Professional Capital

I recently attended the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Leadership conference (in Vienna). The opening speaker for the conference was Andy Hargreaves who discussed the research and findings related to his latest book.

  • Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional capital: Transforming teaching in every school. London, UK & New York, NY: Routledge.

He defined professional capital as a function of human capital (personal skills and competencies), social capital (interpersonal relationships), and decisional capital (the ability to make discretionary judgments.) It is my opinion that human capital is vital to develop a flourishing national and/or global society, but without social capital it does not get used and further developed. Having now started to read Hargraeve and Fullan’s discussion on developing professional capital, I believe they have identified an important theme in educational reform and renewal: if the system is going to grow and develop it will be because the professionals who lead and work in the educational system grow and develop.

A second issue discussed by Hargreaves related to the current treatment of professional capital in the USA.  Based on his research, he stated the national approach is exactly the opposite of what his research shows to be best practice. He describes the USA as using a “business capital” approach that is focused on short-term maximum gains (read that profits) with a heavy turnover of staff (50% of those who start teaching with proper academic credentials leave within 5 years; 80% of start with alternative credentials; Huitt, 2006).

A “professional capital” approach takes a more long-term approach and works to develop human, social, and decisional capital throughout the organization. Hargraeves identified schools in Finland as doing an excellent job in this regard and provided specific methods they use to do so.

I highly recommend the book as well as reviewing his website (see Hargraeves next book, The Global Fourth Way, will expand on his 2009 book, The Fourth Way, and should be of special interest to those with a focus in international education.


5 Responses to “Professional Capital”

  1. Sherry Says:

    You’ve made some really good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  2. Michael Kerrigan Says:

    Might you advise how my work maybe of help to further professional capital, from the perspective of fostering character development in our youth? I am currently studying how wounded warriors overcome incredible trauma by virtue of their intrinsic spiritual strength and resilience. Please visit my Web site at:

  3. bookkeeping Says:

    Howdy, its great to be at this site. Prefer to
    write on economic topics and I’m Certified Accountant in Mijdrecht. I will be browsing the internet often for like minded blog writers and enjoyed reading this article.

  4. Saj Says:

    If only we could replicate Finlands approach to business! Its not surprising they are doing well economically.

  5. 엄마표 한글공부 Says:

    It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be
    happy. I’ve learn this post and if I may just I desire to suggest you some fascinating
    issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating
    to this article. I want to learn more issues about it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: