Books and Publications

Dennis studies educational change around the world.  His research spans from the nitty-gritty challenges facing teachers in the prosaic everyday settings of their classrooms and schools to national and international policies and their impacts on student learning and professional engagement. His writing combines penetrating analysis of the real issues facing educators and students along with practical recommendations on strategies that can be implemented by educators immediately in their classrooms and schools.

Dennis is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Educational Change, which provides him with opportunities on a 24/7 basis to interact with and learn from the globe’s top scholars in improving and uplifting education. The Journal is keen to recruit manuscripts from researchers who are advancing knowledge with cutting-edge questions, rigorous methodologies, and actionable recommendations for educators and policy makers.

The New Imperatives of Educational Change

Available Now!

The New Imperatives of Educational Change: Achievement with Integrity sets forth an ambitious and attainable agenda for all schools at the dawn of a new millennium. The first, evidentiary imperative to study learning requires that we attain a better grasp of what policies promote student achievement and what strategies undermine it. The second, interpretive imperative is essential because no research findings should ever be transplanted directly from one study to your school without mindful deliberation about the factors that give your students and community their own unique identities. The third, professional imperative describes new international research findings on promising pedagogies and curricula that propel learning beyond expectations. The fourth, global imperative requires that we all look beyond our immediate communities and national boundaries to improve the learning of all young people wherever they may find themselves. The fifth, existential imperative, reminds us that our students look to us not only as conveyors of information but also as potential role models who can dignify learning with meaning and embellish it with joy. Visionary in its scope and practical in its details, The New Imperatives of Educational Change is an indispensable road map to an inspiring future for all school and system leaders.

The Mindful Teacher,
Second Edition

This new and expanded edition of the best-selling The Mindful Teacher provides educators everywhere with practical ideas for improving teaching and learning. Dennis Shirley and Elizabeth MacDonald have created “Mindful Teacher” seminars that enable teachers to focus their craft so that students can learn with dignity and purpose. This updated second edition includes completely new sections on the promise of teacher leadership, the strengths and perils of technology, and schools in the midst of change. The Mindful Teacher is an indispensable and timely resource for all educators who seek to transform schools into places of learning and joy.

To find out more about mindful teaching, please visit

The Fourth Way

A compelling approach to lasting educational change informed by lessons learned and new successes worldwide! Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley present a concise framework for successful and sustainable reform that integrates teacher professionalism, community engagement, government policy, and accountability. Drawing from research on traditional methods and new findings from around the globe, the authors offer an absorbing and insightful analysis of three major efforts of the past 25 years, outline the strengths and limitations of each model, and offer a Fourth Way for achieving dramatic improvement built on:

  • Six Pillars of Purpose that support change
  • Three Principles of Professionalism that drive change
  • Four Catalysts of Coherence that sustain change

The Global Fourth Way

Deep and lasting educational reform doesn’t happen overnight, even in the fast and flexible 21st century. This example-packed sequel to The Fourth Way draws upon inspiring examples unearthed by brand-new research that challenges educational leaders, teachers, and policy makers to put to work proven strategies promoting student learning and achievement and the high quality teaching that drives it. With striking success stories from diverse systems around the world, Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley present a bold new vision for education aimed at:

  • Focusing on the real-life, nitty-gritty challenges facing change leaders on a global scale
  • Anticipating stumbling blocks to enacting best principles and practices
  • Developing and implementing a dynamic and coherent plan of action and a culture of determination to overcome challenges to lasting change

The Journal of Educational Change

The Journal of Educational Change publishes research from around the world on the dynamics of school improvement and the ingenious ways in which educators are improving the human condition. Journal articles address all aspects of change, from technological transformation to revolutions in assessment to subtle but profound changes classroom teachers are making to improve student learning. The Journal of Educational Change is an indispensable resource for all professionals who seek to transform schools into places of optimal learning and peak performance.

To subscribe to The Journal of Educational Change, please visit

Featured Articles by Dennis Shirley
Mindful Teaching with Technology
Education Week
A Smarter Education Strategy
Boston Globe Editorial
The Persistence of Presentism
Teachers College Record
Learn from a Diverse, New Germany
Phi Delta Kappan
The Labyrinth of Teacher Leadership
The Journal of Educational Change
Three Forms of Professional Capital
Journal of Professional Capital and Community
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