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Schooling Redesigned - Towards Innovative Learning Systems

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What does redesigning schools and schooling through innovation mean in practice? How might it be brought about? These questions have inspired an influential international reflection on “Innovative Learning Environments” (ILE) led by the OECD. This reflection has already resulted in publications on core design principles and frameworks and on learning leadership. Now the focus extends from exceptional examples towards wider initiatives and system transformation. The report draws as core material on analyses of initiatives specially submitted by some 25 countries, regions and networks. It describes common strengths around a series of Cs: Culture change, Clarifying focus, Capacity creation, Collaboration & Co-operation, Communication technologies & platforms, and Change agents. It suggests that growing innovative learning at scale needs approaches rooted in the complexity of 21st century society and “learning eco-systems”. It argues that a flourishing middle level of change around networks and learning communities provides the platform on which broader transformation can be built.

This report is not a compendium of “best practices” but a succinct analysis presenting original concepts and approaches, illustrated by concrete cases from around the world. It will be especially useful for those designing, researching or engaging in educational change, whether in schools, policy, communities or wider networks.

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Schooling Redesigned - Towards Innovative Learning Systems

  1. 1. Schooling Redesigned Towards Innovative Learning Systems OECD, Paris 22 October 2015
  2. 2. 0 20 40 60 80 100 If I am more innovative in my teaching, I will be rewarded Innovative practices will be considered in appraisal with high or moderate importance Average Mean mathematics performance, by school location, after acc ounting for socio-economic status Fig II.3.3 22 What do teachers say about innovation at school? Percentage of lower secondary teachers %
  3. 3. “Schools need to drive a shift from a world where knowledge that is stacked up somewhere depreciating rapidly in value towards a world in which the enriching power of communication and collaborative flows is increasing” Schooling Redesigned: Foreword 3 The need to innovate learning environments
  4. 4. • “Learning Research” (The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice, 2010) • “Innovative Cases” (Innovative Learning Environments, 2013) • “Implementation and Change” (Leadership for 21st century Learning, 2013, Schooling Redesigned: Towards Innovative Learning Systems, 2015) 4 ILE – an OECD project in three strands
  5. 5. The ILE Principles – learning environments and systems should: • Make learning central, encourage engagement, and be where learners come to understand themselves as learners • Ensure that learning is social and often collaborative • Be highly attuned to learners’ motivations and the importance of emotions • Be acutely sensitive to individual differences including in prior knowledge • Be demanding for each learner but without excessive overload • Use assessments consistent with its aims, with strong emphasis on formative feedback • Promote horizontal connectedness across activities and subjects, in-and out-of-school 5
  6. 6. 1. The challenge of transformation towards innovative learning systems 2. Conditions and signposts in generalising innovative learning environments 3. Promising strategies for spreading innovative learning environments 4. Growing innovative learning through meso-level networking 5. Transformation and leadership in complex learning systems 6 “Schooling Redesigned: Towards Innovative Learning Systems” – 5 Chapters
  7. 7. Indicators of success • High learning activity and motivation levels • Prominent learner agency and voice • Educators actively discuss learning strategies and practice collaboration • Educators are highly knowledgeable about learning • Mixed, personalised pedagogical practices • Inter-disciplinarity, curriculum development and new learning materials • Widespread innovative applications of digital resources and social media • Cultures of using learning evidence and evaluation • Sophisticated information systems and individual portfolios • New evaluation and assessment metrics • Diverse partners highly visible • A thriving, vibrant meso level • Dense global connections 7
  8. 8. Strategies and initiatives submitted to OECD Australia: The South Australian Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) innovation initiative Australia: System reform in the Western Metropolitan Region (WMR), Victoria Austria: “New Secondary School” (NMS) reform Belgium (French community): Décolâge! early years strategy Canada (Alberta): Canadian Rockies Public Schools District initiative “Inspiring Hearts and Minds”. Canada (BC): Three networks (Performance Based Schools, Aboriginal Enhancement, and Healthy Schools) Chile: Chile’s initiatives to innovate learning Finland: “Schools on the Move”, action strategy on learning and well-being France: RESPIRE national platform for teachers Germany (Baden-Württemberg): Innovation in the Gemeinschaftsschule Germany (Thuringia): “Development of Inclusive and Innovative Learning Environments” in ministry strategy Israel: Experiments and Entrepreneurship (Ministry of Education) on innovative schools Korea: Centre for Multicultural Education Mexico (Conafe): Itinerant Pedagogical Advisors Mexico (UNETE): Business People in Educational Technology, integration of ICT into schooling New Zealand: Learning and Change Networks Norway: The National Advisory Team Peru: Innova Schools Network Peru (Lego Education): Programme on play, learning and materials Slovenia: Renovation through School Development Teams South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal): The ICT in Education (ICT-Ed) project Spain: “Curricular Integration of Key Competences” initiative Sweden: Mother Tongue platform Switzerland (Ticino): The School Improvement Advisor (SIA) initiative UNICEF (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia): In- service Teacher Education Programme on Early Numeracy and Literacy United Kingdom (England): Whole Education Network.8
  9. 9. • Culture change: Several emphasise culture change in schools (but stubbornly difficult) • Clarifying focus: Focus & prioritising, not “letting 1000 flowers bloom” • Capacity creation: widespread professional & community learning • Collaboration & co-operation: Collaborative professionalism and networks & professional learning communities • Communication technologies & platforms: Platforms & digital communications now common basis • Change agents: Some strategies create specific change agents, who may be supported by specialist institutes 9 Common characteristics of the strategies
  10. 10. Many strategies make changes happen at the middle, ‘meso’ level – not right across the board all at once Analysis of strategies through three lenses: • How learning focused? (Is learning front and centre – why and what?) • How horizontally spread, the non-formal as well as the school system? (who?) • How do they connect and diffuse? (The methods used to spread innovation – how? how well?) 10 Growing innovative learning through meso-level networking
  11. 11. “The complex nature of educational governance, involving myriad layers and actors, can be an overwhelming problem with no clear entry point for policy makers. Traditional approaches, which often focus on questions of top-down versus bottom-up initiatives or levels of decentralisation, are too narrow to effectively address the rapidly evolving and sprawling ecosystems that are modern educational systems.” “The simple, the complicated, and the complex: educational reform through the lens of complexity theory”, OECD Education Working Papers, No. 96, 11 Transformation in complex systems?
  12. 12. 12 System-level transformation through the accumulation of meso level changes Formal education units (classes, schools, districts, systems) Hybrid learning environments Non-formal education units Degree of formality High Low ConnectednessLowHigh Formal education units (classes, schools, districts, systems) Hybrid learning environments Non-formal education units Connectedness LowHigh Degree of formalityHigh Low ILE Strategies
  13. 13. • Key role of knowledge, including… …evaluation and learning evidence • Theories of change and narratives… …to connect actions, strategies and policies with the intended beneficial results • System leadership, including… …government leadership - stimulating, legitimising, regulating, incentivising, & accelerating. 13 Factors in system-level change (Chapter 5)
  14. 14. • A handbook on innovative learning environments • Governance of Complex Education Systems • New work on Creativity and on Innovative Pedagogies • Education 2030 . 14 Where next?

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