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School Change and the MicroSociety® Program

By: Cary Cherniss

Foreword by Roland S. Barth

See meaningful whole-school reform strategies through MicroSociety® lenses!

This guide offers a real look into school reform and pinpoints specific strategies for overcoming its trials and achieving its triumphs. It looks through the lenses of the MicroSociety® whole-school reform model to empower leaders with a comprehensive, research-based approach for implementing and sustaining meaningful change, and extends lessons learned to any reform model. The insightful text features:

  • Actual challenges and proven solutions, including attaining genuine teacher buy-in
  • 16 straightforward guidelines for pre- and post-implementation
  • In-depth case studies
  • Insights on how "emotional intelligence" influences the change process

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412917612
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2005
  • Page Count: 232
  • Publication date: March 24, 2014

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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"A school's MicroSociety program is not a gimmick, as Professor Cherniss carefully describes and discusses. It is a process that gives students responsibilities and obligations. They experience the benefits of collaboration and the problems of group cohesion, and they learn how and why the bottom line of their economic enterprise requires foresight, decision-making, flexibility, creativity, and more. Are there problems in creating and maintaining such an enterprise? Yes, but Professor Cherniss candidly, critically, sympathetically, and constructively explains why readers will have no doubt that the MicroSociety's educational potential is indeed great. It is the opposite of a transient fad, of which there has been a surfeit."
-Seymour B. Sarason, Professor Emeritus
Psychology & Education, Yale University

See meaningful whole-school reform strategies through the lenses of the MicroSociety® program!

The steady stream of quick-fix educational reforms du jour has drowned out the optimism and drive of many school leaders. To buoy the hopes and success of change agents, this guide offers a real look into school reform, with its trials and triumphs, and pinpoints specific strategies for overcoming the former and achieving the latter.

Looking closely at the MicroSociety® whole-school reform model, the text empowers leaders with a systemic approach to implementation and sustainability of meaningful change. Along with the history and basics of MicroSociety®, it highlights research-based tactics, enabling administrators, teachers, parents, and students to fully invest in and affect positive, enduring reform. The book features:

  • Actual challenges and proven solutions for everything from dealing with "problem" students and time constraints, to attaining genuine teacher buy-in and seamless curriculum
  • 16 straightforward guidelines for before, during, and after implementation
  • In-depth case studies illustrating the gamut of outcomes, from failure to success, and why they resulted
  • Insights on how "emotional intelligence" influences the change process
  • Implications for educational policy

Key features

  • Provides implementation strategies for scaling up reform models
  • Offers a systematic set of guidelines for assessing unique school circumstances
  • Highlights best practices in addition to challenges that may arise
  • Serves as the only current, comprehensive, and practical guide for the MicroSociety model


Cary Cherniss photo

Cary Cherniss

Cary Cherniss currently is Professor of Applied Psychology and Director of the Organizational Psycho­logy Program in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. He also has taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the University of Illinois in Chicago, the Chicago Medical School, and the Illinois Institute of Technol­ogy. He received his PhD in psychology from Yale University in 1972. Dr. Cherniss specializes in the areas of emotional intelligence, profes­sional burnout, management training and development, and planned organizational change. He has published more than 50 scholarly articles and book chapters on these topics, as well as six books: The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace (with Daniel Goleman); Promoting Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Guidelines for Practitioners (with Mitchel Adler); The Human Side of Corporate Competitiveness (with Daniel Fishman); Professional Burnout in Human Service Organizations; Staff Burnout; and Beyond Burnout: Helping Teachers, Nurses, Therapists, and Lawyers Recover From Stress and Disillusionment. In addition to his research and writing, Dr. Cherniss has consulted with many schools and school districts. He also has consulted with other kinds of organizations in both the public and private sectors, including American Express Financial Advisors, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Honeywell, and PSEG Power. He currently is the director and cochair (with Daniel Goleman) of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of its Division 27 (Society for Community Research and Action), and he is a member of the Academy of Management.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Foreword by Roland S. Barth



About the Author

Part One: Overview of the Program

1. The MicroSociety® Program

A Day in the Life of a MicroSociety® Program School

The Origins of the MicroSociety® Program

The MicroSociety® Idea Spreads

The Guiding Philosophy Behind the MicroSociety® Program

Basic Elements of the Program

MicroSociety® Program Outcomes: What the Research Shows

The Problem of Implementation


2. Challenges Encountered in Implementing the Program

Lack of Teacher Buy-in

Excessive Time and Work Demands

Making Links Between the MicroSociety® Program and the Core Curriculum

What to Do With “Problem” Students?

The Problem of Staff Conflict

The “Fog of Change”

Threats to Sustainability


Part Two: Guidelines for Successful Implementation

3. Creating a Favorable Context

Guideline 1: Relationships Among Teachers and Principal

Guideline 2: Goodness of Fit

Guideline 3: Parent and Community Involvement

Guideline 4: Principal Support

4. Introducing the Program to the School

Guideline 5: Giving Teachers a Meaningful Voice

Guideline 6: Planning Before the Program Begins

Guideline 7: Securing Additional Funding

Guideline 8: Matching Teachers With Ventures

Guideline 9: Realistic Goals and Time Perspectives

5. Keeping It Running

Guideline 10: Expand Student Responsibility

Guideline 11: Seek Out Additional Resources

Guideline 12: Create a Culture of Experimentation

Guideline 13: Continue to Set Aside Time for Planning

Guideline 14: Create an Open and Flexible Decision-Making Structure

6. Leadership – The Critical Ingredient

Guideline 15: The Principal as Advocate

Guideline 16: Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Part Three: Case Studies in Implementation

7. A Successful Replication: Mesquite Elementary School

Before-the-Beginning: Providing a Favorable Context

Introducing the Program to the School

Making It Work: The Management Team, the Coordinator, and the Consultant

Maintaining Teacher Commitment Through Decision-Making, Planning, and Training

Seeking Out and Using Resources

A Supportive Principal and Organizational Climate

The Principal’s Social Capital and Emotional Intelligence


8. Wellfleet Elementary: Everything That Can Go Wrong…

The School and Its History With the Program

What Went Wrong? The Before-the-Beginning Phase

Sowing the Seeds of Trouble: Introducing the Program to the School

Becoming Operational: Trying to Cope With Chaos

The Organizational Context: Weak Leadership and a Negative Climate

9. Montgomery Middle School: Success That Could Not Be Sustained

The School and Its Community

Introducing the Program to the School: The Principal Takes the Lead

Becoming Operational: The Teachers Confront Reality

The Program Ends

Part Four: Sustaining School Change in an Ever-Changing World

10. Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice

Implementing Change Versus Sustaining It

Two Central Lessons That Emerge From the Study

A First Step: The Selection and Training of Educators

The Role of the External Environment


Resource A: A Description of the Study

Resource B: The Implementation Guidelines





Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.