Tools for Change

The Experience Matters

Whether you are designing work for students or creating professional development sessions for staff or colleagues, the experience matters. If you are looking for ways to support your faculty or if you want to engage your students in more profound learning, look no further.

  • Information about the Schlechty Center, including Schlechty Center's Commitment to Change, Engagement, and Design.

    An Introduction to the Schlechty Center Tools-pdf-icon

    An Introduction to the Schlechty Center
  • Two case studies compiled by Dr. Lenora Hay on behalf of the Schlechty Center are available in this download. In one, she chronicles the nature of dramatic changes realized in Fife Public Schools with special attention to how all changes are connected to student experiences. In the second, she tells the story of Orange School District's transformation, focusing on its commitments to students and staff, its sense of purpose and focus, and its changed relationships.

    Case Studies Tools-pdf-icon

    Case Studies
  • A .pdf template for designing a lesson or unit of work for your students.

    Designing Engaging Work for Students (Design Template) Tools-pdf-icon

    Designing Engaging Work for Students (Design Template)
  • Ron Wright compiled this set of resources for our Working on the Work conference session, Teacher as Guide to Instruction, and for the Engaging the Net Generation conference. It is in a constant state of revision so please excuse any typos and let us know if you ever encounter a broken link or grammatical error. 

    Here is the site:

    A backup of the site is posted here in case the web version isn't working but the web page will always be considered the most current resource.

    Digital Resource Web Page Tools-pdf-icon

    Digital Resource Web Page
  • This paper by Phillip C. Schlechty contends that America’s schools are being transformed from vital community institutions into government agencies and that, rather than serving as centers of civic life, schools are becoming instruments of state and national policy—more concerned with economic development than with the transmission of culture and more oriented toward issues associated with international competitiveness than with concern about national character.

    From Community Institutions to Government Agencies Tools-pdf-icon

    From Community Institutions to Government Agencies
  • This chart, developed by Phillip Schlechty, contrasts the metaphor of a learning organization with bureaucratic metaphors. We find this chart helpful because it provides a way to discuss and understand some relatively threatening aspects of existing school and district operations.

    Images of School Chart Tools-powerpoint-icon

    Images of School Chart
  • This file contains 12 questions that might be used with students in a focus group setting.

    Questions for Student Focus Groups Tools-pdf-icon

    Questions for Student Focus Groups
  • People often ask what we are reading. We update this list of books and articles annually to provide a full bibliography of texts that have informed our point of view.

    Reading Resources Tools-pdf-icon

    Reading Resources
  • This .pdf file contains a brief overview of the Standards contained in both our School Standards and Classroom Standards tools. These standards provide a framework for analysis, dialogue, and action. The full version of the tool provides indicators and a rating scale that can be used to discipline either personal reflection or group anaylsis of each standard.

    School and Classroom Standards Tools-pdf-icon

    School and Classroom Standards
  • These 10 Standards are the foundation of the Schlechty Center's assessment of a district's capacity to support transformation.

    System Capacity Standards Tools-pdf-icon

    System Capacity Standards
  • The Schlechty Center encourages the use of protocols, structured processes for disciplined conversation about student work or work designed for students. This paper explains how a “collegial conversation” provides opportunities for designers to gain positive feedback and ideas for work in progress.

    Talking About Instruction Helps Teachers Find New Ways to Engage Students Tools-pdf-icon

    Talking About Instruction Helps Teachers Find New Ways to Engage Students
  • Working on the Work is a way to design quality work for students. It is a habit of the mind, not another program; a focus on quality rather than quantity. It is an effective, empowering strategy for raising standards with a focus on richness and relevance, in addition to factual information. This document explains the framework in greater detail and also provides a "Working on the Work" chart.

    What is Working on the Work? Tools-pdf-icon

    What is Working on the Work?

The Way Things Are,
The Way Things Should Be

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It can be difficult to do, but by using the metaphor of a learning organization and contrasting it with other metaphors, we can sometimes talk about relatively threatening aspects of existing operations without shutting down discussion.

The Way Things Are,
The Way Things Should Be

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« back forward »
  • C4DII in Louisville

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  • OH Working on the Work Conference

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  • Engaging the Net Generation

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  • ENG2: Engaging the NEXT Generation

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  • Walking to Learn

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  • Designing Engaging Work

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  • Reframing the Conversation About Schools: What the Numbers Don't Tell Us

  • Creating a Strategy for Engaging Staff

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  • School Boards for the 21st Century-online course

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  • Customized Learning Experiences

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