How do you achieve measurable performance improvement across an education system? This is something many governments and institutions are asking – education reform is a wicked problem that has a long history of frustration and lots of baggage. But it can be done. This client, looking at the evidence base and to global examples of success, is pursuing an ambitious strategy to achieve its bold performance goals.
The key to improving student learning, unsurprisingly, lies in the classroom. In Australia, students with great teachers can achieve a whole year’s worth of learning in half the time as students with a poor teacher (Grattan Institute, 2017). Education systems must focus on reducing this variance by building the expertise and skills of teachers in every school.
Knowledge Society worked with this client to create a major two-year strategy based on the evidence for ‘what works’ in improving education systems. It contains five major project strands: coherence, school segmentation and case management, making time for improvement, professional capital, instructional leadership and collaborative school improvement. The project team worked with administrators, teachers and principals to design the strategy, which touches every level of the education system: the head office, schools, classrooms and, of course, students.
Crucially, the blueprint for performance improvement is considered a ‘living’ document – Knowledge Society, over the next twelve months, will work with people from across the system to improve the strategy and ensure that its projects recognise the context of schools and the professional expertise of the system’s teachers and principals. The principles of collaborative design and professional capital are embedded in the strategy – this initiative will be done with educators, not to them.
The blueprint for system improvement is based on the robust foundation of evidence contained in Knowledge Society’s Global Knowledge Consensus for Education System Improvement and the wisdom and knowledge of teachers, principals and education executives. The client endorsed the strategy and is advancing it in 2018–19 as part of a major strategic initiative. This program will be more complete than anything ever tried in Australia in terms of the robustness of the evidence base and the commitment to involving teachers and principles in its design and execution.
To learn more about this project and how to work with Knowledge Society, get in touch.