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A framework for transforming learning in schools: Innovation and the spiral of inquiry

By: Helen Timperley, Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Centre for Strategic Education Edition: seminar series234, April 2014.Description: 27 pages.Subject(s): Facilitators | Spirals of inquiry | LwDT ResourcesOnline resources: Click here to access online Summary: We know that education systems designed in the last century no longer meet the needs of our learners or our societies. We know that schools must be transformed to engage today’s young people. We need a sea change in learning settings for young people. Accepting this view is relatively easy. The trickier questions involve knowing what this transformation will look like and how we can achieve it. In a truly transformational learning system, the focus is on high quality and high equity for every learner, regardless of their starting point. In our transformed schools, every learner will cross the stage with dignity, purpose and options. In addition, learners will leave our schools and other learning settings more curious than when they arrived. Their experiences will have created a passion for learning and a curiosity that will last them a lifetime. Finally, our schools will develop active and engaged citizens who demonstrate a strong sense of personal and social responsibility. Dignity, purpose, options, curiosity and social responsibility for each young person – for us, these are the hallmarks of a transformed school. The answer to the question about how we can transform our schools is less succinct. That is what this paper is about. We know that educators across the world are being bombarded with seemingly incompatible ideas about system direction and desirable models of reform. The call for disruptive innovation of education systems – where schools, as we have known them, cease to exist – has a certain appeal for those frustrated with the seemingly snail’s pace of system change (Christensen, Johnson, and Horn, 2008). Others urge schools to focus intensely and consistently on improving the quality of teaching and learning with a few strong and carefully constructed goals 1. A third approach, usually advocated by politicians, is to make systems more strongly accountable for learner performance, guided by a belief that somehow someone will know how to do this well and will make the accountability – this time – reallycount.
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Article Article CORE Education
https://goo.gl/dj6hHk Available Online Access
Article Article CORE Education
https://goo.gl/D1ebRM Summary prepared by Mike Perry, Available Online Access

We know that education systems designed in the last century no longer meet the needs of our learners or our societies. We know that schools must be transformed to engage today’s young people. We need a sea change in learning settings for young people. Accepting this view is relatively easy. The trickier questions involve knowing what this transformation will look like and how we can achieve it.

In a truly transformational learning system, the focus is on high quality and high equity for every learner, regardless of their starting point. In our transformed schools, every learner will cross the stage with dignity, purpose and options. In addition, learners will leave our schools and other learning settings more curious than when they arrived. Their experiences will have created a passion for learning and a curiosity that will last them a lifetime. Finally, our schools will develop active and engaged citizens who demonstrate a strong sense of personal and social responsibility. Dignity, purpose, options, curiosity and social responsibility for each young person – for us, these are the hallmarks of a transformed school.

The answer to the question about how we can transform our schools is less succinct. That is what this paper is about. We know that educators across the world are being bombarded with seemingly incompatible ideas about system direction and desirable models of reform. The call for disruptive innovation of education systems – where schools, as we have known them, cease to exist – has a certain appeal for those frustrated with the seemingly snail’s pace of system change (Christensen, Johnson, and Horn, 2008).

Others urge schools to focus intensely and consistently on improving the quality of teaching and learning with a few strong and carefully constructed goals 1. A third approach, usually advocated by politicians, is to make systems more strongly accountable for learner performance, guided by a belief that somehow someone will know how to do this well and will make the accountability – this time – reallycount.

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