Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2008 Issue »

    Putting the “Development” in Professional Development

    Understanding and Overturning Educational Leaders’ Immunities to Change

    Deborah Helsing, Annie Howell, Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    In this article, authors Deborah Helsing, Annie Howell, Robert Kegan, and Lisa Lahey argue that today’s educational leaders face a host of complex demands as they strive to implement lasting, meaningful change in their school environments. As these demands often require a level of personal development many adults may not yet have, there is a need for professional development programs that are genuinely developmental. This article describes one such program that provides the opportunity for participants to make qualitative shifts in the ways that they understand themselves and their work. Using case study methodology, the authors explore the psychological development of one participant as she increases her capacity to determine, and be guided by, her own theories, values, and expectations of her personal and professional relationships and responsibilities.

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    Deborah Helsing is a senior program associate of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a senior coach for Minds at Work. Her research and teaching practice have focused on teacher uncertainty and decisionmaking. She is the author of “Regarding Uncertainty in Teachers and Teaching,” which appeared in Teaching and Teacher Education (2007), and “Style of Knowing Regarding Uncertainties,” which appeared in Curriculum Inquiry (2007). She is also a coauthor of the book, Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools (with R. Kegan, L. Lahey, and A. Howell, 2006).

    Annie Howell is a director in the Boston Public Schools’ Institute for Professional Development, where she designs and leads professional development for district instructional leaders. She is also a senior change coach with the For Column Exercise, working with adults who are reflecting on their leadership challenges and opportunities. Howell’s previous research focused on adult development and transformational learning in the context of professional development. She is a coauthor of Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools (with R. Kegan, L. Lahey, and D. Helsing, 2006).

    Robert Kegan is the William and Miriam Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). A researcher, theorist, and practitioner in the field of adult development, Kegan serves as the codirector of the HGSE Change Leadership Group and the educational chair of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education. He is the author of The Evolving Self (1982) and In Over Our Heads (1995), and coauthor of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work (2001) and the forthcoming Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization, both with Lisa Lahey, and a coauthor of Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools (with D. Helsing, L. Lahey, and A. Howell, 2006).

    Lisa Lahey is associate director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she is also founder and codirector of Minds at Work. She has worked across the educational spectrum, from K–12 to colleges and universities, and with numerous corporations and nonprofit organizations. She is coauthor of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work (2001) and Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (forthcoming), both with Robert Kegan, and a coauthor of the book, Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools (with R. Kegan, D. Helsing, and A. Howell, 2006).

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    Fall 2008 Issue

    Abstracts

    Putting the “Development” in Professional Development
    Understanding and Overturning Educational Leaders’ Immunities to Change
    Deborah Helsing, Annie Howell, Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Harvard Graduate School of Education
    Achievement as Resistance
    The Development of a Critical Race Achievement Ideology among Black Achievers
    Dorinda J. Carter, Michigan State University
    Unpacking the Placement of American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Special Education Programs and Services in the Early Grades
    School Readiness as a Predictive Variable
    Jacob Hibel, Susan C. Faircloth, The Pennsylvania State University, and George Farkas, University of California, Irvine
    Capturing Authenticity, Transforming Perception
    One Teacher’s Efforts to Improve Her Students’ Performance by Challenging Their Impressions of Self and Community
    William H. Marinell, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    Book Notes