Isobel  Stevenson Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Isobel Stevenson

Connecticut Center for School Change

I support educational leaders in their improvement efforts, whether it is their own leadership skills, their strategic plans, equity in their schools and districts, instruction, or building the capacity of others. I write articles, newsletters and books on this work.


I have worked in education since graduating from college. I worked briefly in residential treatment, then was a high school social studies and special education teacher. I was also a consultant for National Geographic and the College Board--I was on the AP committee that wrote the first AP exam in Human Geography, which I'm particularly proud of. I have been an AP, principal, and chief academic officer. I have taught in several university programs in Educational Leadership.

My undergraduate degree is in Geography, and I have done graduate work in Special Education, Educational Leadership, and Human and Organizational Development.

I currently work for the Connecticut Center for School Change, which many educators have heard of through our work in Instructional Rounds. We work with school districts to support organizational improvement in many areas, including equity, instruction, leadership, and continuous improvement. In addition to my work with districts, I coach educational leaders and train and support coaches in many different roles.

I write the Coaching Letter, which is a newsletter that goes out a couple of times a month, and aims to support leaders and coaches in their work with other educators through providing them with ways of thinking about their work and links to other resources. You can sign up at I have also written articles for education practitioners in The Kappan, The Learning Professional, and ASCD Express.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    High quality teaching and learning
    Strategy development and planning
    Coaching and coaching training



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Stevenson - THE STRATEGY PLAYBOOK FOR EDUCATIONAL LEADERS - 1st Edition book cover


ASCD Express

Educator Stress is a Leadership Challenge. Here's What Leaders Can Do About It

Published: Mar 12, 2020 by ASCD Express
Authors: Isobel Stevenson
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

No doubt that educators are stressed. But leaders should not contribute to that stress. Practical advice for leaders on how to make work less stressful: Be supportive Stop trying to do so much Build collaboration and trust across the system Communicate

ASCD Express

How School Leaders Create the Conditions for Effective Coaching

Published: Nov 27, 2019 by ASCD Express
Authors: Isobel Stevenson & Sarah Woulfin
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

Leaders should take responsibility for creating conditions for coaching in schools to be effective. Specifically, they should ensure the creation of: A strong model of high-quality instruction A strong model of coaching A strong model to build capacity for coaching A strong system of logistics

Phi Delta Kappan

An Improvement Plan Is Not Enough--You Need A Strategy

Published: Feb 25, 2019 by Phi Delta Kappan
Authors: Isobel Stevenson
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

All schools and districts have strategic plans. But frequently the creation of these plans is pro forma, and no one pays attention to them once they are written. Let's challenge this way of doing things and come up with something more productive

The Learning Professional

What a Question Can Accomplish

Published: Jan 01, 2017 by The Learning Professional
Authors: Isobel Stevenson
Subjects: Education

A description of effective practices in coaching principals.

The Learning Professional

Turn Effective Practice into Common Practice

Published: Oct 01, 2015 by The Learning Professional
Authors: Isobel Stevenson & Richard Lemons
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

Best practice for sustainability.

ASCD Express

Improving Schools One Conversation at a Time

Published: Jun 25, 2015 by ASCD Express
Authors: Sarah Birkeland, Richard Lemons & Isobel Stevenson
Subjects: Education, Work & Organizational Psychology

Conversations about challenging topics are the backbone of improvement. Yet they don't happen as often as they should. Let's not assume that the reason for that is that educational leaders are negligent; it's more likely that they just don't know how.



Isobel interviewed on the Disruptive Conversations podcast

By: Isobel Stevenson
Subjects: Education, Psychology, Work & Organizational Psychology

Keita Deming, host of Disruptive Conversations, interviewed Isobel on a variety of topics, including coaching, leadership, evaluation, and cognitve bias.