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The Human Side of Changing Education

The Human Side of Changing Education
How to Lead Change With Clarity, Conviction, and Courage

Foreword by Arthur Levine

May 2018 | 152 pages | Corwin

The purpose of the book is to equip education change leaders with a practical framework and human-centered tools and resources to lead sustainable change.


We are witnessing a rising tide of popular consensus that the traditional, century-old, model of education is no longer serving our children. Performance on standardized test scores is becoming the floor of school performance, not the ceiling, and more and more schools are drafting strategic plans that state skills such as problem solving, collaboration, systems thinking and creativity must become an integral part of the school’s DNA. In the last two to three years, the conversation has shifted from “We need to change from the factory model and here’s why” to, “OK, I know that level of change is needed. But how do we change?”


This book is for anyone who is designing, leading, or participating in this level of change: Change that supports students in learning the skills, knowledge and habits of mind that will enable them to thrive in an unknowable future.


In ‘The Human Side of Changing Education’, Julie Wilson, Ed.M. guides us through a powerful framework that enables school leaders to make sense of their challenging change journeys and provide resources to help them along the path. It is centered on the premise that when we ask schools to change, we are asking human beings to change and this requires special tools and a human-centered approach.  We cannot change the heart of the system without enabling the hearts and minds of those who give their all every single day to making schools work. Julie presents a practical framework, along with human-centered tools, resources and mini-case studies to help the reader navigate, and succeed upon, their own path of change.



Chapter 1: What's Worth Learning? Your North Star
A Rising Tide of Consensus  
Worthy Skill #1: Self-Directed Learning  
Worthy Skill #2: Creativity and Innovation  
Worthy Skill #3: Planning, Adaptability, and Agility  
Worthy Skill #4: Strengths Awareness and Application  
Worthy Skill #5: Self Efficacy  
Worthy Skill #6: Global Citizenship  
Worthy Skill #7: Relationship Building  
Worthy Skill #8: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving  
Key Points  
Questions for Reflection and Action  
Chapter 2: How Do We Redesign an Existing System?
The Pedagogy Needs to Reflect the Outcomes We Seek  
Changing Pedagogy Changes Your Culture  
Moving From the Industrial Educational Model to a Post-Industrial Model  
What Kind of Change Is It?  
Directed Change  
Planned Change  
Iterative Changing  
Differentiating Your Approach  
Key Points  
Questions for Reflection and Action  
Chapter 3: Five Success Factors for Change
Success Factor #1: Sustained Leadership and a Visionary School Board  
Success Factor #2: A Shared Vision of the Change  
Success Factor #3: Unleashing Talent and Building Teams  
Success Factor #4: Rethinking the Use of Time and Space  
Success Factor #5: Overhauling the Assessment Structure of Learning and School Performance  
Leading Transformative Change Requires Adult Development  
From Socialized Minds to Self-Authoring Minds  
Moving Away from the Patriarchal Model of Education  
Key Points  
Questions for Reflection and Action  
Chapter 4: Leading Your Organization Through Change – Strategies
Success Factors in Action  
Strategy 1: Your Learning History  
Strategy 2: The Future: Where Would You Like to Go?  
Strategy 3: Building Organizational Change Capacity  
Strategy 4: Helping Others Through Change – The Power of Development  
Strategy 5: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint – Leading Through the Messy Middle of Change  
Strategy 6: Building Effective Teams  
Strategy 7: It Could Be a Library  
Strategy 8: Measuring What We Value  
Key Points  
Questions for Reflection and Action  
Chapter 5: Leading Yourself Through Change
When You Are, or Are Not in Charge  
The Hero’s Journey  
Stages of the Hero’s Journey  
The Hero’s Journey of Real People Like You  
Key Points  
Questions for Reflection and Action  
Getting Clear on Your ‘Why’ and Taking Action  
Summary Questions for Reflection and Action  
Organizational Change Capacity Questionnaire  
Individual Development Plan  
The Strengths Based Conversation  

Julie Wilson dares to turn common sense into an action plan. This is an urgent, important book for all educators and parents.

Seth Godin, Author
Author of Stop Stealing Dreams

A refreshing and hopeful perspective on transforming the education system to prepare students for the demands of an unpredictable, unknown, and complex future. Wilson offers tools for educators to develop the necessary habits of mind to conquer wide-scale change. 

Elise Foster, Founder and President; Co-Author
Leadership Potential Consulting; Co-Author of The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools

Julie Wilson is both a visionary and a pragmatist. Her book is a wonderfully clear and concise guide for leaders who seek to navigate the road to educational transformation.

Tony Wagner, Author
The Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators

If you want to understand what it takes to create innovative and lasting change, then forge ahead with The Human Side of Changing Education, and bravely create your own hero's journey. This is a valuable guide, with practical advice and real-life examples to support you in this very complicated and challenging work.

Ann Koufman-Frederick, Chief Academic Officer
LearnLaunch Institute, MAPLE

Julie Wilson’s advice is spot on: Find your north star, embrace the process of change, and focus on the adults in your system. Every educator needs to not only read this book, but also commit to the journey of change that Wilson has thoughtfully implored us to take.  

Ken Kay, CEO; Founding President
CEO of EdLeader21; Founding President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Key features

This book is all about how to affect the human side of change to convince educators that change is doable and necessary.


·         A downloadable roadmap

·         Key points summarized at the end of each chapter

·         Questions for reflection and action at the end of each chapter

·         A list of free resources, tools, and useful websites

·         Mini case-studies

·         Dialog excerpts with change practitioners

·         Graphic illustrations that distill key content in an engaging way

·         A ‘human-centered’ change checklist

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ISBN: 9781506398532

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This book is not available as a review copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.