Phil's Books

The Schlechty Center is pleased to offer Phil Schlechty's books for purchase. If you are interested in buying any of Phil's books, please contact us at or 502.895.1942.

  • Engaging Students: The Next Level of Working on the Work

    smaller book cover

    Publication Year: 2011

    Price: $25

    In Phillip Schlechty's best-selling book Working on the Work, he outlined a motivational framework for improving student performance by improving the quality of the work teachers design for students. Engaging Students offers a next-step resource in which Schlechty incorporates what he's learned from the field and from the hundreds of workshops he and the Schlechty Center staff have conducted since Working on the Work was first published. 

    Order from Schlechty Center for Free Study Guide!

  • Leading for Learning: How to Transform Schools into Learning Organizations

    Leading for Learning Book Cover

    Publication Year: 2009

    Price: $23

    Leading for Learning offers educators the framework, tools, and processes they need to transform their schools from bureaucracies into dynamic learning organizations. Schlechty explains how to move beyond some of the deeply ingrained and negative conceptions of schooling that guide so much of their practice. He shows educators how they can take advantage of new learning technologies by increasing their organization's capacity to support continuous innovation.

    Download Free Leading for Learning Study Guide.

  • Creating Great Schools: Six Systems at the Heart of Educational Innovation

    Creating Great Schools Book Cover

    Publication Year: 2005

    Price: $20

    Schlechty outlines the six critical systems that define the norms and expressions of the school's organizational culture and shows what it takes to lead effective systemic change in order to sustain new values and direction. The book is filled with effective strategies and offers guidelines for introducing the "disruptive innovations" that are necessary to change the fundamental norms of an educational organization and truly revitalize a school.

  • Working on the Work: An Action Plan for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents

    Working on the Work Book Cover

    Publication Year: 2002

    Price: $20

    Jossey-Bass stopped printing this book due to the publication of Engaging Students. 

  • Shaking Up the Schoolhouse: How to Support and Sustain Educational Innovation

    Shaking Up the Schoolhouse Book Cover

    Publication Year: 2001

    Price: $17.50

    In this visionary book, Schlechty not only challenges educational leaders to recognize the need for transformation, but also shows how they can grow into skillful leaders of lasting change. Shaking Up the Schoolhouse begins with an incisive discussion of the dangers and opportunities in reworking school systems, presents a practical framework for helping teachers overcome obstacles, and focuses on empowering leaders as they struggle with structural and cultural change in their schools and communities.

  • Inventing Better Schools: An Action Plan for Educational

    Inventing Better Schools Book Cover

    Publication Year: 1997

    Price: $17.50

    Phillip Schlechty argues that schools must change or become obsolete, and that central to this change is a radical rethinking of old rules, roles, and relationships. The author shows school and community leaders how to implement reform by developing a mission statement, setting goals, assessing results, and creating the support for change.

  • Schools for the 21st Century: Leadership Imperatives for Educational Reform

    Schools for the 21st Century Book Cover

    Publication Year: 1990

    Price: $17.50

    While the economy and the work force have changed drastically in the last century, public education has lagged far behind. In order to prepare our children for a future of constant change, the structure and fundamental purpose of our schools must be reexamined. Schlechty looks at curricula, teaching roles, grading systems, classroom schedules, as well as the history, culture, and structure of our public schools.

The Story Behind the Book

This is a wonderful historical piece in which Phil talks about why he wrote each of his books.


Clearly not for the fainthearted, Schlechty's engrossing appraisal of American education calls for a bold, truly fundamental transformation of how we run our public schools. Some books are thought-provoking; this one is action-provoking.

Because education is ultimately a community responsibility, Schlechty's proposal to shift school systems from bureaucracies to learning organizations can open doors to citizens who are frustrated by the bureaucracy in their efforts to reclaim their role in education. This book is as much for them as it is for professional educators.

Schlechty is one of our deepest thinkers about what it will take to get our schools and students to be ready for the twenty-first century. This book is an education for how to do it—and a revelation about how we've been doing it wrong.

Schlechty shares leading-edge insights and offers practical guidance to anyone who affects student learning. His suggestions are wonderful dialogue starters for educators searching for ways to make dramatic improvement in schools.

« back forward »
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