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October 2011 | Volume 69 | Number 2
Coaching: The New Leadership Skill Pages 50-53

Coaches as System Leaders

Michael Fullan and Jim Knight

Next to the principal, coaches are the most crucial change agent in a school.

There's been a growing realization that we need education reform on a larger scale—at the level of the district, state, or country. This raises an interesting question about the role of coaches. It's futile to develop their role unless we treat it as part of an overall strategy to change systems.

For example, the work of coaches is squandered if school principals are not instructional leaders. At the same time, the work of schools will go nowhere unless school districts organize themselves to focus relentlessly on instructional improvement. Without coaching, many comprehensive reform efforts will fall short of real improvement.


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