Project-based school improvement

Filling the pail

To improve a school, it is necessary to focus on one or two things and then relentlessly go after them for about four or five years. That seems to work. However, it doesn’t sit well with the way that most schools operate.

One reason that we are at the mercy of quacks and their quick-fix fads is that these fads serve a pressing need within schools. This is not the need of school improvement but rather personal advancement. The ideal career path for someone who wishes to be a school leader is to cycle through a number of schools, leading a project at each.

A project is ideal for discussion at interview because it is the kind of object that people can see all the way around. As an interviewee, all you need to do is gently orient people towards the needs that the project was intended to meet, describe what…

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