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Edited by:

Foreword by Richard F. Elmore

April 2006 | 136 pages | Corwin

"A clear and insightful look at why teaching must be conceived as constant learning about learning. The analysis of past failed reforms and the general conditions needed for success is well-stated and illuminating."
—Grant Wiggins
Authentic Education

Redesign classroom instruction to transform learning for both students and teachers!

Breakthrough presents a revolutionary new approach to educational reform, breaking away from the conventional paradigm to help educators create focused instruction, transform the classroom experience, and dramatically raise—and sustain—performance levels for students and teachers alike. This book provides the breakthrough concepts needed for developing precise, validated, data-driven instruction personalized to each and every student.

Synthesizing the best of current instructional models, this framework focuses on the components of the Triple P Breakthrough Model: Personalization—meaningful, student-centered classroom interactions; Precision—using formative assessments to monitor individual student progress; and Professional Learning—daily, ongoing learning for all educators.

Helping educators create expert instructional systems while breaking through the "prescription trap," the authors introduce unique elements of the Breakthrough model, including:

  • Improvement by design
  • Assessment for learning
  • Critical learning instructional paths
  • Mapping instructional paths
  • Smart use of data to drive instruction
  • Locking in ongoing improvement

Breakthrough establishes the tipping point for moving toward personalized, high-quality instruction and learning in the classroom to ensure continuous improvement and ongoing academic success.

About the Authors
1. The New Mission for School Systems
A System Stalled

The Prescription Trap

2. Breakthrough Components
The Triple P Core Components

3. Transforming Classroom Instruction
The Current Model

The Crux of the Problem

A Basis in Learning Theory

The Breakthrough

4. Creating Expert Instructional Systems
A Focus on Improvement by Design

Expert Instructional Systems

Assessment for Learning

Lessons From Health Care

5. Building a Critical Learning Instructional Path
Mapping the Instructional Path

Measuring and Monitoring Learning

Using the Data to Drive Instruction

Classroom Organization

Loops and Detours in the Critical Learning Instructional Path

Beyond Early Literacy

Locking In Ongoing Improvement

Building the System

6. Breakthrough Leadership: A Way Forward
What Is Needed

Using Change Knowledge

The Breakthrough Framework

Breakthrough Leadership



"A clear and insightful look at why teaching must be conceived as constant learning about learning. The analysis of past failed reforms and the general conditions needed for success is well-stated and illuminating."

"A clear and insightful look at why teaching must be conceived as constant learning about learning. The analysis of past failed reforms and the general conditions needed for success is well-stated and illuminating."

Grant Wiggins, President
Authentic Education

"Breakthrough has the potential to make a significant contribution to our thinking in education. The call for personalization of teaching and learning is bold. It’s in our basements, and bringing it to the ground level is essential. The timing of the book is excellent." 

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Professor, University of Virginia
Author, The Parallel Curriculum

“Those interested in finding the link between general school reform initiatives and specific strategies that will actually impact classroom practice will cherish Breakthrough. Fullan, Hill, and Crévola present a model that allows teachers to provide precise instructional strategies to specific students who need timely support in order to master specific skills—without falling victim to the ‘prescription trap.’ Their critical pathways concept provides teachers with a powerful framework for integrating pre-assessment, instructional focus, formative assessment, data analysis, and job-embedded professional development to deliver the precision teaching that leads to continuous improvement. Furthermore, they make a compelling case that this model is not only desirable, but also imminently feasible.”

Richard DuFour, Educational Consultant
Author, Professional Learning Communities at Work

"This is a timely and thought-provoking book. Fullan, Hill, and Crévola address the complexity of teaching and leading, and offer a compelling way forward that focuses on learning for all students through personalization, precision teaching, and professional learning for educators. By connecting assessment with learning, leading with teaching and learning, and classrooms instruction with district and government roles and responsibilities, the authors present an integrated approach that promises to ‘breakthrough’ the sterile standardization that plagues contemporary education."

Dean Fink, Professor, OISE/University of Toronto
Author, Leadership for Mortals

"Breakthrough points the way to a new definition of effectiveness-one grounded in a powerful theory of action that brings together personalization, precision, and professional learning in new ways. Practical pathways are provided to help the readers apply this theory of action to their own circumstances. Before making any changes, read this book first!"

Thomas A. Sergiovanni, Lillian Radford Professor of Education, Trinity University
Author, Moral Leadership

"Thanks for a provocative and conceptually rich piece. I enjoyed it and got a great deal out of it."

David T. Conley, Professor, University of Oregon
Author, Who Governs Our Schools?

"An outstanding book for educators to transform classroom practice and learning strategies. It builds important perspectives on personalizing learning that will inform current practice. Highly recommended." 

Brent Davies,Professor, University of Hull, UK
Author, The Essentials of School Leadership

"Breakthrough is one of those few books that demonstrably understands the importance of personalizing learning and the need to mobilize the whole system towards this goal. Fullan, Hill, and Crévola provide a clear specification of what is required for a learner led curriculum and what it means to work from the classroom out. Their articulation of how assessment leads instruction and is integrated into curriculum design is exemplary."  

David Hopkins, HSBC iNet Chair of Internat’l Leadership, Institute of Education, University of London
Author, Improving The Quality of Education for All

"Breakthrough tackles several very thorny problems: how to nurture high quality classroom instruction on a large scale, and how to do so by building on existing professional know-how. Solutions developed in the book warrant careful study by all those with an interest in educational reform."

Kenneth Leithwood, Professor, OISE/University of Toronto
Author, Making Schools Smarter

"Breakthrough explores interesting possibilities for us to radically individualize classroom instruction - and gives convincing reasons why. I especially like the concept of ‘critical pathways’ as a way of organizing learning."

Mike Schmoker, Educational Consultant
Author, Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement

Sample Materials & Chapters

Fullan Foreword

Fullan Preface

Fullan Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412926423

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