Where Teachers Thrive

Where Teachers Thrive Organizing Schools for Success

Susan Moore Johnson
paper, 320 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-358-1
Price: $34.00

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Pub. Date: June 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-360-4

Add to Cart

2020 PROSE Award Winner, Education Theory Category
2019 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice

In Where Teachers Thrive, Susan Moore Johnson outlines a powerful argument about the importance of the school as an organization in nurturing high‐quality teaching. Based on case studies conducted in fourteen high-poverty, urban schools, the book examines why some schools failed to make progress, while others achieved remarkable results. It explores the challenges that administrators and teachers faced and describes what worked, what didn’t work, and why.


Susan Moore Johnson makes a profound contribution to the development of the teaching profession at the very time it is most needed. The agenda for school success and achieving equity is now before us. — Michael Fullan, professor emeritus and former dean, University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

In this exceptional book, Susan Moore Johnson urges readers to strengthen the features of teachers’ work environments that shape their ability to succeed with students. Where Teachers Thrive should be required reading for decision makers who care about deep and lasting educational improvement. — Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers

Where Teachers Thrive presents compelling evidence that efforts to recruit and retain knowledgeable and dedicated teachers will likely fail unless they are coupled to a strategic focus on the schools in which teachers work. Vividly detailed chapters demonstrate the power of key systems—for hiring, collaboration, evaluation, and leadership—to help teachers thrive and schools succeed. — Judith Warren Little, Carol Liu Professor of Education Policy, emerita, University of California, Berkeley

In this important and timely book, Susan Moore Johnson argues that professional working conditions are the key to teachers thriving professionally. School leaders must foster an organizational culture that multiplies the impact of every teacher on student achievement. Johnson’s book points the way. — Kim Marshall, editor, Marshall Memo

Susan Moore Johnson's book is written by a good teacher who provides explanations, insights, examples, accessible language, and engaging text. — Mari E. Koerner, Teachers College Record

This clearly written and absorbing analysis should be required reading for all those involved in education decision-making. — S. Sugarman, Choice

Where Teachers Thrive probes all aspects of individual teacher responsibilities and even includes a view on teacher’s pay. This book is especially well-suited for building leaders and teacher teams. — School Administrator

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About the Author

Susan Moore Johnson is the Jerome T. Murphy Research Professor in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean from 1993 to 1999. A former high school teacher who served in an administrative role as a teacher leader, Johnson has an ongoing research interest in the work of teachers and the reform of schools and school systems.

Johnson has written four books and many journal articles about teachers and their work. Teacher Unions in Schools (1984) focuses on the role of teachers unions in the day-to-day work of schools. Teachers at Work (1990) examines the school as a workplace for teachers. Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (2006), written with colleagues at the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, centers on the experiences of new teachers. Subsequent research at the Project focuses on teachers’ careers, alternative preparation, the role of unions, hiring, induction, performance-based pay, teacher teams, and teacher evaluation. Johnson also is coauthor, with John P. Papay, of Redesigning Teacher Pay (2009).

Johnson has also written and consulted widely about educational leadership and management. Her 1996 book, Leading to Change: Challenges of the New Superintendency, analyzes the leadership practices of twelve newly appointed superintendents during their first six months in the role. Between 2007 and 2014, Johnson served as cochair of the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP), a collaboration between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she and her colleagues wrote Achieving Coherence in District Improvement (2015), which examines the management relationship between the central office and schools in five large urban school districts.

Johnson serves on various advisory boards for organizations and publications. She is an inaugural fellow of the American Educational Research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education.

Table of Contents


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