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ERIC Number: EJ827551
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Reach for the Heart as well as the Mind: Leaders Can Take Action to Close the Knowing-Doing Gap
Sparks, Dennis
Journal of Staff Development, v30 n1 p48, 50, 52, 54 Win 2009
Individuals and organizations have an amazing capacity to maintain their current beliefs and practices in the face of massive, well-intentioned efforts to change them. There are two facts that cannot be ignored if teaching and learning are to be improved for the benefit of all students: First, the majority of teachers know more about effective teaching than they regularly practice. Second, exposure to research as provided in traditional inservice programs seldom results in significant and lasting improvements in practice. New habits of mind and practice require robust forms of professional learning. These two facts are at the heart of the knowing-doing gap. The author's suggestions for closing the knowing-doing gap are informed by two big ideas: (1) Methods commonly used in schools to spread and develop good practices are too weak to continuously improve teaching practice; and (2) Change is sufficiently demanding that people find it difficult to change even when their financial welfare or their lives depend on it. In this article, the author shares six concrete actions that leaders can take as they work in a collaborative effort to change schools. These actions are intended to close the gap between knowing what will work to improve schools and doing what will work. The author believes that in the face of the two big ideas mentioned above, these purposeful steps can move educators toward continuous learning and the transformation of long-standing cognitive frameworks.
National Staff Development Council. 504 South Locust Street, Oxford, OH 45056. Tel: 513-523-6029; Fax: 513-523-0638; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A