chapter  1
Moral Authority, Community and Diversity: Leadership Challenges for the Twenty-first Century
Pages 11

A long time ago we ran schools using something called the Pyramid Theory. This theory assumed that the way to accomplish school goals was to control what people in schools did. And the way to control people was to have one person assume responsibility by providing direction, supervision and inspection. As the number of people to be supervised increased, management burdens needed to be delegated to official managers and an hierarchical system of management emerged. Pretty soon rules and regulations were developed to ensure that all managers thought and acted in the same way, and to provide guidelines for teachers and others who were being managed by all the managers so that they too thought and acted in the same way. But schools and school systems became too complex and it was impossible to control things directly any more. So then we switched to the Railroad Theory. This theory assumed that you could control the way people thought and acted indirectly by standardizing the work they did. Instead of relying on direct supervision and hierarchy the emphasis was on anticipating all of the teaching, learning, curriculum, assessment, and management questions and problems that were likely to come up. Then answers and solutions were developed by higher authorities that represented tracks for all teachers and for all schools to follow to get from one goal or outcome to another. Once the tracks were laid out, teachers and schools needed to be trained to follow the tracks properly and monitoring systems needed to be set up to make sure the tracks were followed.