The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance, and the Real-Life Problems of Innovation
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The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance, and the Real-Life Problems of Innovation

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In this insightful look at school reform, Robert Evans examines the real-life hurdles to implementing innovation and explains how the best-intended efforts can be stalled by educators who too often feel burdened and conflicted by the change process. He provides a new model of leadership along with practical management strategies for building a framework of cooperation betw...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 18th 2001 by Jossey-Bass (first published October 28th 1996)
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The author takes issue with all the “quick-fix” ideas about changing organizations, especially schools. He argues that programs that urge instant reform ignore human nature and are doomed to fail. Evans posits that human nature being what it is, resistance to change and entrenchment in old values, even those that are demonstrably inefficient, is perfectly natural. Even more, this resistance is a necessary part of any change, as individuals need time to reexamine their culture’s values and social...more
This is a thoughtful, intelligent book for anyone interested in education reform in theory or practice, or who is directly involved with a school that is undergoing change. While some of it pertains to universal aspects of human nature, many passages explained very well the unique challenges of implementing change in a school setting. The book brings home how easy it is for people outside the profession to make pronouncements about what "should" happen in school settings without fully understand...more
Lawrence Linnen
Robert Evans examines the human side of school reform from a conceptual framework for understanding the process of change, the effects of change on educators as humans, and the craft of leadership. Evans suggests that large and complex innovations require of individuals greater quantity and quality of change producing greater potential, but being more difficult to implement. The emphasis is to pay attention to the lived realities of the educators who must make the change.
This is one of the best books I have ever read on change theory. Uses a systems approach which is an approach I use a lot in family therapy. I'll be leading a retreat for administrators later in the summer with this book as the basis.
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