Book Review                                                    Page 44


Dream! Create! Sustain! 

Mastering the Art and Science of Transforming School Systems 

by Francis M. Duffy, Rowman and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2010, 304 pp., $39.95 softcover


In Dream! Create! Sustain!, Francis M. Duffy, professor of change leadership at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., takes on the monumental effort of transforming the American school system to meet the challenges of moving from the Industrial Age to the Knowledge Age.

Duffy provides 10 points to document the need for four paradigm shifts in education.

These paradigm shifts include transforming a school district’s core and support work processes. This means rethinking the district’s relationships with its external environment and changing how educators create and sustain change. He considers the school district the smallest unit of change that can be successful as a district is a complicated organizational system and any sustaining change must lead to whole-system transformation.

Duffy makes compelling arguments using several contributors whose writings are referenced in the rear of the book. The core premise of their arguments is that current paradigm of school is driven by the needs of the Industrial Age when the Knowledge Age carries widely different requirements for educating students. Few educators would argue with this premise, but few would agree on the path we must take to where we need to be.

Dream! Create! Sustain! Mastering the Art and Science of Transforming School Systems would be an excellent resource for a think tank charged with the design and overhaul of the American educational system. Given its premise about the school district as the smallest unit for change, school-based educators may not find much hands-on direction for solving their short-term problems.

Reviewed by Jim Hattabaugh, education consultant, Fort Smith, Ark.



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