The Time is Now

It would appear that there are many education systems around the world that are beginning to think this way – perhaps finally realising that our education systems are no longer fit for purpose, despite decades of attempts at incremental change and policy re-alignment. There appears now to be calls for a fundamental shift towards a more radical and transformational view of what education could be and can become. Continue reading The Time is Now

3 Signs of System and Organisational Distress

It seems to me that the sea of opportunity in education is littered with shipwrecks. Each represents a particular change initiative or strategy implementation that has foundered or sunk before reaching its destination. Each has set off with the best of intentions and sights fixed on the distant horizon, only to find themselves beaten back by relentless waves of resistance, merciless winds of discontent, a craft that is not fit-for-purpose or a crew that is inadequately prepared or trained for the journey. Continue reading 3 Signs of System and Organisational Distress

8 insights for achieving resilience

Image: Derek Wenmoth This week marked the conclusion of the Tai Tokerau Hybrid Learning project involving a number of schools in the Far North. I’ve had the privilege of being involved throughout the project since its initial design earlier in the year. The image above was taken yesterday as the teachers involved shared their experiences over the past months, highlighting the things they’ve learned from the experiments they have tried. The Tai Tokerau Hybrid Learning project was an initiative of the Northern Region Ministry of Education who invited two schools to explore and report on strategies that support the work … Continue reading 8 insights for achieving resilience

Why is transformation difficult?

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash “Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.” Rick Warren My previous post on transformation vs reform has attracted lots of feedback in a variety of forums, so I thought I’d follow up with this one, posing the question, ‘why is transformation so difficult?’ On the face of it there appears to be growing agreement around the need for transformation in education. The UN Transforming Education Summit in New York … Continue reading Why is transformation difficult?

Reform vs Transformation

“We need transformation, not reform. Reform produces a better version of the current system, transformation produces a different system” (Dr Asmaa Al-FadalaDirector of Research, World Innovation Summit for Education) I’ve just been reading the latest WISE All-in Report: Number 2 – Education Reimagined: Leadership for Transformation – Leading into the Emerging Future. It contains 23 brief case studies with lessons learned, research evidence and findings. These showcase innovation in leadership, policy and practice on how emerging models teaching and learning can be developed and led from the inside-out—and demonstrate the power of distributed empowerment and transformative leadership The following notes … Continue reading Reform vs Transformation

Acting on evidence

“We owe almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed but to those who have differed.” Charles Caleb Colton Over the past few days I’ve seen a lot of conversation generated as a result of the recently released paper from Dr Michael Johnson of the New Zealand Initiative titled No Evidence, No Evaluation, No Exit , subtitled “Lessons from the “Modern Learning Environments” Experiment.” Of course, headlines like this are always bound to attract attention – which is why they are so constructed. They’re intended to be provocative, challenging and position-taking. This, it may be argued, is what … Continue reading Acting on evidence

Characteristics of Resilient Schools

“Just believe in yourself, and you will realize that even those small steps taken in the right direction can produce great results.” Dr Prem Jagyasi In my previous post I introduced the idea of three dimensions to help educators and school leaders think about the characteristics of resilient schools. In this post I want to expand on these little more and introduce some questions that may be used to guide further thinking. The three dimensions are: Each dimension is explained in summary in the sections below, and then introducing the three characteristics within each of them. The culture of an … Continue reading Characteristics of Resilient Schools

Achieving resilience

“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organisation is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together everyday.” Frances Hesselbein When considering the characteristics of resilient schools it is useful to consider the three dimensions illustrated below. This will ensure that school leaders and others involved in the transformation process focus across all areas of a school’s activity, and not just on one particular thing. For example, during the lockdown and beyond we’ve seen lots of emphasis on providing technology for students at home, teachers working in teams to ensure … Continue reading Achieving resilience

Resilience in Education

The crises facing our world are complex and ever-evolving. The consequences, whether from conflict, natural hazards, climate change, or epidemics, are severe for many sectors and societies. Education is no exception: effects might include the destruction of school infrastructure, a reduction in the number of teachers, an increase in gender disparities, or overall system dysfunction. UNESCO – Crisis-sensitive education planning The impact of both incremental threats such as climate change as well as sudden and pervasive disruptions like COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of our lives – including education. A recent Mckinsey report highlights how these sorts of disruptions are becoming more … Continue reading Resilience in Education