Leading Schools in Disruptive Times; How to Survive Hyper-Change, 2nd Ed. Book Review

Posted By: Dr. Daniel Hartman AASPA Blog,

COVID-19 has forced school systems to exercise organizational agility and implement new practices and changes at an accelerated speed and volume that has not been previously experienced in our nation’s history, but as school leaders are well aware of, even prior to the pandemic school systems were having to navigate increasing disruptions due to external pressures and societal changes.  Leading Schools in Disruptive Times; How to Survive Hyper-Change, 2nd Ed., by Mark White and Dwight L. Carter, offers a historical perspective of societal and school change and the innovative disruptions school systems have been facing in recent years, and offers a framework for how leaders can successfully adapt and succeed as our society transitions from the information age into the age of hyper-change. White and Carter examine several critical disruptions currently impacting school systems, including:

  • The constant need to ensure student safety
  • Emerging technologies
  • The accelerated flow of education reform movements
  • Generational gaps among staff and student populations
  • The push for global skills
  • The necessity to maintain schools as inclusive institutions, and
  • The requirement for transparency in a 24/7 news cycle world.

This book offers practical examples and strategies for how school leaders can address the ever increasing demands placed on them during an era of information overload, exponentially increased rates of knowledge and information, and hyper-change.  Specifically, the authors introduce an approach leaders can utilize to redefine and reimagine education during these turbulent times known as the CAT (Coping, Adjusting, Transforming) Strategy.  In this second edition of Leading Schools in Disruptive Times; How to Survive Hyper-Change, White and Carter include new information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and take the position that the pandemic is just the beginning of many new disruptions that will have significant implications for schools and school leaders in the 2020’s.  Despite this assertion, the book is not meant to offer a doom and gloom view of the future for education.  As the author’s state in the book’s preface:

While the world has endured a bleak period that has changed schools, this book is not meant to be a pessimistic prediction of the demise of schools; on the contrary, it is meant to serve as a tool for revitalization, for repurposing, and for avoiding the pitfalls that could sidetrack school leaders’ progress into an amazing future.

As schools are getting set to begin the 2021 school year amid continued uncertainty about the pandemic-induced and other disruptions that lie ahead, I highly recommend this book for human capital leaders and leadership teams as a guide for navigating the shifting practices and thinking that will be necessary for schools to thrive during the era of hyper-change and into the future.  The practical ideas, stories from exceptional educational leaders, decision-making frameworks, end-of-chapter tips, scenarios, and end-of-chapter activities offered in this book make it an excellent choice for a leadership team book study that can result in effective action planning for creating a new model of leadership in education and for repurposing and reimaging schools.

Order your copy today at https://www.aaspa.org/products/leading-schools-in-disruptive-times-how-to-survive-hyper-change.