Book Review

The Fourth Way

The Inspiring Future for Educational Change

by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2009, 160 pp., $25.95 softcover

While a compass can show you direction, most travelers require a map to reach their final destination. The map reader might want to take the picturesque route while the decision maker wants the most direct route.

The Fourth Way

In The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change, Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley take educational leaders, the ultimate arbiters of change, on a journey. Drawing from research on traditional methods and new findings from around the globe, the authors offer an absorbing and insightful analysis of three major change efforts that have supported educational change over the past century.

Firstly, the strengths and limitations of each model are discussed and then the authors propose a fourth way that’s grounded on six pillars of purpose that support change, three principles of professionalism that drive change and four catalysts of coherence that sustain change in K-12 schooling.

The route proposed by the authors expects a lot of educators but is an achievable vision if change leaders act courageously.

The Fourth Way is an inspirational book that should resonate with educational leaders who wish to create schools that will undergird and inspire our best values to regenerate and improve society.

Reviewed by Valerie A. Storey, associate professor and co-coordinator of educational leadership program, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.