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This message is in reply to:
Questions prompted by keynote & posters - Judith Warren Little

Posted by: Michael Fullan
Posted on: May 06, 2002 at 7:11 AM
Judith , the 7 questions are great and I can't do justice to them here. I have sent separately this AM a note in reaction to the poster projects that I read. Joni will post it. Re the questions:
1.I agree that the different levels of school are important. In other writing I do take them up separately. On high schools, you know McClaughlin/Talbert's new book on PLCs at the High School which really does an excellent job of getting inside high schools. I also believe that the high school structure/size is wrong -and that we need more fundamental overall of them.
2.In my note referred to above I take this up. Systemic change that focuses on science/math is not systemic because there are other parts of the system . This is why coherence-making is crucial
3&4.Questions 3 and 4 are similar in nature. I don't assume that systemic change is always good for teachers. It depends on whether it ends up empowering them. my main point, and this takes up on question 4 as well, is that-INFRASTRUCTURE MATTERS- and therefore we must directly tackle the infrastructure-e.g. the district role if we are to improve our overall changes.
There are some good studies coming out on the districts' role-several sessions at this years AMERICAN ED RESEARCH ASSOC annual meeting highlighted this.
5. You are quite right about the internal contradiction if one is not careful. My main points are: work on plc as the basic improvement , and if you are working on a specific initiative, make sure you are also attending to the plc agenda.
6.&7.I'll take these together
first , what you do depends on your role. I was focusing on principals . From teachers point of view they should be seen as key . Teacher leadership is a major part of this. On the question of inside out, I do value this but if you use the criteria of:large-scaleness' inside out won't produce enough, soon enough. This doesn't mean that you have to abandon inside -out but that you apreciate both sides of the coin. In fact if you are developing the outside and the inside is also developing it is the best combination sometimes. Put another way , when the inside develops it takes advantage of opportunites on the outside. Finally, I see the goal as producing leaders at many levels, not just at the principalship.
Thanks for the questions. We really need a seminar to work them through.
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