Misconceptions are dangerous things. They shackle our visions of what’s possible and doom us to consequences we do not expect. For example, a student who believes her genes predetermine her academic abilities may avoid crucial learning experiences that are initially challenging. A student who believes his postgraduation success will flow from his intellectual prowess may gasp when he loses his first job due to interpersonal ineptitude.
School leaders, especially, need accurate notions of how the world works if they want their school improvement efforts to succeed. Yet many bold and promising ideas to transform schools falter when leaders rely on conventional...
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