Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration
- Michael Fullan - Michael Fullan Enterprises Inc., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Canada
- Mark Edwards
Foreword by Margaret J. Wheatley, A Joint Publication with AASA, The School Superintendents Association
Spirit is the essence of character—of what it means to be human. Finding hope in the power of collaboration underpinned by ‘spirit work’-- the care and love of students as learners-- Fullan & Edwards capture how some school districts are creating a deep learning environment for all.
COVID-19, racial inequity, polarizing politics, mass misinformation, and myriad other challenges have made the future of education seem bleaker than ever. Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration speaks directly to leaders' hearts and advocates for the development of two qualities that will bring back hope for the future of education: "spirit work" and the science of collaboration. Spirit work centers love and care for students, staff, and communities as the impetus for creating a positive culture, while collaboration is the vehicle for manifesting that spirit work. Through powerful case studies and vignettes, the authors show how spirit and collaboration represent revolutionary potential for education. Readers will find
- A lifeline amid overwhelming conditions.
- Hope for themselves and the future of education
- Practical ideas for building cohesion throughout school communities
We cannot allow our best advocates for children to be consumed by today’s challenges. Spirit work and collaboration can pave the way to a brighter future.
It’s never been more important to learn from leaders who lead by example and from their heart, soul, and spirit. The eight models of work and collaborative science captured by Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards represent some of the best and brightest thinking in school system leadership. As the nation works diligently to navigate through the COVID environment, enacting change that best suits the unique circumstances in every school community is essential in today’s public education landscape.
I love this book! Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards provide readers with new and creative ways to approach the challenge of educating students in the current period by showing how spirit work and collaboration can advance learning and increase support for students. Timely, thought provoking, and inspiring, Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration will be a tremendous resource for educators searching for ways to make education more meaningful and transformative in the years ahead.
Our current social and political climate is rife with distrust, suspicion, cynicism, and tension. Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards provide important insights into how schools can navigate these contemporary challenges. Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration offers much more than tips and practical advice; it provides us with a healthy reminder that such an undertaking necessitates reflection, persistence, love, courage, and the audacity to envision new possibilities for collaboration in schools.
Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards have penned a must-read for all educators. They demonstrate the power of collaboration regardless of where a district is in the country, its size, or its demographics. Schools do not just improve; positive change does not just occur. The real work required to transform education, preserve democracy, and ensure the survival of our planet is going to take a lot of deeply committed people collaborating, seeking solutions, and finding answers. Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration is a fantastic guide for that task.
We live in complex times. That is certainly not a new statement, but what we hopefully have learned is that there is not a better time to move forward in a better way, where we are more inclusive and thoughtful in our actions. In Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration, Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards do not just inspire us to want to go deeper with our practices and be more human in our interactions—they use real examples to help show us how to do it.
Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration captures the essence of what school leaders need to make learning more transformational for students and to make our relationships more inspiring and fulfilling. Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards tap into how to operationalize spirit and collaboration by giving examples that get results from eight exemplary superintendents from diverse systems across the United States. Read, discuss, and apply this practical and universal wisdom.
True to what we have come to expect, the authors raise a new concept, spirit work, within constructs with which we are familiar—relationships,
trust, collaboration, well-being, and pedagogy. Delving into the science of collaboration and sharing illuminating examples gives deeper meaning to the old proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration offers direction and hope in a time when it is badly needed.
Buckle up for a moving and instigating read. Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards present major global and social threats to our very existence as humans. Their solution? The unqualified need to provide every student with the true, right, and just education currently enjoyed by only some. We learn from and with actual school districts audacious enough to invoke the power of the human spirit and collaboration as drivers of radical change in education. Through these real-life examples, we are fortified by what we desperately need at this moment in history—learned hopefulness.
By connecting these two new phenomena of spirit work and collaboration, Michael Fullan and Mark Edwards present educators with what they describe as a revolutionary potential for future learning, highlighting ways in which spirit work can be a force that drives not only self but collaborative efforts for change in school districts. Spirit Work and the Science of Collaboration introduces an alternative to traditional ways of thinking about system change and expands our ideas of learning and transformation.
The authors make a compelling case for why both spirit work and collaboration are important elements for transforming learning in significant ways. This book is uniquely written, using real examples to describe the behaviors of leaders that result in the conditions that foster both elements.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1: The Prospects for Radical Change