World EduLead 2019: Michael Fullan

Presentation #1: Micheal Fullan spoke about his latest book - 'Nuance: Why some leaders succeed and others fail'. His point is around the way effective leaders get below the surface and see details and patterns and are then able to accomplish deeper change. Three interrelated strategies are synonymous with leaders of this ilk - joint determination, adaptability, and culture-based accountability.

In essence nuance means... a difference or shade of meaning.

Michael Fullan is aiming for theory to come from practice rather than research. Viewing complex change as interactive, and getting inside the interaction, hence avoiding the desire to make it mandatory. This is a new way of viewing leadership. Much leadership process and procedure is based on a research model. I like the idea of making practice change about real life, about realism and about precision and choice. Leanardo focused on 'experience and experiment'. This should be the model for education leadership. Fullan also emphasises the need to have ALL people involved in solving the complex issues that run deep within education.

Professional Capital (PC) is another interesting concept that Fullan floated. He suggests there are three types - Human Capital, Social Capital and Decisional Capital. The separation and understanding of each of these is extremely important in moving education forward.

In linking with the main function of the Kāhui Ako - 'Collective Teacher Efficacy' he defined this extremely well.

  • Shared belief in the conjoint capital capacity to produce results

  • Primary input is 'evidence of impact'

  • Culture of collaboration to implement high-yield strategies

  • Leader participates in frequent, specific collaboration

Fullan highlighted the importance of buffering teachers from emotional stress and external demands. If the burden on staff can be lightened then this allows time and enthusiasm for curriculum design and instructional planning. This is a very important concept. Too often staff can get caught up in 'survival mode' and this limits the opportunities for them to be creative and show the flare that they possess.

This final statement was something to be mindful of back at Lytton Street School.

Presentation #2: This was based on Fullan's latest book - 'System Change: The Devil is in the Details'. Fullan argued why existing schools are no longer adequate for preparing students for the current world. He stated that Literacy, Numeracy and even university graduation will not be enough for surviving the 21st century. Fullan argues for a complete system change.

Ben Ward-Smith


Lytton Street School, Feilding

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