How to bring about lasting, system-wide improvement in schooling performance?
The International Academy of Education (IAE) and IIEP are launching a new publication
System-wide Improvement in Education by Ben Levin is the 13th booklet in the Education Policy Series, published jointly by the two institutions. It defines eight principles derived from field evidence, offers practical advice and is designed to be useful for busy policy-makers, decision-makers, educational leaders and others seeking to advance educational improvement. The author illustrates these principles with examples from Ontario (Canada), a province with a diverse population that includes many indigenous communities. The booklet emphasizes the importance of a capacity building and inquiry orientation to change.
‘Key aspects of this collaborative effort include careful attention to goal-setting, positive engagement, capacity building, effective communication, learning from research and innovation, maintaining focus in the midst of multiple pressures, and use of resources. Effective large-scale change requires careful attention to implementation as well as policy, and to the building of an implementation system that is up to the task of bringing about the necessary changes in daily practice.’ (Ben Levin, author of the booklet).
‘Ben Levin's new booklet is a comprehensive and insightful account of how systems can ensure reform delivers results. The combination of his knowledge of the literature and personal experience of leadership in the Ontario reform gives the account here unusual power.’ (Sir Michael Barber, Co-writer of McKinsey’s 2010 Report, ‘How the world’s most improved education systems keep on getting better’).
‘You won't get any closer to a succinct and cogent set of insights on how to achieve “whole system reform” than this booklet on “System-wide improvement in education”. No one integrates inside government reality and external research and evidence like Ben Levin.’ (Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, and Special Adviser on Education to the Premier of Ontario).
‘The booklet looks very good. It should help those who are interested in truly improving education systems, rather than paying lip service to improvement or engaging in minimalist efforts.’ (Lorin Anderson, Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina, Fellow of the International Academy of Education).
‘Governments and ministries around the world are looking to find better ways to draw upon the growing evidence about what can make a difference in education. Our ability to use this new knowledge, in ways that work for local contexts, matters for all our children and for the future of our societies. Professor Levin shows how to build on what is working well and accelerate system improvement’. (Adrienne Alton-Lee, Chair of the Editorial Board for the Education Policy Series, International Academy of Education).
About the author:
Ben Levin is Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the University of Toronto. As the Ontario Deputy Minister of Education he helped lead an effort that substantially lifted achievement, and reduced inequity across 5,000 primary and secondary schools in six years. This reform enabled a shift from 55% to 70% of elementary students achieving high levels of literacy and numeracy while committed to a broad, not narrowed, curriculum. High school graduation rates increased from 68% to 82%. Levin warns of pitfalls in improvement efforts and explains how Ontario drew upon the emerging evidence of what works and how, to lead a guiding coalition for ongoing improvement.
About the International Academy of Education
The International Academy of Education (IAE) is a not-for-profit scientific association that promotes educational research, its dissemination, and the implementation of its implications. Founded in 1986, the Academy is dedicated to strengthening the contributions of research, solving critical educational problems throughout the world, and providing better communication among policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners. The seat of the Academy is at the Royal Academy of Science, Literature and Arts in Brussels, Belgium, and its coordinating centre is at Curtin University in Perth, Australia.
The general aim of the Academy is to foster scholarly excellence in all fields of education. Towards this end, it provides timely syntheses of research-based evidence of international importance. The Academy also provides critiques of research, its evidentiary basis, and its application to policy.
Download the booklet free of charge on the website
UNESCO’S International Institute for Educational Planning
Estelle Zadra (Ms)
Head of Publication and Communications Unit
+33 1 45 03 77 76
International Academy of Education
Adrienne Alton-Lee (Ms)
Chair of the Editorial Board for the Education Policy Series
+ 64 04 463 8327