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I magine a school system that cares as much for the adults who work in the system as it does for the students. See these professionals creating student, teacher, and system knowledge and then using that knowledge to move their district toward higher and higher levels of performance.

O bserve a school district not engaged in yearly rapid-fire change. Instead, imagine that district having the capacity to sustain change over time. See that school district harnessing the collective power of its human, technical, financial and time resources and focusing them on creating and sustaining a high performing school system.

N ote that this is the vision for The Institute for Change Leadership in Education —a vision that will create teams of highly trained and motivated change leaders who can facilitate the challenging and complex task of creating and sustaining systemic transformational change in their school districts.

Now, imagine this Institute in a school of education within a Department of Change Leadership in Education. Envision faculty training teams of district-based change leaders about how to create and sustain systemic transformational change in their districts. Imagine that this training not only teaches these educators how to create and sustain transformational change, but actually expects them to go back to their districts to apply what they learn. Imagine faculty in the department providing coaching and technical assistance to those change leaders as they plan and implement a transformational change methodology.

Imagine the benefit to the school districts, the children they serve, and the educators working in those districts as the participating teams of change leaders begin applying cutting-edge principles for transforming their districts to enhance the quality of student, teacher, and system learning. Imagine these districts becoming communities of learners engaged in a never-ending journey of district-wide improvement.

Institute design

A proposed design for this special institute is displayed in Table 5. The key characteristics of this institute design are:

  1. It spans an academic year with two, two-week summer sessions on either end;
  2. It is a 30 credit post-master’s program that leads to an education specialist degree in change leadership in education;
  3. Training activities are designed to teach knowledge, develop skills, and refine dispositions for change leadership;
  4. It is team-based; that is, individuals may not apply for admission to the program; and,
  5. It expects participating teams to apply what they learned to transform their school systems.
Table 5: An Innovative Design for a 30 Credit Education Specialist Degree Program inChange Leadership in Education
The [fill in the name of a college or university] Institute on Leading Transformational Change in School Systems
Summer 1:(10 credits) A two week residential workshop/seminar with following topics:
  • The need for a paradigm shift in education
  • Customized, learner-centered teaching and learning
  • Disposition for change leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence for change leadership
  • Principles of systemic transformational change
  • Systems thinking and system dynamics
  • Principles of organization theory and design
  • Interpersonal and group dynamics during times of change
  • The School System Transformation Protocol
  • Phase 1: Prepare
  • Phase 2: Envision
  • Phase 3: Transform
  • Phase 4: Sustain
  • Phase 5: Evaluate
  • Financing systemic transformational change
  • Reshaping organization culture
  • Expanding mindsets
  • Action planning for the 1-year interim between summer sessions
Fall and Spring Interim:(10 Credits) Each team returns to its respective school system to apply learning from the first summer. This application requires them to conduct the SST Protocol “Phase 1: Prepare” activities that prepare their school system to begin systemic transformation. During the interim, teams from all universities offering this institute will be connected through an Internet web-site that includes a virtual forum for everyone to talk to each other and with the instructors about what they are doing. An example of this kind of web site is (External Link)
Summer 2:(10 credits) A two week residential workshop/seminar on the following topics:
  • Review of Summer 1 concepts and principles
  • Review and assessment of interim activities
  • Managing and rewarding performance in transformed school systems
  • Power and politics during times of change
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Strategic communication
  • Evaluating systemic transformational change
  • “What do we do next?” action planning to transform the teams’ school systems
Participating teams return to the Institute for their second summer to debrief their Interim activities. Lessons learned will be shared. Concepts and principles of systemic transformational change will be reviewed and reinforced and new change leadership concepts and principles will be introduced.Each team will then design an action plan to implement fully the SST Protocol in their school systems. Each plan will be shared with the other teams for their reaction and suggestions.The teams will also evaluate the Institute and the instructors’ performance.At the end of the second summer, participants who successfully completed the institute experience will receive an Education Specialist Degree in Change Leadership in Education.
Capstone Experience/ProductThe capstone product for the participants is an action plan to transform their school systems to align with the requirements of the Information Age. The capstone experience is the implementation of that action plan; but this experience will not commence until after teams complete the institute. During the implementation period, teams of change leaders from throughout the United States who completed this institute will remain connected through an on-line, virtual change leadership community.
Other Services and Added Values
The Institute will not just be a training program. It will also:
  • Offer an Internet-based nationwide network to support participants during the interim between summers as they implement their action plans. Graduates of the program will be able to continue participating in the network after they graduate.
  • Provide opportunities to graduate students in the department to do action research on systemic transformational change and then publish their findings.
  • Provide department faculty with research, publishing and consulting opportunities.
  • Develop policy to influence state and federal policy on systemic transformational change in school districts.
General Admissions Criteria
  • Team Participation . Only teams of educators from a school system are eligible to apply for admission to the program.
  • Commitment to Transform Their Systems . To be accepted to the Institute each team must have a firm, written commitment from their key stakeholders to transform their school systems using what they learn in the Institute.
  • Work Experience . Each member of the team applying for admission to the Institute must have a minimum of five years of professional post-bachelor degree experience working in a school system.
  • Master’s Degree . Further, a graduate-level program for preparing change leaders should be at the post-master’s level. Each member of the team applying for admission to the Institute must have a master’s degree or higher in an education field.
  • Disposition for Change Leadership . Not everyone is cut out for change leadership. This challenging responsibility requires a special breed of leader with identifiable traits (see Duffy and Reigeluth’s traits earlier in this chapter). Some of these traits are trainable, but others, like personality, are not. People either have those non-trainable traits, or they don’t.
The disposition for change leadership should be a trait of the team applying for admission rather than traits held by each individual on the team. The disposition for change leadership can be assessed by surveying the attitudes of each member of a team applying for admission and then calculating a team profile. If the profile indicates that the team, as a whole, has a disposition for change leadership then that team may be considered for admission to the Institute. During Summer 1 some of the learning activities will focus on refining and enhancing the team’s disposition for change leadership. If individual members enter the Institute without a clearly defined disposition for change leadership these learning activities will aim to help reshape their pre-dispositions.
Specific Admissions Criteria
Criteria Rationale for Each Criterion
Only district-based teams of 5 or more practitioners may participate in the Institute.The teams must be staffed by teachers and administrators who meet the general admissions criteria and the team membership must represent the entire instructional program in their district; e.g., in a preK-12 th grade district members of the team must represent the early childhood, elementary, middle, and high school levels of schooling in that district. One member of the team must be the superintendent of schools. If a district sends multiple teams, then the superintendent only has to be part of the first team. →→→ Training teams of practitioners is critical for successful change.Leading systemic transformational change requires representation of the whole-system, thus the need for this kind of membership on the team.School superintendents are key players for their districts’ transformation journeys. They must be unequivocally committed to their districts’ transformation if they want that journey to succeed. Their participation in the Institute sends a clear and powerful message about their commitment to lead this kind of change effort.
Institute Management
Institute Director : The institute should be based in a newly created Department of Change Leadership in Education. The Department Chairman will be coordinator of the Institute.
Financing the Institute: Participation in the Institute will be on a for-fee basis. Given the need for this kind of training it is likely that federal or philanthropic grant to support it could be secured. A research component could also be designed into the Institute so that research grant money could be awarded.
Adjunct Instructors and Tenure-Track Faculty
Adjunct Instructors and Tenure-Track Faculty will be selected and hired for their expertise in and experience with systemic transformational change. Possible adjunct instructors/guest speakers include:
  • Charles Reigeluth , Professor, Instructional Systems, Indiana University and co-director of the FutureMinds: Transforming American School Systems initiative
  • Tom Houlihan , retired executive director for the Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Barbara McCombs , Director, Center for Human Motivation, Learning, and Development, University of Denver.
  • Jack Dale , Superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia
  • Joe Simpson , Deputy State Superintendent of Schools, Wyoming.
  • Michael Fullan , Professor Emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.
  • Stephanie Pace Marshall , founding President and President Emerita of Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
  • Libia Gil , Senior Fellow, American Institutes of Research.
  • Don Stinson, Superintendent, Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township, Indiana
Note : The people identified above are listed as examples of the kind of professionals required to teach or make guest appearances in this Institute. None of them have expressed an interest in doing this.
Specialty areas needed tenured faculty include, but are not limited to:
  • Systems Thinking and System Dynamics
  • Systemic transformation and change leadership
  • Interpersonal and group dynamics during times of change
  • Power and politics during change
  • Strategic communication
  • Managing diversity during times of change
  • Expanding mindsets
  • Learner-centered teaching and learning
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Organization Theory and Design
  • Strategic Communication
  • Personalized, Student-Centered Learning
  • Reshaping Organization Culture


I believe there is a striking need for effective change leadership in America’s school systems. This need is not being responded to by state departments of education or graduate-level education leadership programs. Further, I believe that an effective and proactive response to this need is for state departments of education to adopt research-based standards to develop a professional license for change leaders in education and for schools and colleges of education to design a graduate-level program specializing in preparing change leaders about the why, what, and how of creating and sustaining systemic transformational change in school districts.

If America’s school systems are to be transformed to meet the demands of the Information Age, then they will need effective change leadership. Responding to this need will require courage, passion, and vision from state department of education leaders and university faculty if they are to do what’s required to adopt a framework for preparing change leaders.

Some readers of this article will say, “Impossible, can’t be done!” Call me a dreamer, a believer in the impossible becoming possible, but I think that once the proposed standards are validated they can be applied to create a cadre of knowledgeable and highly skilled change leaders in education. I believe that university faculty who also have personal courage, passion, and vision can design and operate an institute like the one described in this article. Finally, in the words of Kris Kruger (a singer and songwriter), “…when we seek the unseekable, when we speak the unspeakable, when we think the unthinkable, when we achieve the unachievable, the impossible is possible.”

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, National framework of professional standards for change leadership in education. OpenStax CNX. Feb 11, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10638/1.2
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