Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



2009 Pro>Active Publications


Journal ofWomen in Educational Leadership, Vol. 7, No. 4--0ctober 2009 rSSN: 1541-6224


A book title attracted my attention as I rummaged through a new, offbeat bookstore. The book, Writing to Change the World, is written by the author of Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher. For those who have embraced the dis- cussion of social justice issues at recent academic conferences, the book of- fers the perspective of an author who has written extensively and successfully about social justice issues.

My "take aways" from the book, however, were in the chapters that of- fered reminders of the serious work of writing and the insights of well-known writers. Following are some comments from Pipher.

Pipher notes, "long after buildings and aqueducts have crumbled, writ- ers' words live on" (p. 9). Although I am not convinced that the writings in the field of educational leadership will "live on" longer than the aqueducts, I am reminded of a retired professor friend who lamented that in his career, he did not take the opportunity to write more. At the end of his professorial career he remarked that he had been involved in important innovations and collaborations in K-12 schools, had participated in change activities that have persisted in school districts, and had worked with exceptional school leaders. He regretted his failure to document this important work. This la- ment is a constant feature of the work of school leaders. Those who "do" have little opportunity to record their successes and failures. By writing, we "pass it on."