The Graveyard of School Reform: Why the Resistance to Change and New Ideas explores the critical role resistance plays in defeating valued programs for students, parents, and staff. It is time for education reformers to face the hard truths about the skilled and destructive forces of resisters and to learn that good ideas and calls for change are not enough. Reformers need to learn how to overcome these entrenched forces and muster new skills with the will to win, courage, and the persistence required. Resistance has been given little attention for far too long considering the huge cost and the loss of programs we desperately need. Fibkins argues that reformers often accept defeat when they should be discovering new ways to win.
As an education reformer Fibkins has observed far too many necessary programs meet an untimely death due to the naivety of reformers. By reviewing lessons learned from other failed reforms and analyzing successful reforms, Fibkins new book addresses issues and presents doable models for reformers to succeed and deliver what administrators, staff, parents, students, and community members need to make their schools the best they can be.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 162
Weight: 417 g
Dimensions: 236 x 161 x 19 mm
Building on a scholarly discussion of school change and his own experiences as a reform leader in two school/university partnerships in New York, Fibkins-a nationally recognized expert in the field of counseling and human development-believes that `the most important theme in this book is that both reformers and leaders in local schools have much to gain by becoming more aware of the contribution each group can offer to bring about needed reform.' In his review of the educational system, the author examines why many school reforms end up in the reform graveyard and what can be done to fix the problem. He notes that today's principals, often seen as chief promoters and marketers of the school's brand, have little time to serve as instructional leaders. School reforms need an inside-out leader, a veteran teacher who is assigned to lead colleagues in the risky process of change. Project lead teachers, the author argues, must have the protection of a niche that enables them to be seen as an added resource and benefit for their school, administration, staff, students, and parents, but they also need to be `wary and on guard against the powerful persuasive role of outside-in reformers.' This book presents models for reformers to succeed. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals and practitioners. * CHOICE *
Dr. William Fibkins has provided an easy-to-read and non-biased resource on educational reform and the potential implications for all concerned. The author has accurately captured the practical and real-life environment where change is eminent and teachers should be regarded with high value. This book would be valuable (if not essential) for educators, principals and certainly teachers who could be, are or have been affected by reform. Furthermore, consultants and change agents would benefit from Dr Fibkins' alternative reform model that promotes equality in reform. -- Dr. Gail Crossley-Craven, education consultant and counsellor, CC Education & Business Services, www.drcc.com.au
This is a message that has been long hidden from the public. It needs to be heard before a whole generation of children is harmed and before the massive flight of teachers from the profession becomes irreversible. -- Laurie Gabriel, director, Heal Our Schools
Bill Fibkins captures the boiling over frustration of teachers everywhere with his excellent roadmap to education reform. His call for "teacher leaders" to lead the way is a common sense solution to stop the endless cycle of reform failures. Fibkin's plan echoes the quality reforms of gurus like Deming - who revolutionized manufacturing by asking workers how to improve the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, school reform has failed, in large part, because teaching professionals have been inexplicably excluded from the decision making process. Fibkins' clarion call for teacher participation seeks to sensibly reform the reform movement by simply asking teachers how to improve their profession. It is about time. -- Debra Ciamacca