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Leading Schools in Disruptive Times

Leading Schools in Disruptive Times
How To Survive Hyper-Change

September 2017 | 272 pages | Corwin
A school leadership model for surviving hyper-change

From social media to evolving safety issues to constant school reform, today’s school leaders face unprecedented disruption. How can educators prepare students for a globalized world when many institutions are not ready for the constantly changing 21st century?

In Leading Schools in Disruptive Times, Dwight Carter and Mark White draw the blueprint for adaptation. Through the Coping, Adjusting, and Transforming (CAT) strategy, administrators will learn vital methods for keeping pace in the age of hyper-change.

A comprehensive history of disruption in American schools as a lens for understanding accelerated change 
Practical exercises and real-life examples for reshaping education in the 21st century
A grounded examination of radical disruptions schools will face in the years to come.

If our schools are to survive, it is essential for educators to understand and anticipate disruptions, and use them to maximize education and prepare students for an ever-changing world.

About the Authors
Chapter 1. Schools Disrupted: Understanding How We Got Here
Some Background

School Administrators Are Dealing With an Overload of Information and Demands

The Third Wave of History Is Fueling Rapid Disruptions in Our Schools

Schools Have Experienced Their Own Waves of Change; American Schools Are Entering the Fifth Wave of Their Development

Processing Speeds Have Fueled Technology Disruptions and Created a New Education Landscape

Knowledge Is Doubling at Faster Rates, Which Is Redefining Education

If School Leaders Are Going to Thrive, They Must Use Disruptions to Their Advantage

Activities to Transition to 21st Century Leadership and Hyper-Change

Chapter 2. Types of School Disruptions: New Problems Going Viral
Understanding Disruptions and Disruptive Events

Introducing the CAT Strategy: Coping, Adjusting, and Transforming

Identifying the Seven Disruptions Changing Schools Today

Finding the Disruptions in Their Own Schools

Forming a Vision for a New Type of Leader: The Local Global Leader

Examining Accountability Through a 21st Century Lens

Looking to the Future

Activities to Help Understand School Disruptions

Chapter 3. Student Safety: From Innocence to the Unimaginable
A Principal’s View of Student Safety in 21st Century Education

A Teacher’s View of Student Safety in 21st Century Education

Tips For Maintaining Student Safety in an Age of Disruptions

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Create a Safer School in the 21st Century

Chapter 4. Technology: New Opportunities and New Challenges
The Impact of Technology

Four Key Points for Leaders About Technology Disruptions

From Myspace to Personal Devices and the Cloud

The Difficulty of Change

Tips for Leading Schools in an Age of Technology Disruptions

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Transform With Technology Disruptions

Chapter 5. Education Reforms: Searching for the Freedom to Lead and the Freedom to Teach
Living With a Warped Sense of Accountability

Shielding Teachers and Focusing on Learning

A Teacher’s View: The Freedom to Teach

Teacher Preparation: Drilling Down Into the Data

Pivoting to a Future of Rapid Change

Tips for Leading Schools in an Age of Constant Education Reforms

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Transform in Education Reform Disruptions

Chapter 6. Generational Differences: Leading Boomers, X, Y, and Z in New Learning Spaces
A Closer Look at Four Generations in Our Schools

The Administrator Leading Gen Z and Generations of Teachers

The Learning Environment Consultant With an Optimistic View

The Experienced Architect With a Vision for Change

The CEO on a Journey: A New Generation and a New Mission

Tips for Leading in Generational and Learning Space Disruptions

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Lead Multiple Generations, Educate Gen Z, and Design New Types of Learning Space

Chapter 7. Global Readiness: Preparing for the 2030s, 2040s, and Beyond . . .
Connecting to the World: Going Global

A Local Global Principal With a Global Vision

The Global Skills: Morphing and Growing With the Times

Today’s Curriculum: Shifting to Global Skills

Lifelong Learning Is No Longer Optional

A Model for Transforming

Tips for Leading Schools to Global Readiness

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Lead Schools to Global Readiness

Chapter 8. Diversity: New Challenges in the School Melting Pot
An Open-Door Policy

The Growth of Ethnic Diversity in American Schools

Welcoming Diversity: A Melting Pot or a Mosaic?

Leading in a Climate of Fear

Resegregation: A Growing Racial and Poverty Gap

Racial Diversity in Middle America

Schools: To Pray or Not to Pray

Protecting Gay Rights: To Help Students Walking Through a Hailstorm

Restrooms: Boys, Girls, and Genderless

Trying to Diversify the Teaching Force

Tips for Leading Schools in Diversity Disruptions

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Lead in Diversity Disruptions

Chapter 9. Transparency: The World Is Watching
It’s About Trust

A View of Transparency From the Last Century to the Present

Acknowledging Vulnerability and Seeking Clarity

Tips for Leading in Transparency Disruptions

Scenarios for Applying the CAT Strategy

Activities to Lead in Transparency Disruptions

Chapter 10. 21st Century School Assessment: More Than Test Scores
Thinking Without a Box

A Flexible, Formative School Assessment System

An Example of a New Assessment Instrument

Create Your Own Plan for Leading in Disruptive Times

Chapter 11. An Accelerating World: Leading Schools in an Age of Hyper-Change
A Glimpse of School Futures: Digitization, Disruption, and Democratization

Digitization in Education

How Education Will Be Disrupted

How Education Will Be Democratized

Overcoming Three Barriers

Moving Out of Future Shock: Pausing and Balancing

Tips for Helping Teachers: Mindfulness, Balance, and Respect

Let’s Be Apple and Microsoft

Activities to Lead in Hyper-Change


Carter and White offer school principals useful tips, suggestions, and real life examples regarding each disruption. This book does not leave the what and why to chance. It is very relevant to the issues educators face today.

Delsia Malone, Principal
W.E. Striplin Elementary School, Gadsden, AL

Leading Schools in Disruptive Times has an excellent voice, is timely, and speaks directly to topics foremost in the minds of educators. It will definitely generate engaging conversations.

Clint Heitz, Instructional Coach
Bettendorf Community School District, Bettendorf, IA

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