Leadership Through Learning

When People Are Enlightened, They Want to Take Action

By Learning Forward
December 2012
Vol. 33 No. 6
Q&A with Anthony Muhammad SD: Tell us how your beliefs about teaching and learning took shape over the course of your trajectory as a leader. Muhammad: I grew up in Flint, Mich., which is a city notorious for its level of unemployment. The school I went to was not very child-centered — it was more adult-centered. I was able to be successful in school primarily because my mother was a teacher who made it nonnegotiable. No matter how good or bad the instruction, you had to do well. So I did well because of the environment at home, but then my friend, a very intelligent young man, just floundered in the system, and that gave me an idea very early on about what didn’t work in

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Tracy Crow

Tracy Crow ( is Learning Forward’s director of communications.


Anthony Muhammad

  • He began his career in education as a 7th-grade teacher in Michigan. He moved into school leadership first as an assistant principal and then as principal for a middle school.
  • During his five years at the school, he and his staff doubled student achievement scores through the use of professional learning communities.
  • Muhammad was recognized as the Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year in 2005.
  • He has since become a consultant, sharing his strategies for leadership and success as a writer and speaker.
  • His books include The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level (co-authored with Sharroky Hollie, Solution Tree, 2011) and Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (Solution Tree, 2009), and he was a contributing author to The Collaborative Administrator: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community (Solution Tree, 2008).

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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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