The Principal
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More About This Title The Principal


The author of Six Secrets of Change describes how and why the principal's role must change to maximize student achievement

*** FREE Professional Development Guide Included ***

Principals are often called the second most crucial in-school influencers (after teachers) of student learning. But what should the principal do in order to maximize student achievement? One of the best-known leadership authors in education, Fullan explains why the answer lies neither in micro-managing instruction nor in autonomous entrepreneurialism. He shows systematically how the principal's role should change, demonstrating how it can be done in short order, at scale.

  • Reveals the three key roles that administrators must play in today's schools
  • Explains how to choose the right versus wrong drivers of school success
  • Filled with "action items" to help implement Fullan's program effectively
  • Includes strategies that have been successfully field-tested in schools across the United States and Canada


Michael Fullan, Order of Canada, is a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He consults with leaders of education systems worldwide and is the award-winning author of more than thirty books, including Leading inaCulture of Change,The Six Secrets of Change, and Change Leader. To learn more, visit


Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xv

CHAPTER ONE: Outmoded 1

Gasp! 6

Leading Learning 8

Maximizing Impact 9

This Watershed Moment 10

The Chapters That Follow 13

Still Worth a Struggle 14

CHAPTER TWO: Vices and Virtues 17

Panic Time? 21

Four Wrong Choices for Driving Policy 22

Too Broad, Too Narrow: The Transformative Versus Instructional Leader 38

Principal Autonomy and Micromanaging:

Other Roadside Attractions 42

Time to Retune 46

CHAPTER THREE: The First Key—Leading Learning 51

What Key Research Tells Us 56

Professional Capital—a Framework for Leading Learning 67

Foster and Integrate 86

The More Powerful Way 88

CHAPTER FOUR: The Second Key—Being a District and System Player 93

Looking Out to Improve Within 98

Intradistrict Development 100

Beyond the District 107

Not You Alone 115

CHAPTER FIVE: The Third Key—Becoming a Change Agent 119

Change Agency 124

Distorted Mirrors 135

CHAPTER SIX: The Future Is Now 141

The Unplanned Digital Revolution 145

Planned Change: Common Core State Standards 154

Time to Change Careers? Or to Change Gears? 157

A Final Word 160

References 161

Index 169