Sunday, May 22, 2005

What I Do

I specialize in helping change leaders create and sustain systemwide change in school districts. I've published 8 books on that topic. My website is

I am also the founding editor of Rowman & Littlefield Education's Leading Systemic School Improvement Series. You can visit the website for that series at Once there, click the link for the series.

I have 30+ years experience in education, including service as a high school teacher. I am certified in Pennsylvania as a special education teacher, special education supervisor (K-12), supervisor of curriculum and instruction (K-12), and as an assistant executive director for intermediate units. My Bachelor of Science degree is in special education from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. My Masters of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are in curriculum and supervision from the University of Pittsburgh where I studied under Morris Cogan, one of the developers of Clinical Supervision. I have a second master’s degree in business management from The Johns Hopkins University. I also held an honorary faculty position at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1980 that was sponsored by Professor Chris Arygris where I studied Argyris’ ideas about personal and organizational learning.

I am a tenured Professor of Change Leadership in Education at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. where I teach a set of five doctoral-level courses on organization improvement: interpersonal and group behavior in organizations, organization development and the management of change, organization theory and design, organization diagnosis, and redesigning organizations.

I also served as a Faculty Associate at The Johns Hopkins University teaching a course on “Systemic Change in Schools” and he was a 2002-2003 Education Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C.

I am a member and past president of the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision (COPIS), which includes Professors Thomas Sergiovanni, Ben Harris, Robert Anderson, Ed Pajak, Ralph Fessler, Art Costa, Carl Glickman, and many others. I am also a former member of the board of directors for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and a former nominee for the ASCD office of president-elect. I am an active member of the National Council for Professors of Education Administration and Phi Delta Kappa.

Please visit my website for addtional information about my philosophy for and approach to improving whole school systems. The address for that site is

I am the author of journal articles, chapters, and books on instructional supervision and systemic school improvement. Examples of my publications include:


Duffy, F. M. & Chance, P. L. (2007, in press). Strategic communication during whole system change: Advice and guidance for school district leaders and PR specialists. Leading Systemic School Improvement Series. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Duffy, F. M. (2006). Power, politics and ethics in school districts: Dynamic leadership for systemic change. Leading Systemic School Improvement Series. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Duffy, F. M. (2004). Moving upward together: Creating strategic alignment to sustain systemic school improvement. No. 1, Leading Systemic School Improvement Series. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press

Duffy, F. M. (2003). Courage, passion, and vision: A superintendent’s guide to leading systemic school improvement. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press and the American Association of School Administrators.

Duffy, F. M. (2002). Step-up-to-excellence: An innovative approach to managing and rewarding performance in school systems. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Duffy, F. M. & Dale, J. D. (2001). Creating successful school systems: Voices from the university, the field, and the community. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Duffy, F. M., Rogerson, L. G., & Blick, C. (2000). Redesigning America’s schools: A systems approach to improvement. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Duffy, F. M. (1996). Designing high-performance schools: A practical guide to organizational reengineering. Delray Beach, FL: St. Lucie Press.


Duffy, F. M. (2007, in press). Systems thinking and systems dynamics: The pillars of transformational whole-system change in school districts. In B. Despr├ęs (2005, under review). Systemic thinking in education. AERA annual.

Duffy, F. M. (1996). Should supervision be influenced by business management? Yes. In J. Glanz & R. Neville (Eds.). Educational Supervision: Perspectives, Issues, & Controversies. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers.

Duffy, F. M. (1998). The ideology of supervision. In E. Pajak & G. Firth (Eds.). Handbook of research on school supervision. Indianapolis, IN: Macmillan General Reference.

Reigeluth, C.M., & Duffy, F.M. (2005). Trends and Issues in P-12 Educational Change. In R.A. Reiser & J.A. Dempsey (Eds.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.


Duffy, F. M. (2006). Step-Up-To-Excellence: A change navigation protocol for transforming school systems. Available at

Duffy, F. M. (2006, under review). Trust, commitment, and collaboration: Necessary conditions for leading whole-system change in school districts. School Leadership Review.

Duffy, F. M. (2005, summer). Navigating whole-system change in school districts: What school public relations specialists need to know to support the process. Journal of School Public Relations, 26(3).

Duffy, F. M. (2005, spring). Instructional supervisors as change leaders. AERA Instructional Supervision Special Interest Group Newsletter.

Duffy, F. M. (2004, summer). The destination of three paths: Improved student, faculty and staff, and system learning. The Educational Forum, 68 (4): 313-324.

Duffy, F. M. (2004). Step-Up-To-Excellence: Transforming school systems to
become knowledge-creating organizations. The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations. University of Greenwich London, UK 3-6 August 2004. On-line at

Duffy, F. M., Houlihan, G. T., & Horne, J. F. (2004, August). How to transform an entire school system: The future in the present tense. Proceedings of the World Future Society National Conference.

Duffy, F. M. (2004, January). Navigating whole district change: Eight principles for moving an organization upward in times of unpredictably. The School Administrator, 61 (1): 22 - 26.

___________. (2003, Fall) (guest editor). Communicating in times of great change. Special theme issue of the Journal of School Public Relations.

___________(2003, Winter). Dancing on ice: Navigating change to create whole-district school improvement. Organization Development Journal.

____________(2003, Winter). I think, therefore I resist change. Journal of Staff Development, 24 (1), 30-36.

____________(2002, Winter). Courage, passion, and vision: Leading systemic school improvement. International Journal of Educational Reform,11 (1): 63 -76.

Duffy, F. M. (2000 Winter). Reconceputalizing instructional supervision for 3rd millennium school systems. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 15 (2), 123-145.

Duffy, F. M. (1997 January). Knowledge work supervision: Transforming school systems into high performing learning organizations. International Journal of Educational Management, 11 (1), 26-31.

Duffy, F. M. (1997 May). Supervising teaching, not teachers. Educational Leadership, 54 (8), 78-83.

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