“This revealing and powerful book comes just in time, as we launch the biggest education reform in the past fifty years. It should be required reading not only for principals, but perhaps even more importantly for those who support and lead them.”
―Laura Schwalm, CaEdPartners; former superintendent, Garden Grove, California
“After decades of studying, working with, and enhancing the lot of principals . . . Fullan’s conclusion? Principals are needed now more than ever, and he’s smack on target. He doesn’t mince words, yet instills hope and confidence. Simply great . . . this book should be on every leader’s desk. Another bull’s–eye!”
―Willam Parrett, director, Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, Boise State University, Idaho
“I just read The Principal and I am on fire and in love. I couldn′t put it down! Fullan′s uniquely succinct brilliance for soaring above the noise and clutter that bogs us down is incredibly energizing and inspiring.”
―Alice Thomas, president and CEO, Center for Development and Learning, Metairie, Louisiana
From the Inside Flap
The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact
USE THIS BOOK FOR PD! Includes discussion questions and a free professional development guide
Over the past two decades, Michael Fullan has written influentially about the change that school and district leaders must bring about as formalized achievement standards and new technology transform how schools are run. What he hasn′t done until now is explore and discuss in detail how and why the principal′s role itself must change.
Principals are often called the second most crucial in–school influencers (after teachers) of student learning. But what should the principal do in order to maximize student achievement? In The Principal, Fullan explains why the answer lies neither in micro–managing instruction nor in autonomous entrepreneurialism. He also shows systematically how the principal’s role must change, and demonstrates how it can be done in short order, at scale.
Fullan shows how principals have been boxed into a narrow role that undercuts their ability to develop the whole school. He sheds light on how, in times of crisis, it’s all too easy for principals to do the wrong thing―to take actions that are ineffective or even counter–productive, particularly when they don’t feel entirely in charge. But even in the toughest of external conditions, he shows, there is always leeway for action. Fullan explains how to choose the right versus wrong drivers―loosening focus on accountability and instead concentrating on capacity–building; focusing less on technology and more on pedagogy; abandoning fragmented strategies and striving for “systemness”; and forgoing individualistic solutions in favor of collaborative effort. He shares how principals can foster the professional capital of teachers and get far more accomplished for all students.
The author explains the three key roles that administrators must play in order to have the biggest impact on student achievement―the learning leader, the district and system player, and the change agent. Throughout The Principal are "action items" to help leaders implement Fullan’s program effectively, as well as provocative discussion questions that enhance the book’s usefulness in professional development and leadership courses.