Schools and school systems all across the world are seeking ways of improving student achievement to respond to the growing public recognition of the importance of education for individual and societal progress and success. Ontario has adopted an exciting approach to supporting school improvement that is research and evidence based. Unlike many jurisdictions around
the world that have adopted simplistic practices, Ontario has recognized that sustained improvement depends on schools, districts, and provinces adopting an aligned approach that builds the capacity of teachers, school leaders, boards, district leaders, parents, and community allies. Ontario is putting that approach into practice in elementary schools through the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and Secretariat, and in secondary schools through the Student Success Strategy. In both strategies, the Ministry of Education is closely working with schools and school districts to develop common approaches to mean- ingful change focused on improved school and classroom practices. We recognize that within these broad parameters there can be many different ways to proceed, taking into account the diverse demographics and contexts of Ontario schools.
This is the third in the series of short publications by the DfES Innovation Unit, intended to stimulate debate within and beyond the teaching profession on key issues. Previous pamphlets have touched on the importance of networks in stimulating and transferring better practice1; and on how the concept of personalisation has radical potential for transforming our education service2. This third concerns the systemic nature of modern education leadership. It is absolutely appropriate that it should
be authored by Michael Fullan, who has been a leader in the field for over three decades.
Four frogs are sitting on a log, and one decides to jump off. How many frogs are left? Th answer is
four, not three, because deciding is not the same as doing.
This paper is about how an entire system from bottom to top can engage in systematic, deeper reform on a continuous basis — from school and community, through district and regions, to system or national levels. It’s about getting the agenda right comprehensive, coherent, deep focus on teaching and learning) and doing it in a way that results in continuous improvement in actuall practice.
School leaders are faced with the daunting task of anticipating the future and making conscious adaptations to their practices, in order to keep up and to be responsive to the environment. To succeed in a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, it is vital that schools grow, develop, adapt and take charge of change so that they can control their own futures.This paper will examine the tension that exists for school leaders in relation to data about their schools and their students, arguing that the explicit connections between data and large-scale reforms make it impossible to avoid a critical approach to data, drawing on research in Ontario and Manitoba in Canada, and examining parallels with evidence from research in England, to highlight the challenges involved in using data effectively in different political contexts and mandated policies on the uses of data.
Leadership is to this decade what standards-based reform was to the 1990s. Put another way, if you want to boost achievement scores from poor to good levels, a strong standard-based reform strategy can take you so far; but if the aim is to accomplish deeper, continuous improvement, leadership at many levels of the system is required.
This report focuses on recent Ontario education policies. It is a policy audit of the present state of the public school system in Ontario and a proposal for provincial education policies that will best serve the students of Ontario. Following the most tumultuous decade in Ontario educational history, and seven years after the release of the report of the Royal Commission on Learning,1 we believe it is necessary to examine where Ontario education is now and where the province should be headed in the future.
A critical new theme of the 1990’s was how to achieve large scale reform. In the current decade sustainability has been added as a major concern. These twin concepts represent a radical shift from understanding individual school innovation toward establishing system change that generates and supports continuous improvement on a large scale.
In this paper we use literacy and to a certain extent numeracy initiatives as examples of attempts at large scale sustainable reform. We first describe the sources we use from our own and others work — a lively body of multi-year attempts at large scale reform. Second, we offer a tri-level model— school/district/state, along with evidence to demonstrate what is necessary at each of these three levels in the pursuit of system-wide reform. Third, we identify an agenda of unfinished business in order to take us to the next level of sustainable reform.
This paper provides a brief review of what is involved in achieving whole school reform on a large scale. There have been two shifts in the last decade that are directly relevant to this question. One has been the issue of how to go deeper to achieve substantial reform that is powerful enough to impact student learning in even the most difficult circumstances. The other is how simultaneously to go wider to achieve reform on a large scale.
Technology and the Problem of Change
Educational decentralization is a worldwide phenomenon, but as a concept it hides more than it reveals. It often refers to the devolution of some authority to the local school and community level, but two large problems remain. First, in all cases, key aspects of authority are retained at the regional and central level. In this sense, decentralization is a misnomer. Second, when decentralization does occur, it usually refers to structural elements (such as site- based councils), thereby missing the day-to-day capacities and activities that would make it work for school improvement.
The changes in this book were prepared to serve as a resource document for the National Education Association's (NEA, 1997) Keys project. Keys is an acronym for "Keys to Excellence in your Schools". NEA has identified 35 factors essential to effective schools, and has developed a survey instrument designed to gather data on these items, and in turn to feed back the data to
participating schools. The 35 items cluster into five main domains:
• shared understanding and commitment to high goals
• open communication and collaborative problem solving
• continuous assessment for teaching and learning
• personal and professional learning
• resources to support teaching and learning
Teacher education programs must help teaching candidates to link the moral purpose that influences them with the tools that
will prepare them to engage in productive change.
Teaching at its core is a moral profession. Scratch a good teacher and you will find a moral purpose. At the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, we recently examined why people enter the teaching profession (Stiegelbauer 1992). In a random sample of 20 percent of 1,100 student teachers, the most frequently mentioned theme was "to make a difference in the lives of students." Of course, such statements cannot be taken at face value because people have a variety of motives for becoming teachers. Nonetheless, there is a strong kernel of truth to this conclusion.
The digital revolution is transforming our work, our organisations and our daily lives. Driverless cars are now legal in three American states. One third of payments in Kenya are made via mobile phones. Wearable computing will soon mean that your jacket will monitor your heart rate (should you want it to). I have seen a violin - played beautifully - that was 3-D printed.
This revolution is already in homes across the developed world and increasingly in the developing world too. And there, it is transforming the way children and young people play, access information, communicate with each other and learn. But, so far, this revolution has not transformed most schools or most teaching and learning in classrooms.
Learning to Lead Change - The Pathways Problem
Participants will learn:
▪ How collegiality is deliberately cultivated
▪ How learning is the work
▪ How to turn accountability to your advantage
▪ How to tackle complexity with confidence and humility
▪ Which leadership qualities and strategies are crucial
Ontario is committed to helping every child and student achieve success and well-being. The primary goal of the province’s education system is to enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, and characteristics that will lead them to become personally successful, economically productive, and actively engaged citizens.
Researchers acknowledge that the need to engage in problem solving and critical and creative thinking has “always been at the core of learning and innovation” (Trilling & Fadel, 2009, p. 50). What’s new in the 21st century is the call for education systems to emphasize and develop these competencies in explicit and intentional ways through deliberate changes in curriculum design and pedagogical practice. The goal of these changes is to prepare students to solve messy, complex problems – including problems we don’t yet know about – associated with living in a competitive, globally connected, and technologically intensive world.
Strategies that give you the freedom to change and the power to make a real difference - personally and in your organization.
The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact
How S y s t e m s I m p r o v e : A C o n s t e l l a t i o n o f F o r c e s
In this workshop, key strategies that integrate quality ideas with quality change processes will be presented as they apply to concrete change situations.
Participants will learn about effective approaches to each of the following levels: within school success; success across schools and regions; and how to relate to the state and federal levels. Specific examples will be examined at each level. Next generation reform will be identified related to factors that will deepen and accelerate learning required for future societies through powerful
new pedagogies linked to digital resources.