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Distinction and disgust: The emotional politics of school failure

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This article analyses the problems of school failure - failure at school and of schools - in terms of the emotional politics of distinction and disgust. The article notes that differential strategies of school improvement where levels of intervention are inversely related to school success risk creating an apartheid of improvement that deals only with the effects of low capacity and low investment in poor communities and perpetuates dependency in low capacity systems over time. Behind the technical differences that separate success from failure are emotionally laden differences between the passionless distinction of elite success and the viscerally threatening emotionality of lower classes that evokes disgust. Distinction and disgust, it is suggested, are the alter egos of school improvement. School failure is defined, evaluated and dealt with in ways that function to evoke the disgust of the affluent, which simultaneously reminds them of their own fortunate distinction. The article closes with recommendations for redefining the divisive responses to school failure that currently have ascendancy.

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... Using this internal capacity to underpin sustainable improvement will, it is suggested, bring about the cultural change sought (Maden, 2001). Hargreaves (2004) develops this argument, viewing capacity building as reliant on long-term interventions designed to shore up success, or prevent further decline, such as developing policy and practice to attract and retain high quality staff. ...
... Cultural change, conversely, was vital. Hargreaves' (2004) exploration of the lack of dignity associated with failing schools resonates with the experience of the closure of Newley. A determination to restore the dignity of the school community through cultural change drove the strategic planning process as we prepared to 'open' Kingsmead. ...
... This could not be the case at Newley. Faced with an intensive programme of inspection, with its acknowledged negative effect on staff recruitment and retention (Gray and Wilcox, 1995;Hargreaves, 2004), we yet had no choice but to implement a complex Post-OFSTED Action Plan. Closure removed both the necessity to demonstrate improvement and the accompanying pressure on staff. ...
Article
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This paper explores the leadership of a closing school. It draws on the case of Newley School, a mixed comprehensive for students aged between 11 and 18 years, and examines the primary leadership activities undertaken during the twelve month period when the school re-opened temporarily as a 'new' school. These activities were driven by the imperative of ensuring the provision of a positive learning environment for students. The paper examines the key factors underpinning the cultural change required to secure this environment. It moves on to explore the impact of cultural change activities from the viewpoint of some of the school's main stakeholders – students, parents, teachers and governors. It highlights the importance of short-term culture building and provides insights into the potential benefits of school federations. The paper concludes with implications for school leaders attempting to manage cultural change.
... Introduction education on all levels that children of color and children from low income homes are entitled to high levels of academic success in all schools" (p.231). While definitive causes of the achievement gap remain contested (Gay, 2007;Hargreaves, 2004;Jennings & Rentner, 2006;Obed, Ault, Jr., Bentz, & Meskimen, 2001), educators can take steps that will improve schools' chances to make AYP. The purpose of this article is to propose alternatives to current assessment policies in Florida in order to help facilitate such improvement. ...
... This situation, which came to light in January 2009, a few weeks prior to administration of the first installment of the FCAT Writing test on February 10, 2009, depicts the dynamics of teaching and learning in a high stakes testing environment, including narrowing the curriculum (Hargreaves, 2004). This is a real world account of one student's experience of inadequate, irrelevant, and inappropriate instruction. ...
... More than half of SINI schools have failed to make AYP for more than three years; i.e., 2.2 percent are in Year 6 as SINI, 33.9 percent are in Year 5 as SINI, and 23.1 percent are in Year 4 as SINI (FDOE, 2008a). Moreover, each of the schools that have been SINI schools for 4-6 years are Title I schools serving mostly poor and minority students (Hargreaves, 2004;Lee, Borman, & Tyson, 2005). Current achievement data, school completion rates, poverty rates, and placement in programs for students with disabilities reflect a persistent achievement gap between Black students and students with disabilities and the majority student population (FDOE, 2005a). ...
Article
Florida schools consistently fail to make Adequate Yearly Progress [AYP] (FDOE, 2005d). Title I schools which serve poor and predominately students of color comprise the majority of schools designated as needing improvement in Florida. Black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, and English language learners overwhelmingly perform below grade level on Florida's high stakes assessment, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Many oppose high stakes tests because of assumptions that these tests promote narrowing the curriculum (Barksdale-Ladd & Thomas, 2000). Test preparation and ancillary activities often result in reduced time for academic learning at high levels. The author proposes alternatives to current school and state level policies in order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn the state curriculum. Furthermore, the author places the burden of change that will meet the needs of Florida's neediest children squarely on the shoulders of school leaders, including both teachers and administrators.
... Upon learning their school would undergo state intervention teachers and administrators all responded at some emotional level (Evans, 1996;Hargreaves, 2004aHargreaves, , 2004bKeirstead & Harvell, 2005). Some welcomed intervention, while others maintained that their school was not underperforming, at least relative to other schools. ...
... Understanding their point of view is therefore critical. To begin, while state interventions can be energizing, they are emotionally difficult (Evans, 1996;Hargreaves, 2004b). They start with the assumption that schools are failing, which as British educator Linda Turner (1998) observed, "appears to tell all of its staff that they also have failed" (p. ...
Article
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Since passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, state departments of education across the U.S. have been busy creating or modifying school accountability systems to meet NCLB guidelines. Ultimately, NCLB seeks to have all public school students proficient in English/Language Arts and mathematics by 2014. To identify schools in danger of not meeting this goal, states must establish student performance benchmarks and identify schools not making adequate yearly progress (AYP). Those consistently failing to make AYP can be ordered into "radical restructuring," which may include having the state intervene in running the school (U. S. Department of Education, 2002). Given these NCLB provisions and the growing number of schools not meeting AYP, the number of state interventions in low-performing schools will certainly increase. Accordingly, this article explores two questions about state-led interventions. First, how have teachers and administrators in underperforming schools in Massachusetts perceived state intervention? In addition, based on their perceptions, what might be done to make the process more effective? At three schools that experienced interventions from the Massachusetts Department of Education, a qualitative study explored the process of state intervention. A survey to principals in 22 of the 23 schools deemed underperforming by the state between 2000 and 2004 supplemented the in-depth qualitative work. Drawing on these mixed methods data sources, this article offers a series of proposals aimed at informing future state interventions in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
... Forschungen, die Bedingungen für eine ‚schwierige Lage' oder sogar das relative Scheitern von Schulen empirisch untersucht haben (vgl. Harris & Chapman, 2002;Hargreaves, 2004;MacBeath & Stoll, 2004;Stoll & Fink, 1998;Huber & Muijs, 2012), konnten Prädiktoren sowohl zu externen Faktoren als auch internen Problemen zu Tage fördern, wobei vielfach ein Zusammenspiel externer und interner Faktoren die Schulen in gravierende Schwierigkeiten oder Schieflagen bringt: ...
... Was immer auch überwiegt: Die Balance zwischen Anforderungen und Bewältigungsformen scheint hier jedenfalls gestört. International wurden für Schulen in herausfordernden Lagen besondere Entwicklungsansätze entfaltet, die teilweise, aber nicht durchgängig erfolgreich waren (Reynolds et al., 2001;Hargreaves, 2004;Mujis et al., 2004). Neuere Ansätze der adaptiven und datenbasierten Schulentwicklung oder der designbasierten Schulentwicklung und ‚Improvement Science' in den USA sehen deshalb von schablonenhaften Lösungen ab und entwerfen in Zusammenarbeit zwischen Forschung, Administration und Praxis kontextspezifische Entwicklungskonzepte für einzelne Schulen oder Schulnetzwerkkonzepte, in denen Schulen mit-und voneinander lernen und Entwicklungsarbeit betreiben (Chapman, 2008;Berkemeyer et al., 2010;Brown & Poortman, 2018;Yancovic et al., 2019). ...
Book
Sechs Jahre lang wurde im Forschungs- und Entwicklungsprojekt «Potenziale entwickeln – Schulen stärken» analysiert, wie die Entwicklung von Schulen in herausfordernden Lagen unterstützt werden kann. Wie kann die Entwicklung von Schulen in herausfordernden Lagen unterstützt werden? Wie können ein datengestützter Ansatz und Netzwerkarbeit die Entwicklungskapazität dieser Schulen befördern? Diesen Fragen widmete sich das Forschungs- und Entwicklungsprojekt «Potenziale entwickeln – Schulen stärken» in der Metropolregion Ruhr über sechs Jahre mit verschiedenen methodischen Zugängen und mit einem breiten Schulentwicklungsansatz. Im Buch werden zentrale Befunde in der Gesamtschau zusammengefasst und im Hinblick auf Hinweise für Praxis, Bildungsadministration und Wissenschaft diskutiert.
... Upon learning their school would undergo state intervention teachers and administrators all responded at some emotional level (Evans, 1996;Hargreaves, 2004aHargreaves, , 2004bKeirstead & Harvell, 2005). Some welcomed intervention, while others maintained that their school was not underperforming, at least relative to other schools. ...
... Understanding their point of view is therefore critical. To begin, while state interventions can be energizing, they are emotionally difficult (Evans, 1996;Hargreaves, 2004b). They start with the assumption that schools are failing, which as British educator Linda Turner (1998) observed, "appears to tell all of its staff that they also have failed" (p. ...
... While adaptive challenges of schooling may be similar across contexts-low student achievement, teacher burnout and turnover, community distrust of schoolsthe solutions needed to address these challenges tend not to be standardized. Indeed, an examination of the traditional change paradigm shows that, for decades, technical solutions have been used to address adaptive challenges, which are unlikely to be ameliorated through the application of those technical solutions (Hargreaves, 2004;Harris, 2013). This misalignment, which the grammar of schooling helps sustain (e.g., Cuban, 2020), is one of the reasons why scores of educational reform efforts in the U.S. have led to little sustained change (Duke, 2016;James et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Many of today’s educational organizations around the world contend with complex challenges. Yet, longstanding practices and norms in educational systems can hamper educators’ abilities to identify and address these challenges, such as only principals leading change efforts or the use of misaligned “quick fixes” for ill-defined challenges. A design-based approach to organizational change, on the other hand, holds promise to reframe change in local educational agencies like schools. Design thinking is one way to enact a design-based approach, but little research has investigated the process’s use to help educators conceptualize and implement change. Drawing upon transformational learning theory, this United States-based mixed-methods study examined a year-long professional learning workshop sponsored by a state education agency that used design thinking to reframe how participants orchestrated change in their contexts. Results indicated that design thinking helped participants devise more nuanced understandings of themselves and the change process in their contexts, yet, most participants’ actions continued to be influenced by longstanding practices and norms of the U.S. educational system. We close by discussing implications for practice and policy, particularly the need for professional learning experiences that prompt educators to critically reflect upon their mindsets and how their actions may differ from those mindsets. This greater understanding can better position educators to engage in change efforts that address increasingly complex challenges in education.
... Was immer auch überwiegt: Die Balance zwischen Anforderungen und Bewältigungsformen scheint hier jedenfalls gestört. International wurden für Schulen in herausfordernden Lagen besondere Entwicklungsansätze entfaltet, die teilweise, aber nicht durchgängig erfolgreich waren (Reynolds et al., 2001;Hargreaves, 2004;Mujis et al., 2004). Neuere Ansätze der adaptiven und datenbasierten Schulentwicklung oder der designbasierten Schulentwicklung und ‚Improvement Science' in den USA sehen deshalb von schablonenhaften Lösungen ab und entwerfen in Zusammenarbeit zwischen Forschung, Administration und Praxis kontextspezifische Entwicklungskonzepte für einzelne Schulen (Bryk et al., 2015;Mintrop, 2016;Bremm et al., 2017) oder Schulnetzwerkkonzepte, in denen Schulen mit-und voneinander lernen und Entwicklungsarbeit betreiben (Chapman, 2008;Berkemeyer et al., 2010;Brown & Poortman, 2018;Yancovic et al., 2019). ...
Chapter
Schulentwicklung als Bemühungen, Schulen im Sinne erfolgreicher Qualitätsverbesserungen oder innovativen Wandels weiterzuentwickeln, damit sie die an sie gestellten Anforderungen des Bildungsauftrags möglichst optimal bewältigen können, hat sich zumeist als schwieriger und langwieriger erwiesen als es von Bildungsadministrationen, von der Wissenschaft oder von Schulen selbst erwartet wurde. Die Initiierung von Schulentwicklungsprozessen und die Implementation von Neuerungen haben vielfach nicht zu einer Institutionalisierung von Veränderungen der Alltagspraxis oder zu Qualitätsverbesserungen geführt. Dies liegt zum Teil zunächst an der besonderen Verfasstheit und Komplexität der Bildungsinstitution Schule (als Organisation von Expert*innen mit individuellem Autonomieanspruch) und an der Charakteristik und Komplexität der Innovationen selbst (Rogers, 2005), so dass Voraussetzungen für Veränderungen (z. B. Motivationen, Strukturen, Strategien) erst mühsam hergestellt werden müssen (Holtappels, 2014). [...]
... Educators themselves are torn. They assume guilt and at the same time discount it (Booher-Jennings, 2005;Finnigan & Gross, 2007;Hargreaves, 2004;Mintrop, 2004). The belief is widespread that sanctions penalize teachers and administrators who have to work under the most difficult conditions in schools that serve children in poverty from many different demographic subgroups, a belief that resonates with evidence documented by research . ...
Article
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The federal accountability system, made universal through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, is a system driven by quotas and sanctions, stipulating the progression of underperforming schools through sanctions based on meeting performance quotas for specific demographic groups. The authors examine whether the current federal accountability system is likely to succeed or fail, by asking, Does the sanctions-driven accountability system work? Is it practical? And is it legitimate among those who must implement it? The authors argue that even though sanctions-driven accountability may fail on practical outcomes, it may be retained for its secondary benefits and because there is a sense that credible policy alternatives are lacking. They conclude by proposing alternative policies and approaches to the current system.
... They must help the staff to maintain a collective and individual pragmatic optimism, an equilibrium which is neither wildly idealistic (translated into inappropriate demands on students and themselves) nor cynically negative (translated into lowered expectations and resistant divisive behaviors with colleagues) (Ainscow and West, 2006;Harris et al., 2006). In England, and some parts of Canada and the USA, where there are narrow targets for learning outcomes on standardized tests and exams (see debate on targets -Fullan, 2006;Hargreaves and Fink, 2006) and media and policy naming and shaming of schools that allegedly fail (Fink, 1999;Hargreaves, 2004;Johnson, 1999;O'Connor, et al., 1999), this is no easy matter. p0120 Leader/managers can take some comfort in taking a modest approach to reform. ...
Research
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Chapter for International Encyclopaedia of Education, 3rd edition, edited Peterson, McGaw. Third edition. 2010. Six volume set on http://store.elsevier.com/International-Encyclopedia-of-Education/isbn-9780080448930/
... Un programa de mejoramiento escolar contextualizado necesitará sin duda un alto grado de flexibilidad y de diversidad para alcanzar las necesidades de diferentes tipos de estudiantes en diferentes tipos de escuelas. Hargreaves (2004) también subraya la gran separación de desarrollo profesional y mejoramiento escolar. El argumenta que mientras las escuelas que se encuentran desempeñándose bien disfrutan de una autonomía ganada; aquellas categorizadas como problemáticas o a punto de fracasar han sido prescritas de programas y de monitoreos y procesos de supervisión intensos (Hargreaves, 2004, p.190). ...
... Although it is true that both groups produce meaning, their respective influence is not the same; in the end, the lower social classes are influenced by the patterns set by those occupying the upper echelons of the social scale, but the latter do not feel the need to know about the models created by the bases of society. As Hargreaves (2004) and Bourdieu (1979) uphold, in the end the higher social classes are the ones who set the criteria. For all these reasons, we should really call this hegemonic production. ...
Article
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This project reflects on the way in which students in a situation of social risk construct their identity. Based on the reflections and theories originating from research conducted on individuals and collective groups in a situation of social exclusion due to disability, social class or ethnicity, this paper will analyse the conflicts these students have to deal with when constructing their identity. It also examines the challenge that education has to face to turn those conflicts into opportunities that will help to build life projects with which they can freely identify. For this reason, from a critical perspective, the school’s role in constructing identity will be analysed, as will the way in which it affects children and adolescents from minority groups. In the same way, we will study and put forward some different channels aimed at providing more equal educational attention to those identities that are depreciated in neoliberal society.
... En même temps, les études sur les établissements (Altrichter & Posch, 2000;Gather Thurler, 2000;Hargreaves, 2004) (Probst, Raub & Romhardt, 2000;Gather Thurler, 2005), en identifiant les expériences « critiques » liées à certains Transformation des pratiques de l'enseignement, professionnalisation et posture réflexive aspects du travail auxquels il faudrait désormais particulièrement accorder leur attention. ...
... Si bien es cierto que ambos grupos producen, no es igual la influencia de unos y otros; finalmente, las clases sociales más bajas se ven influenciadas por los patrones establecidos por aquéllos que ocupan los puestos más altos de la escala social, sin que éstos tengan la necesidad de conocer los modelos creados por las bases sociales. Como muy bien sostienen Hargreaves (2004) y Bourdieu (1998), finalmente son las esferas sociales más altas las que establecen los criterios del gusto. Por todo ello habría que hablar, más bien, de producción hegemónica. ...
Article
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El presente artículo pretenderá aproximarse desde una perspectiva interpretativa-crítica a los modos en que se construyen las identidades en la sociedad globalizada, con especial énfasis en la escuela. Ésta constituye un entorno fundamental desde el que se forja la identidad en las etapas de formación básica de toda persona. Sin embargo, esta institución atiende a los valores, cultura y necesidades del proyecto hegemónico cultural y obvia por insignificantes y residuales a las minorías, sus aportes y todo el horizonte de posibilidades que una sociedad más inclusiva conlleva. Por ello es necesario analizar las vías que el alumnado perteneciente a colectivos minoritarios utiliza para construir su identidad, y reflexionar sobre la función que, en la sociedad globalizada, está desempeñando la escuela con estos grupos en desventaja. La institución escolar puede y debe ser un lugar de encuentro en el que a través de la participación y el aprendizaje el alumnado se interprete y proyecte en comunicación con los otros, a pesar de que en la actualidad se aleje de estas ideas. Constructing identity in the margins of globalisation: Education, participation and learning This article aims to take a closer look at the ways in which identities are constructed in a globalised society, from an interpretive-critical perspective and placing a special emphasis on schooling. School is a fundamental setting from which identity is built in the early stages of a person's formation. However, this institution is guided by the values, culture and needs of the hegemonic cultural group, and it sidesteps minorities and their contributions as insignificant and residual, along with a whole variety of possibilities that would come with a more inclusive society. That is why it is important and necessary to analyse the channels that students from minority collectives use to construct their identity, and to reflect on how schools are working with these disadvantaged groups, in the globalised society. The school institution can, and must, be a place where participation and learning enable students to interpret themselves and present themselves in communication with others, despite the fact that its current position is a long way from such ideas.
... In 2001 a new headteacher was appointed to reverse the changing fortunes of the school. An OfSTED inspection identi®ed clear areas for improvement, including weak planning, a lack of monitoring of departmental success and failure and inef®cient use of time and staff at Key Stage 3. In socio-dynamic terms the school itself could be described as having low self-esteem, with teachers blaming parents and pupils for poor academic results and engaging in a collective self-disgust with its failing position (Hargreaves, 2004). The empirical evidence collected as part of a small-scale study at this school showed that there was at this time a sense of selfloathing on the part of some of the staff who expressed a lack of security and faith in their own abilities and in the school's future prospects. ...
Article
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This article considers leadership as an emotional process and provides an account of the emotions of change experienced at one school. It examines the complexity of change and development from a relational and affective perspective by exploring the emotional experience of staff involved in a developmental project. The article is deliberately descriptive, aiming to illuminate the feelings, fears and experiences of those involved in the process of change. It highlights the importance of trust, autonomy and 'no blame' innovation in securing and sustaining cultural change. It identifies how trust impacts both positively and negatively on the change process. The article concludes by theorizing three stages of emotional or 'heart' conditions necessary to successfully implement and sustain change at the individual and school levels.
... Accountability systems, via standards, assessments, data and the like, can be powerful technical drivers of school change, but by their very nature, such systems pivot on judgment (Hargreaves, 2004;Mintrop, 2004). How high should equality expectations be, how narrow or wide, complex or simple should content be, what should be the role of the child in the educational endeavor, and what ought to count as high quality professional work or human service delivery, all these are matters of potential "harm" and "pain," to speak with Reeves again, that is, they may entail value conflict, moral dilemma, and emotional intensity. ...
Article
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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore the tensions between external accountability obligations, educator's professional values, and student needs. Strategic, cognitive, and moral dimensions of this tension are captured with the central category of integrity. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This is a mixed methods study that compares five exceptionally high performing middle schools with four exceptionally low performing middle schools in the state of California (USA), controlling for demographics, school context factors, and below average performance range. Findings ‐ It is found that schools under similar circumstances differ on the degree of integrity. Schools with high integrity have a good balance between values and reality, are more cohesive and more open to dissent. In each case, integrity was associated with an expansion of agency that combined moral earnestness with prudent strategizing and actively constructing interpretive frames that maintained a school's sense of self-worth. Integrity develops or survives with a good dose of educational leaders' personal strength, but also depends on leaders' insistence to fully exhaust the moral horizon of an institution which obligates educators to balance equity, system efficiency, child-centeredness and professionalism with prudence. Research limitations/implications ‐ This is a case study of nine schools in one state. Explanatory relationships can be explored, but not generalized. Practical implications ‐ The research has implications for leadership. It demonstrates the power of integrity as a key virtue of leadership under accountability pressures. It shows the different ways integrity can be forged in schools and the different ways it can be missed with consequences for school life. Social implications ‐ The paper stresses the point that it is quite conceivable that ideological zeal, Machiavellian strategizing, or eager system conformism may produce more forceful agency than integrity. But as everyday responses they are not as realistic, ethical or productive as the striving for integrity. Originality/value ‐ The practitioner literature often points to integrity as a desirable quality when dealing with tensions of the sort addressed in this paper, but little systematic theoretical thinking and empirical exploration of this concept exists. The paper makes an advance in both areas.
... However, this relationship is precarious as lower grading in future inspections can lead to a loss of prestige, effectively demoting both the school and headteacher (Coldron et al. 2014). Consequently, school failure can be felt as a very personal responsibility (Crawford 2007;Hargreaves 2004). So, the relationship between headteachers and being inspected is one that is marked by anxiety and at best ambivalence, and often some antipathy, for at least some aspects of the inspection regime. ...
Book
Accountability and educational improvement (series Editors , Melanie Ehren (IOE) and Professor Maag Merkei ) Changes to national education policy and discourses on the ways in which schools are expected to improve outcomes exert a profound influence on the work and practices of inspection agencies: These influences range from changes to what inspectors are expected to achieve, to the knowledge that they are expected to employ within the process (Ozga, 2014). Education and school inspection are frequently caught between competing discourses that position them as pub-lic service regulatory agents, whilst on the other hand, discourses which emphasise their function as providers of information to public consumers in an education market place (Ozga & Segerholm, 2015). These tensions also affect the ways in which inspectorates are conceptualised and imagined by policy makers and public, and the ‘infrastructure of rules’ and regulations that condition how inspectors go about their work (Baxter, Grek, & Segerholm, 2015,p.75). Inspectorates are central to the political projects of governments as regulatory enforcers and or-ganisations that act as knowledge brokers within the policy process. As such the inspectors them-selves are policy implementers and their work, professional identities and processes affected by political, economic and social change that in turn affect inspection policy (see for example, Grek and Lindgren, 2015). This is not a book about implementation theory, this already exists in the extensive literature which already exists on this topic (see for example Hill & Hupe, 2002; Hill & Ham, 1997; Hjern & Porter, 1980; Spillane, Reiser, & Reimer, 2002). Rather it seeks to investigate a very particular kind of implementation process within the field of education and the effect that those implement-ing it-school inspectors- have on the process. Through this lens and through the studies within the volume, the book examines how national and international policy influence inspection policy and if and how inspectors not only influence the way in which policy is implemented but affect and shape policy in a cyclical manner.
... However, this relationship is precarious as lower grading in future inspections can lead to a loss of prestige, effectively demoting both the school and headteacher (Coldron et al. 2014). Consequently, school failure can be felt as a very personal responsibility (Crawford 2007;Hargreaves 2004). So, the relationship between headteachers and being inspected is one that is marked by anxiety and at best ambivalence, and often some antipathy, for at least some aspects of the inspection regime. ...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the idea of school inspectors as implementers of public policy, framing their role within the context of policy implementation and the governance of education. Using a framework for policy implementation developed by Weible and Sabatier (Handbook of public policy analysis. Taylor and Francis, London, pp. 123–136, 2006), it presents a modified framework for investigating inspectors’ work and practices as policy implementers. In so doing it questions their role as policy shapers and policy coalition workers in the context of the practice of inspection in Finland, Sweden, England, Germany, The German State of Lower Saxony, The Netherlands, The Republic of Ireland and The Austrian province of Styria. Introducing the idea of policy learning it examines the ways in which policy learning theory has contributed to implementation theory, in order to further reflect on these issues in the final chapter of this book.
... However, this relationship is precarious as lower grading in future inspections can lead to a loss of prestige, effectively demoting both the school and headteacher (Coldron et al. 2014). Consequently, school failure can be felt as a very personal responsibility (Crawford 2007;Hargreaves 2004). So, the relationship between headteachers and being inspected is one that is marked by anxiety and at best ambivalence, and often some antipathy, for at least some aspects of the inspection regime. ...
Chapter
As Chap. 1 explained, the factors at play in the implementation of public policy are not limited to the complex, confounding and often competing values that jostle with one another when education policy is formulated, but may also variously come to light depending upon the lens through which the process is viewed. In this the final chapter I move to examine what understandings the country studies in this book reveal about the impact of policy subsystems in education and inspection policy, and the role of the inspectors within this. In so doing I examine how far the implementation of inspection policy can be said to convene to a model of ten preconditions necessary to achieve perfect implementation (Hogwood and Gunn 1984). I then move to examine the part played by inspectors in variously framing the idea of policy implementation as: evolution; learning; coalition; responsibility and trust, (see Lane in Eur J Polit Res 15: 532, 1987, in Ham and Hill 1984, p. 108), and to what extent inspectors can be said to be ‘coalition workers’ in influencing inspection policy. The chapter concludes that the work of inspectors is a key element within policy implementation and formation within the governance process and should be seen as central to any future research which investigates accountability from a governance perspective. It also concludes that it forms an important element within research into intended and unintended consequences of inspection policy.
... However, this relationship is precarious as lower grading in future inspections can lead to a loss of prestige, effectively demoting both the school and headteacher (Coldron et al. 2014). Consequently, school failure can be felt as a very personal responsibility (Crawford 2007;Hargreaves 2004). So, the relationship between headteachers and being inspected is one that is marked by anxiety and at best ambivalence, and often some antipathy, for at least some aspects of the inspection regime. ...
Chapter
School inspection has formed part of both English and Swedish approaches to governing education for some time now. But latterly due to the neo liberal drive for educational excellence, both countries have remodelled their inspector workforce. Using Jacobsson’s theory of governance as a regulative, meditative and inquisitive activity, this chapter investigates the effects that these shifts have had on the operational work of inspectors. Drawing upon interview data with inspectors and head teachers from both systems combined with documentary analysis we examine how the remodelling of the workforce in both countries has impacted on the ways in which inspectors carry out their work. The chapter concludes that inspection operating within a neo liberal framework of regulation must constantly shift and evolve in order to remain credible. It also points out that these shifts in themselves create tensions around the role and operational work of inspectors in both countries.
... This may come from the LEA, but in the light of their varying effectiveness, and also the continuing reduction in their role and resources certainly in the English system, the need for networks within and beyond the LA seems pressing (Fink, 1999), and the evidence mentioned above suggests that other schools may be effective partners, possibly alongside HE's or school improvement programmes. This support needs to be longterm and sustained over time, rather than exist for just the short time needed for the school to get out of special measures as is often the case, as in these cases schools may easily revert back to poorer levels of performance (Hargreaves, 2004). ...
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Since the emergence of the school effectiveness movement in the 1970's (Teddlie & Reynolds, (2000), increasing attention has been paid to the differential effectiveness of schools. While it is true that the majority of variance in pupil achievement can be seen to result from non-school factors, such as ability and socio-economic background, school level factors account for between 10% and 40% of the variance in pupil outcomes depending on such factors as the specific study reported on, national context (e.g. school level variance is higher in countries with lower levels of central control and higher levels of school choice), population served (school level variance is greater for pupils from low SES backgrounds than for those from more advantaged contexts), and subject (school level variance is greatest for those subjects that are least reliant on previous out-of-school knowledge, and is thus greater for English than maths, for example). While school effectiveness research has pointed to the existence of between school variance and some of the factors associated, school improvement research has pointed to the possibility of improving the performance of schools in different contexts, and has made many practical contributions to helping schools better serve their communities and pupils, as well as building up a knowledge base on some of the processes that need to be put into motion to do this. This interest in between-school variance and in ways of improving schools, exists not just at the academic level but is strong among policymakers and practitioners as well. Policymakers in many countries, not least in England, have increasingly attempted to put in place systems and programmes that can help improve the performance of individual schools as well as the system as a whole. Programmes such as the Leadership Incentives Grant and Education Action Zones in the UK are examples of this attempt to help individual schools improve, as is the stress on improvement through inspection in the national inspection system run by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). While school effectiveness research has highlighted this variance in school performance, the majority if research into school practices has taken place in effective schools. Typically,
... It is thus the purpose of this section to briefly chart the main Action Zones) have been developed and implemented with variable degrees of success, particularly in respect of schools in disadvantaged areas, where there are a disproportionate number of schools labelled as underperforming (Harris & Chapman, 2004). However, recent research indicates that whilst underperforming schools often share certain socioeconomic characteristics they underperform for a variety of reasons (Hargreaves, 2004). Harris and Chapman (2004, p. 420) argue that: ...
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This report is available through the Chester Digital Repository. This project report discusses the relationship between healthy school status and school improvement using case studies of three primary schools at different stages of the involvement with the healthy schools programme. The report was commissioned and funded by the Cheshire Local Education Authority.
... A number of school improvement projects (for example, Improving the Quality of Education for All -IQEA) and strategies (such as Excellence in Cities and Education Action Zones) have been developed and implemented with variable degrees of success, particularly in respect of schools in disadvantaged areas, where there are a disproportionate number of schools labelled as underperforming (Harris & Chapman, 2004). However, recent research indicates that whilst underperforming schools often share certain socioeconomic characteristics they underperform for a variety of reasons (Hargreaves, 2004). Harris and Chapman (2004, p. 420) argue that: ...
Research
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Background and aims The school has consistently been identified as a key setting in which to improve both health and educational outcomes for children and young people. The aims of the Government’s National Healthy School Programme imply that schools, by achieving healthy school status, can contribute to outcomes relating to health, educational attainment and social inclusion. However, there is little research on the relationship between healthy school status, school improvement and educational attainment either in terms of outcomes, or in terms of the processes through which outcomes might be reached. This research set out to explore the relationship between healthy school status and school improvement. The aims of the research project were to: • understand the process through which the National Healthy School Standard initiated change in identified schools; • explore the consequences of change – intended and unintended – from a variety of stakeholders’ perspectives; • explore the relationship between identified changes and outcomes; • reconsider the role of the National Healthy School Standard in bringing about school improvement. Methodology A case study approach to the research was adopted in which three primary schools at different stages of involvement with the healthy schools programme, were recruited to the study. Case studies typically use multiple methods and the following methods of data collection were used to operationalise the aims: • semi-structured interviews with school teachers with a specific role in the implementation of the initiative in their school; • focus groups with school children; • non-participant observation of activities that had been introduced as a result of involvement with the healthy schools programme; • documentary analysis of sources that had been produced as a result of the accreditation process, for example, the school audit, agendas and minutes from school council meetings; • analysis of secondary data sources such as the latest Ofsted Inspection Report. Findings 1 Understanding the role of the National Healthy School Standard in initiating change It was evident that the National Healthy School Standard was seen as a catalyst for change within schools in three ways: • the framework and process stimulated and enabled schools to address existing problems, such as bullying and playground behaviour, in a systematic way; • it provided impetus to reviewing the use of existing resources, such as the way the playground was organised and used; • it provided a rationale for developing new ways of working with children by providing ideas for enabling their participation through the creation of a school council. 2 Characteristics of the National Healthy School Standard that facilitated change The features of the National Healthy School Standard that were viewed as facilitating schools’ involvement with the initiative were: • the framework gave emphasis to the importance of a ‘whole school approach’ to the work, which was consistent with the way in which the three case study schools wanted to work; • the whole school approach meant that it was possible for schools to develop consistent links between the curriculum and the wider school environment, such as in relation to developing work around citizenship; • because the framework was based on a broad concept of health in which health and educational outcomes were seen as inter-related, this allowed the joining up of a variety of initiatives into a coherent and consistent approach to the development of policy and practice; • the emphasis on ‘giving pupils a voice’ was seen as highly desirable in the case study schools; • the framework was seen as providing a helpful structure to the accreditation process without being overly prescriptive, such that schools could identify their own priorities and targets; • the case study schools thought that the values of the healthy schools programme were consistent with the schools’ values such that it was easy to engage with the initiative. 3 Understanding the impact of change on school improvement In terms of school improvement the case study schools viewed the impact of changes they had introduced as part of the healthy schools process as operating at two inter-related levels: namely the school and the individual child. This was explained in the following ways: • consulting with, and involving children was seen as the foundation from which better standards of behaviour and an improved school ethos would develop; • developing and proactively implementing strong anti-bullying and behaviour management policies, together with the development of participative structures for enabling children’s involvement in the life of the school, led to improvements in the physical and social environment of the school, which helped create a setting that engaged children and was conducive to learning; • enabling the participation of children led to changes in the quality of relationships between teachers and children; • collectively, these changes in the physical and social environment of the schools were seen as contributing to the development of children who were predisposed to learn; • school improvement was seen primarily in terms of creating the conditions within which children can flourish rather than in hard quantitative performance measures. Discussion Whilst the relatively small scale nature of this research limits its generalisability, the main value of case study research is in terms of generating rich data from which explanations can be developed. In terms of how the National Healthy School Standard might act as a vehicle for school improvement a number of points can be made: • policies and practice are inter-related and can make a difference to the life of the school because they are the mechanisms through which values and priorities are transmitted. This may go some way towards explaining the role of the school in effecting positive health and educational outcomes, particularly for those children and young people who are most at risk of exclusion; • given the fact that the experience of bullying is a major factor in undermining individual health and wellbeing as well as the ethos of the school, strategies to manage its occurrence, as revealed in the three case study schools, are likely to lead to beneficial outcomes; • it is not only academic achievement that matters in terms of understanding children and young people’s trajectories into adulthood. Rather, the extent to which children have been engaged with school appears to have important ramifications for their life chances. The findings from this study generally support the notion that the NHSS can be a vehicle for school improvement. However, there remain a number of challenges: • it will be important to find ways of engaging those schools who are perhaps reluctant to consider the healthy schools programme as a school improvement initiative as they are likely to be the ones that have most to gain from it; • finding more sensitive and specific ways of measuring the impact of the NHSS would be valuable. However, the impact on outcomes such as attendance and lifestyle might be seen as appropriate short term indicators. Whilst it is likely that pressure from policy makers nationally and locally will be for ‘hard evidence’ of outcomes (usually interpreted as quantitative measures of performance) it may be of value to ensure that efforts are made to capture change at the level of the school in terms of policies and practice. Health and educational outcomes are often reached indirectly rather than directly, and revealing the role of the individual school setting – in terms of culture, ethos and structures such as a school council – in mediating outcomes is likely to be important in understanding the processes through which schools improve. Furthermore, this suggests that schools have an important role in helping children and young people overcome some of the negative dimensions of living in disadvantaged circumstances.
... This process has been characterised by policy overload and contradictions, or 'Policy ADHD' (Thomson, 2009). Policy changes have been implicated in causing, or at least compounding, direct and indirect psychological harm to children and communities (Ball, 2003;Beckmann & Cooper, 2005;Hargreaves, 2004). The government's drive to raise standards, increase efficiency and effectiveness has taken its toll on teacher health and morale and also challenged teachers' identities (Day et al., 2007;Hargreaves, 1993). ...
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Aims: Since 2003, Government policies have located increasing responsibility for children's well-being on schools working in partnership with other agencies. This study sought to investigate how these policies affect the working lives and professional identities of counsellors in schools in challenging circumstances in England. Method: In-depth interviews with six school counsellors (4 primary and 2 secondary). Transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis to reveal five master themes, one of which is the focus of this paper. Findings: School counsellors derive most reward from their therapeutic work with children. Their sense of professional identity however, is affected by their positioning within schools. Counsellors with dual roles perceive themselves as ‘insiders’ with the capacity to influence and contribute meaningfully to the school's well-being agenda. Counsellors engaged on part-time contracts either independently or via an agency feel like ‘outsiders’, situated on the margins of school life and vulnerable to neglectful and oppressive practices from school leadership. Some implications for practice are considered.
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This article discusses how the traditional Mäori concept of Hauora (balanced development) can be applied to beginning teacher induction programmes. To develop this idea, several steps were taken. From a nationwide survey, five primary schools were chosen with exemplary induction programmes. Data from interviews and observations indicated that these schools had successfully integrated practices in four domains: socio-emotional, personal growth, pedagogical, and physical. During the final series of interviews, a beginning teacher suggested that effective induction could comprise the four components of the Hauora model. The traditional Mäori concept of Hauora incorporates physical, spiritual, pedagogical, and socio-emotional dimensions of support. Selective coding of the data indicated that the Hauora model indeed fit the data. The result is a contextually derived, culturally relevant definition of effective induction in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Further expansion and investigation of this model may be of interest to the educational community, particularly in light of the Kaupapa Mäori theory.
Chapter
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Education, and its formal counterpart, schooling, seem at times to be at the center of political or cultural debates, arguments, and controversies. In the USA, for instance, education has, at various times, been at the center of the so-called “culture wars” (Anderson and Herr 1999; Waite 2002; Waite et al. 2001). One of the battlegrounds in these culture wars, again using the USA as an example, have been the interplay, the role of religion, and religious beliefs in schooling, with interest in the science curriculum shown by, roughly speaking, those who believe in a more literal interpretation of the Christian Bible and those who push for a conventional scientifically informed curriculum. Across the globe, other issues dominate or inflect educational considerations – for example, immigration, national history, and/or language can be divisive issues in national educational considerations, and this is particularly the case in Ireland, for example, where very recent economic progress led to a major influx of immigrants, challenging an educational system that is almost exclusively denominational.
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This research study explores teachers’ specific emotions and the reconstruction of teachers’ professional self-understanding during a comprehensive school reform initiative. Through interviews and archival material, this study seeks to examine teachers’ specific emotions during critical incidents that occurred during the period of reform and to explore the reconstruction of their professional self-understanding. The findings illustrate that the teachers experienced fear and intimidation when their professional self-understandings were challenged. However, with the support of a literacy coach and university faculty they reconstructed these self-understandings, leading to improvements in student achievement and their own instructional practices. These positive changes led to emotions of pride and excitement. The study provides recommendations for state and local school administrators and highlights implications for future research.
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In 2002, the National College for School Leadership launched what was regarded as the largest educational networking programme in the world. This brought together groups of schools to collaborate over developing agreed areas of their work. This thesis outlines a research project aimed at networks who were members of this programme and whose main activity had been action research conducted by network members. This research was intended to examine, and to understand, the participatory aspects of networks of this sort. Five overarching themes were drawn from the literature on participatory interventions and related to educational networks and to action research. The interaction of these three areas of literature provided the background against which the empirical aspects of this thesis were conducted. Based around an interpretive argument emphasising the contextual uniqueness of these networks, a case study methodology was adopted to study three networks. These three networks were those who had agreed to participate of a total of 18 that had matched the profile for selection and who had been invited to participate. The conduct of these three case studies used a mixed method approach examining documents produced by these networks as well as collecting data through the use of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. From these three case studies overarching themes were identified in the ways that these networks related to participatory interventions. These themes specifically concerned: the approaches that these networks had taken to action research; the ways in which they had perceived and involved communities in their work; the nature of collaborative relationships in the networks; the relationship between the operation of the networks and principles of voluntarism and finally the roles of leadership in the networks. Overall, these networks presented a model by which individuals could collectively work together for a common aspiration, whilst retaining the flexibility to be relevant to local contexts.
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This article focuses on 'improving' schools in difficult or disadvantaged contexts. It explores the contemporary policy discourse and intervention strategies aimed at improving schools in such circumstances. It argues that contemporary approaches to improvement are unlikely to succeed because the approaches adopted are not sufficiently differentiated or context specific. Drawing on two recent empirical studies, the article offers an alternative perspective on school improvement within this group of schools. It argues against standardised solutions in favour of a differentiated approach to school improvement that recognises and respects the diversity, variability and complexity of schools in difficult contexts.
Article
This thesis analyses induction programmes in low-socioeconomic New Zealand primary schools. A review of the literature indicates that effective induction is integrated and has four main components: pedagogical development, socioemotional support, professional agency, and structured balance. In addition, New Zealand’s induction programmes are reported to be strong by international standards. Literature is synthesised to create a framework of low-socioeconomic schools as induction experts. Although there have been large-scale analyses of New Zealand induction programmes, there has been no research on the integrated induction systems found in low-socioeconomic primary schools. A mixed-methods approach was used to investigate the support provided for beginning teachers (BTs) in these schools. Methods included a nationwide survey of BTs in low-socioeconomic primary schools, which was mailed to 467 primary and intermediate BTs (44% response rate). Additionally, from all 156 low-socioeconomic primary schools, five exemplar induction programmes were selected and visited throughout the 2007 school year. Survey analysis, success case methods, discourse analysis, and grounded theory methods indicated that induction in these schools is integrated and strong by international standards. Findings indicate that induction programmes in low-socioeconomic schools are pedagogical, supportive, and well structured; however, not all schools focus on enhancing the professional agency of teachers. Exemplar practices such as peer coaching, university partnerships, on-site BT support groups, curricular leadership roles, and formal programme evaluations were found at case study sites. Analyses of factor themes, cluster graphs, frequency-utility matrices, documents, events, and transcripts of meetings and interviews reveal several key findings. First, the Hauora model—a Mäori concept of balanced pedagogical, spiritual, socioemotional, and physical development—may be applicable to induction in the New Zealand setting. Second, analyses indicate that low-socioeconomic schools have relatively strong induction programmes. Third, some teachers—particularly those beginning after the start of the school year or older teachers in their second year of teaching—may receive varied support. Findings from this research may provide framing for induction programmes in New Zealand as well as for international longitudinal studies of teacher induction models.
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Purpose – Leadership is as widely used as it is misused and misunderstood. This paper seeks to argue that in an educational context it is important not only to revisit and reframe conceptions of leadership but also to see it as having an essentially subversive purpose. The paper aims to dicuss subversion in an intellectual, moral and political sense, as a sacred mission to confront the “noble lies” of politicians, the superficiality of the designer culture and the line of least resistance opted for by overworked and demoralised teachers. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical base for this paper is a seven-country three-years study entitled Leadership for Learning which brought together staff from 24 schools in seven countries to explore the connections between learning and leadership and to arrive at some common understanding which could be tested in practice across national and linguistic boundaries. Findings – While recognising the unique contexts and differing cultural traditions as diverse as those of Australia and Austria, the USA and Greece, engaging in an international discourse through face-to-face workshops, virtual conferencing and exchange visits led one to five key principles held in common. Originality/value – The paper offers intriguing and insightful discussion into the subject of leadership as a subversive activity.
Article
This article explores the use of protocol-structured dialogue in promoting reflective practices and shared theories of action within a district leadership team. Protocols have been used to make individuals’ theories of action visible and subject to evaluation. This is important for leaders trying to establish coherence across a system; in order to establish coherence, individuals on leadership teams need to be able to surface, test, and sharpen and align their internal pictures of how change works. The author draws on qualitative data from a year-long study of one team as it prepared to implement a capacity-building initiative that would promote collaboration and reflection in schools across the district. Findings illustrate how, as administrators experimented with reflective practice using protocols, divergent theories of leadership’s role in setting a clear direction for school-based reflection emerged, with principals looking for district-wide goals to drive school-based reflection and the superintendent looking to leave decisions about goals to individual school leaders. Our findings suggest that the team’s capacity for aligning these theories was limited because protocol-structured dialogue was carried out as a generic problem-solving exercise. As such, it did not promote visible, productive reasoning in the system’s formal leader, the district superintendent. Moreover, protocol-structured discussion did not mediate the problematic effects of formal authority distinctions or longstanding relationships within the administrative leadership team.
Article
This paper explores, through a case study of educational restructuring in Victoria, Australia, how school leaders in a public education system in Australia mediate reform discourses emphasizing managerial and market accountability and the emotional and messy work of teaching and leading. These accountability exercises were often seen by teachers and principals to be distractions; more about reporting and recording, rather than addressing substantive educational issues. They simultaneously distanced teachers and leaders from the ‘real’ and ‘passionate’ work of education while appropriating and commodifying teachers' and leaders' emotions and desires to do well. School leaders were expected to manage the emotional performances of their students, parents and colleagues as well as themselves. They also managed the emotions arising from the dissonance between teachers' professional and personal commitment to making a difference for all students based on principles of equity and the performativity requirements based on efficiency and narrowly defined and predetermined criteria of effectiveness and success that often undermined improvement for many students. In that sense performativity (‘being seen to be good’) and passion (for ‘doing good’) often produced counterintuitive impulses.
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Globalisation of world trade, international media, technological innovation and social change are creating opportunities and challenges that today’s pupils will inherit and build on. A pupil’s academic, technical and social capacity will define their success or failure. Therefore, educational outcomes and well-being for young people across emerging and developed economies and the crucial role of education and leaders of education has never been more important.
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In this post-truth era, public education—and education more generally—appears to be under attack. In the US, the numbers who forsake a public education for either home schooling, or for for-profit or charter schools, are increasing. Public schools are closing with more rapidity, especially in the urban areas of the US. Conservative legislators villainize teachers and administrators. State legislatures enact ever more restrictive and controlling laws and policies; for example, bills seeking to restrict even which bathroom a student might use (the so-called “bathroom bills”). Schools are also under attack in a more literal sense, via school shootings and also via a perceived, socially-constructed increase of school violence. In response, leaders and policy makers seek a quick fix: they call for increased use of metal detectors in schools, an increased police presence, and even for arming teachers/staff (forcing some/all teachers to carry a gun, or at minimum, making a gun-carry certificate a requirement). In more global terms, and framing the issue in neoliberal terms, schools are criticized for preparing students poorly for their future roles in capitalist economies/societies. But such instrumentalist logics, employing the language of productivity, efficiency and profit, neglect the intrinsic purposes of education. This article explores the current trends and suggests alternatives.
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External consultancy in schools by those who do not belong to the teaching staff has always been an important factor in school development. Such consulting goes hand in hand with the idea that internal school development processes and their results can be influenced positively by external experts. This is even more so for failing schools – that is, those that are revealed to have serious quality deficiencies by the school inspection. (The term failing schools is used in this article as shorthand; the actual terminology, and the underlying thinking, varies between education systems.) This article considers how school development consultancy is exercised by external experts in schools that have been classified as failing. It draws on empirical findings in part from a research project with schools found to have serious deficiencies in the first round of school inspections in the German federal state of Lower Saxony. Our research reveals that the framework conditions under which the outcomes of the inspections are processed at failing schools (in particular, the follow-up inspection) influence the activities in the school in such a way that a specific type of consultancy and/or a specific procedure by the advisers becomes attractive for the schools. This sometimes works against a closer examination of contents, strategies and instruments in school development – although the consultancy contracts advise this. This article, therefore, deals with how external consultancy for school development would have to be designed conceptually in order to effectively support the development activities at failing schools.
Chapter
People contend that there should be consistency in educational leadership between the ends at which it is directed and the means by which it achieves those ends. This call for consistency is based on three principles of leadership as it relates to working with educators. When different strategies are equally effective, this chapter argues that consistency between ends and means should drive educational leadership efforts to promote more inclusive schools, sustain ongoing improvement, and initiate important innovations. When leadership aimed at securing greater inclusion and social justice for students can sometimes be autocratic and punitive in the accountability-driven methods it imposes on adults to achieve these ends. The chapter explores this notion of consistency through discussion of three leadership frameworks that each promote this consistency in attending to the relationship between the means and ends of improvement for all students and the adults who work with them: sustainable leadership; inclusive leadership; and uplifting leadership.
Chapter
The relationship between headteachers and inspection is complex, particularly when in service head teachers are employed as inspectors. This study takes the English case of inspection to examine how headteachers interpret their work and agency as inspectors. Employing ideas on ‘boundary crossing’ it is informed by, and contributes to, the literatures about the policy and practice of the implementation of school inspection. In particular, the chapter reflects on how headteachers who inspect see their role, examining their work across the boundary of school leadership and inspection. In considering how headteacher inspectors manage these dual identities we also examine the challenges of an inspection workforce comprising headteachers and their particular role in a self-improving school system.
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This article aims to take a closer look at the ways in which identities are constructed in a globalised society, from an interpretive-critical perspective and placing a special emphasis on schooling. School is a fundamental setting from which identity is built in the early stages of a person's formation. However, this institution is guided by the values, culture and needs of the hegemonic cultural group, and it sidesteps minorities and their contributions as insignificant and residual, along with a whole variety of possibilities that would come with a more inclusive society. That is why it is important and necessary to analyse the channels that students from minority collectives use to construct their identity, and to reflect on how schools are working with these disadvantaged groups, in the globalised society. The school institution can, and must, be a place where participation and learning enable students to interpret themselves and present themselves in communication with others, despite the fact that its current position is a long way from such ideas.
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Performing and Reforming Leaders critically analyzes how women negotiate the dilemmas they face in leadership and managerial roles in Australian schools, universities, and continuing education. To meet the economic needs of the post-welfare nation state of the past decade, Australian education systems were restructured, and this restructuring coincided with many female teachers and academics moving into middle management as change agents. The authors examine how new managerialism and markets in education transformed how academics and teachers did their work, and in turn changed the nature of educational leadership in ways that were dissonant with the leadership practices and values women brought to the job. While largely focused on Australia, Performing and Reforming Leaders strongly resonates with the experiences of leaders in the United States and other nations that have undergone similar educational reforms in recent decades.
Chapter
Emotional labor has specific implications for women teachers. Traditional gender expectations in the home as well as in the workforce require women to perform a substantially larger portion of emotional labor than men. This chapter argues that women are often portrayed in the society as possessing innate caring and nurturing qualities that draw on common sense assumptions of stereotyped characteristics of men and women. This contributes to the invisibility of this aspect of the teaching profession and the important skills and effort involved in the doing of emotional work. Teachers' moral purposes are inextricably intertwined with their descriptions of anger experiences. Teachers are clear in what they propose to achieve in their work, and many times express anger when they perceive that they are impeded from attaining their purposes. Obstacles can come from many directions—colleagues, administrators, parents, students, or society at large. This process of learning to navigate a system that is not always compatible with their own moral purposes and expectations is painful for many teachers. Caught in a double-bind, women weigh the pursuit of their moral purposes as teachers, while still keeping students' best interests at the center.
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In 2009, the federal government committed over $3 billion nationwide to help states and districts turn around their worst-performing schools. The U.S. Department of Education intended for the School Improvement Grants (SIGs) to spur dramatic change.This report looks at the results of a field study of the first-year implementation of those grants in Washington State, which received $50 million in SIG funding over three years. Researchers hoped to see what school-level changes were underway, how they compared to the intent of the grants, and the early role that districts played in SIG implementation.The report provides findings from the state, district, and school level. Researchers found that, with some exceptions, districts and schools in Washington State are approaching the turnaround work in ways only marginally different from past school improvement efforts. Despite the hard work of administrators, principals, and especially teachers, the majority of schools studied show little evidence of the type of bold and transformative changes the SIGs were intended to produce.The report offers recommendations regarding the roles that federal, state, and local education agencies should play in support of school turnaround work. Those administering future grants targeted at the nation's lowest-performing schools could avoid the problems described here and improve their chances of affecting dramatic, not incremental, change.
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School improvement is a complex undertaking in many schools, but for schools in challenging or difficult circumstances, it presents extra problems. Not only do schools in challenging circumstances face acute levels of socioeconomic deprivation, but also improvement or change efforts can be extremely fragile in these school contexts. This article focuses upon the process of leading change in schools in challenging circumstances. It draws upon empirical data and focuses particularly on the process of leading change in schools in difficulty by effective leadership practices. It concludes by suggesting that the stubborn relationship between social disadvantage and underachievement is more likely to be broken through localized and contextualized school improvement rather than through the forces of accountability.
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Not until the late 1990s did the rational/emotional binary embedded in mainstream literature on educational leadership and management come under challenge. Now the emotional dimensions of organisational change and leadership are widely recognised in the leadership, organisational change and school improvement literature. However, the dissolution of the binary did not draw from feminist social theory, critical organisational theory, the sociology of emotions or critical pedagogy. Instead, the strongest influence in educational leadership and administration has been from psychological theory, management theory and brain science, mobilised particularly through Goleman's notion of emotional intelligence. This article undertakes a feminist deconstruction of two texts: one from organisational theory by Goleman and the other on educational leadership and school improvement, in order to explore how ‘emotion’ has been translated into educational leadership. As a counterpoint, I identify the gaps and silences, appropriations and marginalisation identified from feminist perspectives. I argue that the emotional labour of teaching and leading cannot be individualised because emotion is both relational and contextual.
Article
The intention of this article is to illustrate how assessment is an "emotional practice" (Hargreaves, 1998) for teachers and how paying attention to the emotions involved can provide useful information about assessment practices to teachers, teacher-educators and policy-reformers. Through presenting a review of research literature it makes three main points. Firstly, assessment decisions are not "neutral" but involve teachers' emotions, which are interwoven with their beliefs. Secondly, standardised assessment generates intensely negative emotions in teachers which limit their effectiveness, while accountability practices can evoke undesirable emotions which undermine the purposes of schooling. Thirdly, formative assessment and accountability through standardised assessment are governed by conflicting emotional rules, which inevitably generate confusion in practice. It concludes by calling for further research so as to better understand the multiple ways in which assessment is an "emotional practice".
Article
In many countries, economic, social and political forces have amalgamated to produce a climate in which schools feel continued pressure to improve and raise levels of achievement. This pressure is felt most acutely in schools in areas of socio-economic disadvantage where improving achievement is particularly hard fought and hard won (Lupton, 2004). Schools located in such areas face a wide range of challenges as a direct result of high levels of poverty and disadvantage. On a daily basis, schools face the task of educating young people who are “disadvantaged, disconnected and dislocated” from society through no fault of their own (Barr & Parrett, 2007). These students represent a growing underclass of young people who have been locked out of the world of opportunity and advantage that many of their more affluent peers simply take for granted.
Article
This article explores the leadership of a closing school. It draws on the case of Newley School, a mixed comprehensive for students aged between 11 and 18 years, and examines the primary leadership activities undertaken during the 12-month period when the school reopened temporarily as a ‘new’ school. These activities were driven by the imperative of ensuring the provision of a positive learning environment for students. The article examines the key factors underpinning the cultural change required to secure this environment. It moves on to explore the impact of cultural change activities from the viewpoint of some of the school's main stakeholders – students, parents, teachers and governors. It highlights the importance of short-term culture building and provides insights into the potential benefits of school federations. The article concludes with implications for school leaders attempting to manage cultural change.
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The introduction of a universal, full-time Preparatory Year in all Queensland schools from 2007 is a significant reform in early childhood education and care (ECEC) in that state. Rapidly increasing enrolment of children in full-time Preparatory Year programs in non-government schools has been a feature of the Queensland context over the past decade. These trends, along with efforts towards consistency of services and universal school starting ages across Australian states and territories have prompted this important reform to early education in Queensland. Constructions of the role of parents as consumers of early childhood services and/or partners in their children's early education suggest that consideration of parent views of this reform is both timely and strategic. This thesis reports the findings of a research project investigating parent conceptions of a Preparatory Year in a non-government school in outer urban Queensland. The research used a phenomenographic approach to elicit and describe the qualitatively different ways in which a group of 26 parents viewed the Preparatory Year. Analysis revealed that the range of parent conceptions of the Preparatory Year demonstrated varying emphasis on parent needs, child needs and preparation for future success in school and beyond. The study led to the construction of five categories of description outlining five different ways of understanding the Preparatory Year. The Preparatory Year was viewed in relation to (1) the current needs of the parents, (2) the current needs of the child, (3) preparation for Year One, (4) providing an advantage in primary school, and (5) preparation for future success beyond school. These five categories were linked and differentiated from each other by two central themes, or dimensions of variation: (1) a beneficiary dimension in which either the parent or the child were seen to benefit from the program, and (2) a temporal dimension in which the program was viewed in relation to meeting current needs or preparing for the future. The results of the study suggest that variation exists in the ways that parents may conceptualise the phenomenon of the Preparatory Year in Queensland. Analysis of the data further suggests that tensions exist around whether the Preparatory Year ought to emphasise preparation for the future and/or meet current needs of children; and whether those programs should meet the needs of the parent and/or the needs of the child. This thesis opens up the possibility of future tensions, with the potential for parent preferences for a formal interpretation of the Preparatory Year curriculum being at odds with the new play-based Early Years Curriculum Guidelines. Results of the study suggest that more attention be given to engaging parents and eliciting their views of the early childhood programs experienced by their children. Moreover, it provides an approach for ways in which parent views might be generated, analysed and incorporated into future policy developments and reforms.
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This paper introduces a new concept in educational research and social science: that of emotional geographies. Emotional geographies describe the patterns of closeness and distance in human interactions that shape the emotions we experience about relationships to ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Drawing on an interview-based study of 53 elementary and secondary teachers, the paper describes five emotional geographies of teacher-parent interactions - sociocultural, moral, professional, physical, and political - and their consequences.
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This paper describes the conceptual framework, methodology, and some results from a project on the Emotions of Teaching and Educational Change. It introduces the concepts of emotional intelligence, emotional labor, emotional understanding and emotional geographies. Drawing on interviews with 53 teachers in 15 schools, the paper then describes key differences in the emotional geographies of elementary and secondary teaching. Elementary teaching is characterized by physical and professional closeness which creates greater emotional intensity; but in ambivalent conditions of classroom power, where intensity is sometimes negative. Secondary teaching is characterized by greater professional and physical distance leading teachers to treat emotions as intrusions in the classroom. This distance, the paper argues, threatens the basic forms of emotional understanding on which high-quality teaching and learning depend.
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Incl. bibl., index.
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Incl. abstract, bibl. Education Reform on a large scale was first attempted in the 1960s. It failed to make a difference largely because advocates of reform ignored issues of implementation and did not address local institutions and cultures. In the 1990s, we see a return to large-scale reform. This time there is a greater appreciation of the complexity of the task, and greater attention paid to implementation strategies as well as a growing sense of urgency about the need for reform. This article reviews three "types" of large-scale reform and the emerging lessons being learned. The three forms of reform reviewed through case studies and associated research are: 1. whole school district reform involving all schools in a district; 2. whole school reform in which hundreds of schools attempt to implement particular models of change, and 3. state or national initiatives in which all or most of the schools in the state are involved. Eight factors and issues are identified and discussed - factors, if addressed, promise to achieve reform on a larger scale than ever before.
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Incl. bibl., index.
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American high schools have never been under more pressure to reform: student populations are more diverse than ever, resources are limited, and teachers are expected to teach to high standards for all students. While many reformers look for change at the state or district level, the authors here argue that the most local contexts—schools, departments, and communities—matter the most to how well teachers perform in the classroom and how satisfied they are professionally. Their findings—based on one of the most extensive research projects ever done on secondary teaching—show that departmental cultures play a crucial role in classroom settings and expectations. In the same school, for example, social studies teachers described their students as "apathetic and unwilling to work," while English teachers described the same students as "bright, interesting, and energetic." With wide-ranging implications for educational practice and policy, this unprecedented look into teacher communities is essential reading for educators, administrators, and all those concerned with U. S. High Schools.
No quick fixes: Perspectives on schools in difficulty
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A desperately important agenda: Researchers and school leaders ponder the dilemma of change at EAL's colloquium on low-performing schools. The Link
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High expectations and standards for all, no matter what: Creating a world class education service in England Taking education really seriously: Four years hard labor
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Barber, M. (2001) High expectations and standards for all, no matter what: Creating a world class education service in England. In M. Fielding (ed.), Taking education really seriously: Four years hard labor (New York: Routledge/Falmer Press).
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