General Marshall led Europe and the United States through complex and perilous terrain to a solution that transformed the Western world. I suspect the ultimate solution to today’s challenges in U.S. education (and perhaps education elsewhere) will require similar leadership and perseverance. We need leaders in education and business who can really listen to one another, keep a clear focus, and who can move forward authoritatively, despite everything around them being dynamic, messy, and not entirely controllable. We need the kinds of schools that naturally help people to become generative leaders and learners, especially in science and technology, because we need more George Marshalls.
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Kathryn D. Sullivan is the director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University, and the coauthor (with Karl J. Klimek and Elsie Ritzenhein) of Generative Leadership: Shaping New Futures for Today’s Schools (Corwin Press, 2008). In 1984, she was the first American woman to walk in space.