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Book Review                                      Online Exclusive

 

Professional Capital    

Transforming Teaching in Every School

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by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan, Teachers College Press, New York, N.Y., 2012, 220 pp. with index, $66 hardcover, $29.95 softcover

Reading Professional Capital by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan is truly time well spent. The book is engaging, challenging and stimulating. Particularly encouraging is the fact the authors not only identify core problems in education but also, based upon their own international experiences of being directly engaged in effective educational reform, suggest practical solutions.

Hargreaves and Fullan firmly reject the current “business capital” strategy that is being advocated aggressively in the United States, promoting instead an alternative view they term “professional capital.” By this, they mean the systematic development of human capital, social capital and decisional capital as a strategy adopted by the highest performing educational systems in the world.

The authors define and flesh out the essence of professional capital, explaining how to develop, circulate and reinvest it, thereby creating a dynamic new teaching profession.

Hargreaves and Fullan argue that thinking of teaching in terms of investment and reinvestment as professional capital will transform how we understand the profession and how to change it. This requires a system change.

In the final chapter, the authors offer action guidelines for educators and districts to make teaching a sustainable investment for professional capital.

Reviewed by Valerie A. Storey, associate professor of educational leadership, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.

 

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