Innovation, Quality, and the School Ecosystem

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Presentation at the SICI Workshop – Innovating Inspections to Value Innovative Schools of The Standing International Conferences of Inspectorates (SICI), September 13, 2012, Porto, Portugal

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Innovation, Quality, and the School Ecosystem

  1. 1. Innovation, Quality and the School Ecosystem: Challenges to the InspectorateSeptember 13-14, 2012 / Porto, PortugalSICI WORKSHOP – Innovating Inspectionsto Value Innovative SchoolsThe Standing International Conferences of Inspectorates (SICI)
  2. 2. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  3. 3. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  4. 4. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION Two radically different types of innovation: incremental innovation disruptive innovation If we mix them up,innovation rarely happens
  5. 5. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION INCREMENTAL INNOVATION Incremental innovations build onexisting thinking, products, processes, organizations, or social systems They can be routine improvementsor they can be dramatic breakthroughs but they apply to what already exists
  6. 6. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION INCREMENTAL INNOVATIONExamples of incremental innovations: •  Airplanes that fly farther •  Batteries that last longer •  Televisions with better images •  Computers that process faster •  Schools where students learn better by regularly using the Net
  7. 7. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION Disruptive innovations are addressed to people who do not have any solutions They take root in simple, undemanding, applications that are not breakthroughPeople are happy to use them, in spite of their limitations, because no other solutions exist They do not compete with anything
  8. 8. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION But as they gain strengthin the realm of non-competition they evolve very fast and end up replacing the traditional solutions
  9. 9. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION Example of a disruptive innovation: the personal computerIn the 1970s the professional computer market was occupied by 100,000 € minicomputers produced by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Data General, and HP. The first personal computers (like the Spectrum and the Apple II) were ridiculously limited, and completely out of that market.
  10. 10. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION They were supposed to be used mainly as toys by children and their parents. But they quickly grew up, in that unexplored marketTen years later, in the early 1990s, they were much more powerful, and starting to erode the minicomputer marketTwenty years later, in the early 2000s, the minicomputer market collapsed in favour of the PC market DEC and Data General don’t exist any more
  11. 11. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  12. 12. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY SCHOOLING model transposed from industry to education in the 18th century QUALITYconcept transposed from industry to education in the 20th century
  13. 13. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY SCHOOLING IN THE LAST 200 YEARS industrial   social   era   era   Industrial revolution: fascination with the machinePedagogical and organizational processes reproduced the repeatability and accuracy of the machine
  14. 14. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY INDUSTRIAL ERAWith the generalization of the public schools, the organizational models of industry were transposed to the schools. Rows of desks, bells ringing, artificially separated disciplines, learning out of context, instruction of listening and answering, isolation and competition, rigid national curricula, standard tests. The industry has changed radically, since then, but education keeps much of the old model.
  15. 15. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY INDUSTRIAL ERAdisciplinary learningmechanical and industrial vision of learninglearning as ‘knowledge’ delivery (or ‘content’)predominance of authority and hierarchypraise of uniformityprimacy of quantity
  16. 16. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY SOCIAL ERA industrial   social   era   era   The new forms of socialization provided bycommunication networks (internet, cell phones) are leading to a multitude of new opportunities and promising approaches to learning
  17. 17. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY SOCIAL ERAmulti-, trans- and meta disciplinary learningorganic and social vision of learninglearning as transformationpredominance of leadership and collaborationpraise of differenceprimacy of quality (supported by reasonable quantity)
  18. 18. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY industrial era social era disciplinary learning multidisciplinary learning mechanical and industrial organic and social vision of learning vision of learninglearning as ‘knowledge’ delivery learning as transformation predominance of authority predominance of leadership and hierarchy and collaboration praise of uniformity praise of difference primacy of quantity praise of quality (quantified)
  19. 19. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY IN WHICH ERA ARE WE? industrial   social     era   era   Definitely, in the industrial era! We are building the 21stcentury with the visions of the 19th century http://leading-learning.blogspot.com/
  20. 20. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY http://leading-learning.blogspot.com/
  21. 21. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITYWHAT SCHOOL SYSTEMS ARE PRODUCING
  22. 22. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITYWHAT THE WORLD NEEDS TODAY
  23. 23. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY QUALITY IN THE LAST 100 YEARS THE  QUALITY  MOVEMENT  IN  INDUSTRY  Before  1900   Quality  as  an  integral  element  of  the  cra7  1900-­‐1920   Quality  control  by  foreman  1920-­‐1940   Inspec>on-­‐based  quality-­‐control  1940-­‐1960   Sta>s>cal  process  control   Schools 2012 Inspectorate1960-­‐1980   Quality  assurance  (quality  department)  1980-­‐1990   Total  quality  management  (TQM)  1990-­‐Present   Culture  of  con>nuous  improvement,  organiza>on-­‐wide  TQM   (Adapted from Sallis, E. (1996). Total Quality Management in Education, 2nd Ed. London: Kogan Page)
  24. 24. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY School Systems Corporate World classical management: modern management: control, repeatability, culture, commitment,Management people as replaceable parts people as knowledge workers analytical, centralized projective, collective, Strategy and reactive and transformative quality control, quality quality management, Quality assurance, accountability quality as transformation (mechanistic process) (social process) Education has moved directly from ad hoc The corporate world is moving from management to bureaucratic management bureaucratic and mechanistic management to organic and ecological management Increasingly emphasizes and sees people as their most valuable asset control and forgets people
  25. 25. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY It is interesting to notice how, as early as 1992, theEFQM proposed the extension of ISO 9000 to Education ISO 9000 - European Quality Award (EQA), 1992 European Foundation for Quality Management people satisfaction of management collaborators (9%) (9%) policy & results of the leadership processes satisfaction strategy whole activity (10%) (14%) of students (15%) (8%) (20%) resources impact on (9%) society (6%)
  26. 26. 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY It is interesting to notice how, as early as 1992, theEFQM proposed the extension of ISO 9000 to Education ISO 9000 - European Quality Award (EQA), 1992 European Foundation for Quality Management people satisfaction of management collaborators (9%) (9%) policy & results of the leadership processes satisfaction strategy whole activity (10%) (14%) of students (15%) (8%) (20%) resources impact on (9%) society (6%)
  27. 27. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  28. 28. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM From the point of view of the sociology of innovation educational systems are networks of actors that reinforce each other into stable configurations These stable configurations tend to prevent change
  29. 29. 2. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM
  30. 30. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEMSome experts in innovation claim that in such conservative echosystems it is impossible to produce innovations with lasting effects the inertia of the system dilutes or distorts the innovations and converts them to the reigning uniformity It is like pouring water in the desert
  31. 31. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM This is not necessarily so dramatic! Incremental innovation in educational systems has a high failure rate but it can be explored if sound innovation strategies are crafted and managed relying on dependable social theories, such as Actor-Network-TheoryOxford University Press, Oxford, 2005
  32. 32. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM However, the promising path to innovation in the educational systems is through disruptive innovation that quietly grows in the margins of the system, unobtrusively until it starts changing it, irreversibly Clayton M. Christensen is an inspiring author on this topicMcGraw-Hill, New York, 2008
  33. 33. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEMExamples of disruptive innovations in the school systems: •  Courses provided on-line to a region or a whole country, namely: •  courses for gifted students •  enrichment classes for special-needs children •  optional courses in the languages, arts, humanities, economics •  distant support to homebound and home-schooled students •  private tutoring
  34. 34. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM •  Pilot schools trying out new school models •  Special schools for students wishing to follow project-based learning•  Experimental schools aimed at changing transformationally the degraded social communities to which they belong
  35. 35. 3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM These are examples of opportunities fordisruptive innovation that don’t clash against the mainstream educational echo-system In this way, innovation can incubate at leisure until it matures up to a level where it can be transposed to the mainstream system
  36. 36. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  37. 37. 4. THE INSPECTORATEThe inspectorate is the actor of the school echo-system with the mandate to preserve the quality of the system Does that mean to preserve the systems as it is?Does it mean to help create the system as it should be? Who decides what and how it should be? Considering the highly conservative character of the school echo-system, how can inspectorates contribute to school innovation?
  38. 38. 4. THE INSPECTORATE Possible degrees of intervention: •  tolerate school innovation •  encourage school innovation •  create frameworks for school innovation Two possible alternatives: •  through disruptive innovation•  through (moderate) incremental innovation
  39. 39. 4. THE INSPECTORATEIf the attempted innovations remain at the margins of the conventional educational echo-system following a disruptive path or if they are based on very cautious, strategically managed, incremental innovation They may succeed and produce lasting effects
  40. 40. 4. THE INSPECTORATE Otherwise and that’s what we witness most of the time they failand leave no lasting effects HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THIS SCENARIO?
  41. 41. 1. TYPES OF INNOVATION 2. SCHOOLING & QUALITY3. THE SCHOOL ECHOSYSTEM 4. THE INSPECTORATE 5. CONCLUSIONS
  42. 42. 5. CONCLUSIONS“If we teach today’s students as we did yesterday’s, we are robbing them of tomorrow” John Dewey We are building the 21st century with the visions of the 19th century As key actors in the echo-system where this is happening, the inspectorates can contribute to a much needed change
  43. 43. 5. CONCLUSIONS This implies:reconsidering the aims and paradigms of the school in today’s world reflecting on the nature of quality in today’s school echo-systems and engaging in disruptive (and incremental, when possible) innovation
  44. 44. THE END Innovation, Quality and the School Ecosystem: Challenges to theThe slides will be available at:http://www.slideshare.net/adfigueiredo InspectoratePorto, Portugal – September 13-14, 2012SICI WORKSHOP – Innovating Inspections My Webpage:to Value Innovative SchoolsThe Standing International Conferences of Inspectorates (SICI) adfig.com

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