Strategic desgin

A footnote to my previous “Design for Student Leadership”: Student Voice and School Design

Working on my never-ending doctorate (I’m on year 7, I note sheepishly), I recently re-examined one of my absolute favorite school design texts, Peter Senge’s Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education (Senge, Cambron-Mcabe, Lucas, Smith, Dutton, and Kliener, 2000).

Recently I wrote about student leadership and what I believe to be the profound educative value of leadership experience. Then, while reading Schools that Learn, I stumbled across the following:

One last comment on why schools seem remarkably difficult institutions to change and where particular leverage may lie. Industrial-age schools have a structural blind spot unlike almost any other contemporary institution… (more…)


Chaos, complexity, and emergence in strategic school design

Recently, I posted a model for understanding school design literature that posited three categories of school literature–theoretical, strategic, and technical. In this post I consider an example from the strategic school design literature by my advisor and mentor, Dr. James H. Lytle.

Dr. Lytle (1998) shared  a conference presentation based on his experience as a school leader in which he details the centrality of strategic leadership and explains a key component of strategic school design–emergence.

Cook (2004), as I discussed in a previous post, distinguishes between a managerial, prescriptive approach to planning that is “comprehensive” and a “strategic,” approach that allows for emergence. The author explains that management, which is concerned with the maintenance of the status quo, is generally in opposition to strategy which is about creating a different reality. Cook writes: (more…)