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Governing Education
in a Complex World
Published
12 April 2016
238 pages
• Provide analyses and perspectives to
some of the most challenging issues in
education governance
• Provide concepts and ...
• What models of governance are
effective in complex education systems?
• What knowledge system is necessary to
support th...
• Part I – Setting the stage: Modern
Governance Challenges in Education
• Part II – The Role of Accountability
in Governin...
5
Education reform takes time
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8-14
years
...
More diverse stakeholders
6
Ministry
Government
agencies
Inspectorate
Media
Labour unions
NGOs
Researchers
International
O...
Simple Complicated Complex
7
Simple, complicated and complex
problems
Source: adapted from Snyder (2013); based on Glouber...
8
Managing complexity through networks
Competence
• ensures
professional
authority in
relation to other
actors and the
abi...
9
Accountability in complex systems
A constructive accountability
system balances the monitoring
and pressure with support...
10
Complimentary forms of accountability
Quality assurance and stakeholder participation
Find out more: Governing Educatio...
Formal structures vs. informal practices in
Austria as a federal system
11
Capacity building and governance
Local capacity...
Building teacher capacity for knowledge use
and production in England
12
Use of knowledge and governance
Easy-to-use tools...
13
Controlled experimentation
Note: Dotted lines denote weak links; solid lines denote strong links
Horizontal
experimenta...
14
Learning to fail, not failing to learn
Taking risks and building
processes to learn from
failure is essential for
innov...
15
Trust and governance
Legitimate trust is a
cornerstone of effective and
efficient governance. Trust can
facilitate coop...
16
Five elements of effective governance
Focuses on processes, not structures
Is flexible and can adapt to change
and unex...
www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/gces
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Governing Education in a Complex World

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What models of governance are effective in complex education systems? In all systems an increasing number of stakeholders are involved in designing, delivering and monitoring education. Like our societies, education systems are increasingly diverse regarding students, teachers and communities, as well as the values and identities we expect education to deliver. These trends have increased the complexity of education systems, leaving decision makers on all governance levels with the question of how to successfully manoeuvre in this highly dynamic policy area.

Governing Education in a Complex World addresses key challenges involved in governing modern education systems, looking specifically at complexity, accountability, capacity building and strategic thinking. The publication brings together research from the OECD Secretariat and invited chapters from international scholars to provide a state of the art analysis and a fresh perspective on some of the most challenging issues facing educational systems today.

Creating the open, dynamic and strategic governance systems necessary for governing complex systems is not easy. This volume challenges our traditional concepts of education governance through work on complexity, collaborative networks and decision-making. In doing so it sets the agenda for thinking about the inclusive and adaptable systems necessary for governing education in today’s world. The volume will be a useful resource for those interested in education governance and complexity, particularly policy-makers, education leaders, teachers and the education research community.

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Governing Education in a Complex World

  1. 1. Governing Education in a Complex World Published 12 April 2016 238 pages
  2. 2. • Provide analyses and perspectives to some of the most challenging issues in education governance • Provide concepts and examples of innovative governance practices • Set the agenda for strategic thinking about modern governance 2 Governing Education in a Complex World Intention and purpose
  3. 3. • What models of governance are effective in complex education systems? • What knowledge system is necessary to support the effective governance of complex education systems? 3 Governing Education in a Complex World Guiding questions
  4. 4. • Part I – Setting the stage: Modern Governance Challenges in Education • Part II – The Role of Accountability in Governing Complex Systems • Part III – Capacity and the Use of Knowledge • Part IV – Complexity in Policy Making: Thinking Strategically 4 Governing Education in a Complex World
  5. 5. 5 Education reform takes time 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8-14 years Adjustedeffectsize Years of implementation Source: Borman et al. (2003) Policy cycles and political cycles do not always match Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 1
  6. 6. More diverse stakeholders 6 Ministry Government agencies Inspectorate Media Labour unions NGOs Researchers International Organisations Training providers Education material providers Private businesses Parents Communities School community Students Teachers Principal Local authorities School boards School providers Modern educational governance involves a broad set of actors Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 1
  7. 7. Simple Complicated Complex 7 Simple, complicated and complex problems Source: adapted from Snyder (2013); based on Glouberman, S., & Zimmerman, B. (2002) Raising a child Formulae with limited effect Raising one child gives experience, but no assurance of success with another Expertise can contribute but not sufficient for success Each child is unique and must be approached individually Uncertainty of outcome remains Following a recipe Recipes are essential Recipes are easily replicated Expertise is helpful but not required Produces a standardised product Best recipes give good results every time Sending a rocket to the moon Formulae are critical Sending one rocket increases assurance that the next will be ok High levels of expertise in multiple fields needed Rockets are similar in critical ways High degree of certainty in the outcome once the original issues are solved Simple solutions do not solve complex challenges Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 1 and 2
  8. 8. 8 Managing complexity through networks Competence • ensures professional authority in relation to other actors and the ability to contribute to the network. • pertains to the skills needed to coordinate and moderate in the network with its different actors. Strong group • provides baseline stability required for governing through networks. • enables open communication and increases the focus on improving the overall outcome. • acquired through repeated interaction over time. Leadership • provides an overarching framework and strategic vision for the network. • coordinates the contributions of different actors. Enthusiasm • drives policy makers, managers and professionals to solve policy problems in a context of less rigid rules and formal authority. Network governance requires: Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 3
  9. 9. 9 Accountability in complex systems A constructive accountability system balances the monitoring and pressure with support for improvement to ensure efficient system functioning. Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 4 and 5
  10. 10. 10 Complimentary forms of accountability Quality assurance and stakeholder participation Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 5 Vertical Regulatory accountability Performance accountability Horizontal Professional accountability Multiple stakeholder accountability
  11. 11. Formal structures vs. informal practices in Austria as a federal system 11 Capacity building and governance Local capacity building could help mitigate governance inefficiencies in structurally complex systems. A country example: Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 6
  12. 12. Building teacher capacity for knowledge use and production in England 12 Use of knowledge and governance Easy-to-use tools can bridge teacher knowledge and research when practitioner research is accompanied by rigorous quality control. A country example: Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 7
  13. 13. 13 Controlled experimentation Note: Dotted lines denote weak links; solid lines denote strong links Horizontal experimentation Ecosystem experimentation Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 8 and 9
  14. 14. 14 Learning to fail, not failing to learn Taking risks and building processes to learn from failure is essential for innovation and the evolution of education systems. Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 10
  15. 15. 15 Trust and governance Legitimate trust is a cornerstone of effective and efficient governance. Trust can facilitate cooperation, and help actors take risks and innovate. Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 11
  16. 16. 16 Five elements of effective governance Focuses on processes, not structures Is flexible and can adapt to change and unexpected events Works through building capacity, stakeholder involvement and open dialogue Requires whole of system approach (aligning roles, balancing tensions) Harnesses evidence and research to inform policy and reform Effective governance Find out more: Governing Education in a Complex World – Chapter 11
  17. 17. www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/gces

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