any level.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Panas on 14 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wORKS FINE, AND IS THE CORRECT PRODUCT AS THE ONE IN THE DESCRIPTION. hAS THE correct details and this is exactly what i was looking for.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By janice cook on 18 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
sent a very old book which was not what I paid for and does not reply to any of my emails or pr payment dont use this buyer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Educational Change in Concept 7 Aug. 2006
By B. Lack - Published on
Format: Paperback
Why the hell is it that the more things change, the more things seem to stay the same? Educational change expert Michael Fullan takes a crack at this proverbial school reform conundrum in the third edition of his book, The New Meaning of Educational Change. According to him, "Reform is not just putting into place the latest policy. It means changing the cultures of the classrooms, the schools, the districts, the universities, and so on. There is more to educational change than most people realize" (p. 7). Restructuring schools and education has been relatively simple, says Fullan; re-culturing them has not. For change to be substantive and long lasting, improving and strengthening relationships among various stakeholders is the key.

Fullan divides his book into three parts: understanding educational change; change at the local level; and change at the global level. In the first part, he distinguishes between subjective and objective meanings of educational change, but in an awkward manner. Drawing from Dan Lortie's work on the sociology of teaching, his main argument is that teaching is a lonely profession without a well-developed shared technical culture, which leads invariably to widespread uncertainty, fragmentation, and haphazardness--all impediments to educational change. He does not explicitly describe the differences or importance of either concept, but leaves the reader with the ultimate impression that three dimensions undergird the implementation of change: "the possible use of... new or revised materials... teaching approaches... and the alteration of beliefs" (p. 39). According to Fullan, most educational reforms are ephemeral or shallow because they have grossly overlooked the importance of the third dimension (beliefs), unsurprisingly. He often distinguishes between change and the "process" of change with a 25/75 rule: educational change is 25% structural (ideas), 75% re-culturing (processes).

Fullan uses the last two parts to provide insights about adoption and implementation of policies geared toward educational change through the lens of the various stakeholders involved (teacher, principal, parent, student, school board, etc.). He is careful not to make sweeping generalizations, and has a nose for local idiosyncrasies. His most pronounced clarion call, however, is for the scaling up of whole school reform and professional learning communities (the latter fits well with his claim that beliefs are the hardest dimension to alter). Shared meaning of educational change is only possible through allowing stakeholders more transparency into each other's roles and promoting more collaboration between groups.

In each chapter, Fullan shores up his arguments with major research studies, and often expresses the findings axiomatically: For example, poorly performing schools showed "little or no attention to schoolwide problems" (p. 121). This is not a bad thing. It just makes the reader think, "Duh!?!?" Somewhat annoying was Fullan's tendency to whitewash other findings using fluffy, catch-phrases with no meat. For instance, in discussing the efficacy of the principal, he writes: "effective leaders are energy creators" (p. 149). Overall, however, for a book about a complex phenomenon like change, it is highly readable, consistent, and insightful. Those expecting a recipe book about wielding change in schools might be somewhat disappointed; however, those who just need a little inspiration and conceptual insight might find exactly what they are looking for.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
What is New in "The New Meaning of Educational Change"? 15 April 2002
By Mingchu Luo - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The third edition of Fullen's book - "The New Meaning of Educational Change" came out to the readers in 2001 ten years after its second edition was published. Its contents have been greatly enriched and "`the meaning hypothesis' has become deeply confirmed." The "knowledge base" of change in this book is broadened and deepened by applying the advances of cognitive science and the chaos theory. Based upon this, the conclusion is made that "working on `coherence' is the key to dealing with the nonlinear fragmented demands of overloaded reform agendas". A variety of most recent research about educational innovations by Cohen, Elmore, Fullan, Hargreaves, Hatch, Oakes and other researchers are integrated into different chapters and themes. Some newly verified thoughts of educational change are also presented in the new book. For instance, "one of the keys to successful changes is the improvement of relationships-precisely the focus of group development," "you can turn around an elementary school in about 3 years, a high school in 6 years, and a school district (depending on size) in about 8 years."
The new edition maintains the key structure and context of its former editions. Part one is concerned with understanding the overview of educational change. Part two are designed to look at change at the local level. Part three deals with educational change at the regional and national levels. The book remains its focuses on understanding both the small and big pictures of change and maintains the theme of rendering complexity understandable and amendable to productive action. The author's in-depth insights about the contradictory and paradoxical nature of change and his illustrative and practical ideas about the procedures of change still greatly contributes to the values of the book.
If you want to equip yourself with the important, resourceful, and up-dated theory, research and practices about "what" and "how" of educational change, the third edition is your necessity.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
The bible of educational change theory. 6 Aug. 2000
By "ed_from_california" - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in school change and reform. Fullan has provided a comprehensive overview as well as a host of unique ideas. This was not intended to be a casual read. It is a serious reference.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent manual of educational change 16 Mar. 2013
By Ray Barnes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fullan does an excellent job highlighting the challenges, process, and infrastructures that impact educational change. The fact that change may be needed and the process of effecting change may be effective, the end result or the effectiveness of the changes are not always good or productive. The text is pact with so much critical information related to change that it is a slow read. It requires a lot of reflection and internalizing.
An Essential Resource 16 Oct. 2012
By M. Dove - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an invaluable resource. Fullan's writing is superb--he knows his craft well and combines research and meaningful anecdotes with practical applications. A must read for anyone who is interested in the nuts-and-bolts of educational change and the factors that influence making it work.
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