One of my favorite authors on improvement and performance today is Atul Gawande. His insights have profound implications for educational leaders, and he may be one of the most influential reformers to come along in a long time.
But you won’t find him at Teachers College or ASCD. Atul Gawande is a surgeon.
In Better, he writes about numerous aspects of improvement in healthcare. In The Checklist Manifesto, he explores the power of checklists to reduce errors in complex fields such as aviation (where checklists are ubiquitous) and medicine (where he hopes to make checklists part of standard practice). I finished these two books in a day or two each, and am working on his first book, Complications, now.
In addition, Gawande writes regularly for The New Yorker.
Here’s Gawande in a recent appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in which he talks about The Checklist Manifesto:
Clearly, there are many parallels between the challenges in healthcare and those faced by educators. I will soon have more to say on The Checklist Manifesto and Better from an educator’s perspective (you can subscribe to email updates using the form in the sidebar of this site).
Gawande will be in Seattle on May 3 if you’d like to hear him live.