Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 187–209 | Cite as

The Fourth Way of technology and change

  • Dennis Shirley


Recent social policy reforms have sought to overcome the limitations of “First Way” strategies emphasizing the welfare state and “Second Way” approaches advocating markets. Scholars and policymakers instead have begun to explore optimal synthesis of the public and private sector in a new “Third Way” of leadership and change. According to one line of interpretation advanced by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley, however, the Third Way as developed in education has ushered in a new orthodoxy of testing, accountability, and data-driven decision making. This new orthodoxy is said to distract educators from their true moral purposes. Hence, Hargreaves and Shirley have called for a new “Fourth Way” of change that draws upon international best practices in education. In this interpretive essay for a Festschrift issue of the Journal of Educational Change celebrating Andy Hargreaves’ 60th birthday, Dennis Shirley revisits Fourth Way change architecture to inquire after the appropriate role of new technologies in classrooms and schools. He retrieves the concept of mindful teaching and learning from the Fourth Way change model and illustrates how it can be used as a lens to adjudicate various interpretations of the appropriate role of new technologies in schools.


Educational change Fourth Way Educational technology Mindful teaching and learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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