Three Foundational Questions Schools Must Ask

Home/Governance and leadership, Innovation in Education/Three Foundational Questions Schools Must Ask

Three Foundational Questions Schools Must Ask

I was asked last week to put together some ideas for working with a school’s leadership team based on the findings of my visits with more than 60 schools this fall.  At a high level, the goal would be to help that team develop the skills to become institutionally comfortable with change.

Those of you who know me also know that I think questions are vastly more important than answers; get the questions right and the path to success is much easier.  So I spent the weekend reflecting on my school visits, working backward to what I think are three foundational questions that all schools need to ask and answer before they can develop an innovation roadmap.

  • What are the essential learning outcomes or qualities of your students when they graduate?
  • What is the desired relationship at your school between students, teachers, and knowledge?
  • What is the differentiated value that your school offers to your clients?

If your organization validates answers to these three questions, if there is shared understanding and organizational clarity on these points, your school is ready to work strategically on changing how and what you teach to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.  If not, it is likely that change will be slow, lacking direction, and unsustainable.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
By | 2013-01-22T15:40:15+00:00 January 22nd, 2013|Governance and leadership, Innovation in Education|2 Comments

About the Author:


  1. jplgough March 3, 2013 at 12:42 am - Reply

    I’m so curious, Grant. Have any schools shared their answers to these three GREAT questions? What if we created a Google Doc where we might share our answers to lead and learn together? What if we practiced collaboration and communication using your three driving questions?

    • glichtman March 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      No direct responses, but am going to use these as framing questions with schools. Honestly? Don’t want to create a Google Doc for this one discussion. I want to create a Big Hairy Connection for about 50 of us to share all these questions and answers, and need to devote my thoughts to that!

Leave A Comment