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An exploration of ability, aspiration and agency in school development - 6 powerful questions for every leader

An exploration of ability, aspiration and agency in school development - 6 powerful questions for every leader

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  • Rational –empirical ( telling) – assumes people will respond to evidence that the change will lead to better outcomes, based on self – interest. Current example is the commitment to evidence – based change, often associated with a relentless collection of data to make the case irresistible. Power-coercive (forcing) – assumes people will only change when they are forced to. Strict accountability for compliance with sanctions for non-compliance. Miles et al (2002) ‘ under the economic power house for change, the rewards (and sanctions) focus on the provision (or withdrawal) of financial incentives.’ … this is happening now in education in several countries. The normative – re-educative (participating) – assumes that people will make change when they have had the opportunity to engage in the process, often with the opportunity to shape the direction of change; their values about the process and the outcomes are changed through such engagement. There is fidelity with this providing there is not a pre-determined outcome, in which case engagement is a sham – a manipulative power – coercive strategy.
  • There are 3 groups of three under 3 themes…in red.
  • According to Howard Gardner, a leading American psychologist, current unprecedented facets of human life that are dictating future development Movement of capital and other market instruments around the globe – even in a time of recession there are huge numbers of international financial dealings every day between banks, insurance markets, share dealing and other forms of financial trading Movement of human beings across borders – it’s estimated that at any one point in time that there are well more than 100,000,000 immigrants Movement of all manner of information through cyberspace – with gigabytes (and even terabytes) of information with various degrees of reliability available to anyone with access to a computer Movement of popular culture, stylish clothing, food, music etc – which readily and seamlessly cross borders. More and more young people the world over look similar and have similar expectations. But it’s not just important to act globally, at the same time it’s necessary to act locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Gardner goes on to suggest that to be successful in the 21 st Century will take five kinds of minds. The first of these is a disciplined mind. The disciplined mind has mastered at least one way of thinking – a distinctive mode of cognition that characterises a specific scholarly discipline, craft or profession. This will require steady work over time (at least ten years) to improve skills and understanding. The second is a synthesising mind that takes data from diverse sources, understands and evaluates that data and puts it together to make sense of it. The third is a creating mind that breaks new grounds, puts forward new ideas, poses unfamiliar questions, conjures up fresh ways of thinking and arrives at unexpected answers. The aim is to remain one step ahead. The fourth one, the respectful mind notes and welcomes differences between different individuals and different human groups. The respectful mind tries to understand differences and seeks to work effectively with them. Finally there is the ethical mind. The ethical mind ponders the nature of one’s work and the needs and desires of the society in which (s)he lives. Such a person wonders about how workers can serve beyond self-interest and how citizens can work unselfishly on behalf of all – and acts on these analyses. School leaders will need all of these minds in the 21 st Century.
  • .
  • Single-loop learning assumes that problems and their solutions are close to each other in time and space (thought they often aren't). In this form of learning, we are primarily considering our actions. Small changes are made to specific practices or behaviors, based on what has or has not worked in the past. This involves doing things better without necessarily examining or challenging our underlying beliefs and assumptions. The goal is improvements and fixes that often take the form of procedures or rules. Single-loop learning leads to making minor fixes or adjustments, like using a thermostat to regulate temperature Double-loop learning leads to insights about why a solution works. In this form of learning, we are considering our actions in the framework of our operating assumptions. This is the level of process analysis where people become observers of themselves, asking, “What is going on here? What are the patterns?” We need this insight to understand the pattern. We change the way we make decisions and deepen understanding of our assumptions. Double-loop learning works with major fixes or changes, like redesigning an organizational function or structure Triple-loop learning involves principles. The learning goes beyond insight and patterns to context. The result creates a shift in understanding our context or point of view. We produce new commitments and ways of learning. This form of learning challenges us to understand how problems and solutions are related, even when separated widely by time and space. It also challenges us to understand how our previous actions created the conditions that led to our current problems. The relationship between organizational structure and behavior is fundamentally changed because the organization learns how to learn. The results of this learning includes enhancing ways to comprehend and change our purpose, developing better understanding of how to respond to our environment, and deepening our comprehension of why we chose to do things we do.
  • Of course, we shouldn’t imply that these 3 elements comprise the recipe for guaranteed success, although the omission of any one is likely to render success most unlikely. R + V + P = Sustainable Change R + V + no P = Leap of Faith R + no V + P = Tower of Babel No R + V + P = Doomed Crusade


  • 1. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 1 autonomy@work An exploration of ability, aspiration and agency in school development - 6 powerful questions for every leader 4th October 2013 #pat_collarbone
  • 2. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 2 Half way there? ‘Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation…within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its world view; Its basic values; its social and political structures; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world…We are currently living through such a transformation.…Indeed no other institution faces challenges as radical as those that will transform the school’ Drucker, The post capitalist society 1993.
  • 3. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 3 1. Autonomy – the move to school led reform 2. Ability – the skills, knowledge and power to act 3. Aspiration – motivation to achieve a goal 4. Agency – capacity and opportunity to act #pat_collarbone
  • 4. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 4 1. Autonomy The move to school led reform ‘The balance between autonomy and accountability leads to a different model from self managing to self transforming’ Caldwell and Spinks
  • 5. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 5 9 building blocks of world class education systems Standards and accountability - Globally benchmarked standards - Transparent data and accountability - Concern for every child Human capital - Identify and prepare great people - Continuous improvement in knowledge and skills - Outstanding leadership Structure and organization - Enabling/empowering central organisations and agencies - Capacity to manage change at every level - Operational authority and responsibility at the school level. Barber et al, Oceans of innovation 2012
  • 6. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 6 Global trends • Movement of capital • Movement of people • Movement of information • Movement of popular culture (Gardner, 2009)
  • 7. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 7 The 21st century mind • Disciplined • Synthesising • Creating • Respectful • Ethical (Gardner, 2009)
  • 8. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 8 High performing systems High performing systems are ones… ‘in which teachers and school principals act as partners and have the authority to act, the necessary information to do so , and access to effective support systems to assist them in implementing change’. Andreas Schleicher, OECD, 2011
  • 9. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 9 The Melbourne Declaration Principals are responsible and accountable for the development of children and young people so that they can become ‘successful learners, confident creative individuals and active informed citizens’.
  • 10. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 10 Professor John West Burnham See the the full clip on our free page at www.creatingtomorrow.org.uk
  • 11. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 11 It takes capacity to build capacity, so providing professional autonomy to groups of teachers who don’t have the commitment and wherewithal to conduct their work with disciplined knowledge inquiry and moral purpose will do no more than squander resources. Fullan, The Moral Imperative 2003
  • 12. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 12 Building leadership capacity Capacity = (skills and knowledge) X (motivation) X (opportunity) If any of the elements are zero; capacity is not built Professor Charles Desforges
  • 13. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 13 General Education Reform Movement v Finland GERM •Standardized teaching and learning •Focus on literacy and numeracy •Teaching prescribed curriculum •Borrowing market-orientated reform ideas •Test-based accountability and control FINLAND •Customized teaching and learning •Focus on creative learning •Encouraging risk taking •Learning from the past and owning innovations •Shared responsibility and trust Sahlberg 2011
  • 14. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 14 Command and control approaches have tended to characterise the effort to improve all schools…this is in direct contrast to what has occurred in high performing nations. Caldwell and Spinks, 2013 (forthcoming)
  • 15. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 15 2. ABILITY the skills, knowledge and power to act ‘A small handful of personal qualities and skills explain a high proportion of the variation in leadership effectiveness’
  • 16. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 16 Leadership and organisational climate
  • 17. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 17 What are the characteristic behaviours of a leader who displays and promotes trust?
  • 18. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 18 Competence behaviours • Deliver results • Get better • Confront reality • Clarify expectations • Practice accountability • Keep commitments Character behaviours •Listen first •Talk straight •Demonstrate respect •Create transparency •Right wrongs •Show loyalty Adapted from S. Covey
  • 19. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 19 Vision and values Vision and values Knowledge and understanding Knowledge and understanding Personal qualities, social and interpersonal skills Personal qualities, social and interpersonal skills Professional practices Leading teaching and learning Developing self and others Leading improvement, innovation and change Leading the management of the school Engaging and working with the community High quality learning, teaching and schooling High quality learning, teaching and schooling The standard for principals : The role in action Successful learners, confident creative individuals and active informed citizens* Successful learners, confident creative individuals and active informed citizens* Leadership requirements Principal Standard
  • 20. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 20 Context Assumptions Plan & actPlan & act Review outcomes Review outcomes RespondRespond Consolidate how we do things Change what we do Change how we decide what to do Model of professional practice The model captures the concept of continuous improvement as well as the idea of different levels of learning – single, double and triple loop.
  • 21. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 21 3. ASPIRATION motivation to achieve a goal ‘You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.’ Aristotle
  • 22. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 22 Cultural change Co-dependence Dependence Independence Interdependence System focus Confused Centralised Localised Personalised Leadership based upon Fear Control Responsibility Trust Accountability Remedial action Inspection Self evaluation Peer review Ways of working Conflict Negotiation Consultation Partnership Approach to change Status Quo Reactive Proactive Creative Workforce response Denial Compliance Development Professionalism Maturity of the individual, team, organisation and sector
  • 23. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 23 Distributed leadership development
  • 24. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 24 The multiplier mindset • People are smart and capable – multipliers trust their staff to do things and do them well • Intelligence is dynamic – multipliers stretch people’s current capability • Curiosity sparks intelligence – The question why is at the core of their thinking The multiplier effect, L.Wiseman et al. 2013
  • 25. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 25 Multipliers and Diminishers - types Multiplier Diminisher The talent finder Attracts talented people and uses them at their highest point of contribution The gate keeper Hoards resources and underutilises talent The liberator Creates an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work The tyrant Creates a tense environment that suppresses people’s thinking and capability The challenger Defines an opportunity that causes people to stretch The know it all Gives directives that showcase how much they know The community builder Drives sound decisions by constructing decision- making forums The decision maker Makes centralised, abrupt decisions that confuse the organisation The investor Gives other people ownership for results and invests in their success The micro manager Drives results through their personal involvement The multiplier effect, L.Wiseman et al. 2013
  • 26. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 26 Innovators DNA • Associational thinking – connects ideas that others don’t • Questioning – a passion for enquiry • Observing – gaining new ways of doing things • Networking – testing ideas with a range of others • Experimenting – constantly piloting new ideas Dyer, Gregersen and Christensen. 2011
  • 27. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 27 What works? The Sutton Trust Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit is an accessible summary of educational research which provides guidance for teachers and schools on how to use their resources to improve the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. The Toolkit currently covers 30 topics, each summarised in terms of their average impact on attainment, the strength of the evidence supporting them and their cost.
  • 28. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 28 Strategies to improve learning Cost Evidence Progress Effective feedback £££££ xxxxx +8 months Peer tutoring / peer assisted learning £££££ xxxxx +6 months Early intervention £££££ xxxxx +6 months One-to-one tuition £££££ xxxxx +5 months Homework £££££ xxxxx +5 months ICT – Digital Technology £££££ xxxxx +4 months Behaviour interventions £££££ xxxxx +4 months Reducing class size £££££ xxxxx +3 months Performance pay £££££ xxxxx 0 months Teaching assistants £££££ xxxxx 0 months School uniform £££££ xxxxx 0 months Ability grouping £££££ xxxxx -1 month http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/
  • 29. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 29 Which school improvement strategies in Australia impact most positively on pupil learning? How do you know?
  • 30. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 30 4. AGENCY capacity and opportunity to act High performing systems are ones… ‘in which teachers and school principals act as partners and have the authority to act, the necessary information to do so , and access to effective support systems to assist them in implementing change’. Andreas Schleicher, OECD, 2011
  • 31. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 31 The six questions every leader should ask
  • 32. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 32 Containing anxiety We are going to tackle this We have a great team This isn’t easy There’s an awful lot to do We know we have options We have plans This is really challenging We can involve others and build success
  • 33. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 33 In your experience what are the three most important elements of successful change?
  • 34. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 34 For a change programme to be successful and sustainable (C), there must be: • A compelling reason for change (R) • A clear vision of the future (V) • And a coherent plan for getting there (P) R + V + P = C The three key elements
  • 35. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 35 ‘Human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them’. International Institute for Restorative Practices
  • 36. © Creating Tomorrow Ltd Slide 36 “Everyone wants to change the world, no one wants to change themselves” Leo Tolstoy