Summer break

Here at IEN we are taking a short break at the end of summer so that we can gear up for the new school year. Please check back with us in September when we will share new posts.

Common ground for reducing school suspensions/expulsions?

Recent debates over school discipline in the United States have centered on whether or not districts/schools should eliminate suspensions. The latest AEI Express from Rick Hess presents two different views on the subject. Max Eden, from the Manhattan Institute, argues that unilateral elimination of suspensions, while well-intentioned, may do more harm than good. Hailly Korman, from Bellweather Education Partners, makes the case that there are effective ways to reduce suspensions in general and address racial inequities in suspensions as well. All their points deserve thoughtful examination, but it is fascinating to see Eden, a self-described “conservative” side with the President of the New York City Teacher’s union, Michael Mulgrew. Mulgrew criticized Bill DeBlasio, the Mayor of New York City, for imposing a unilateral ban on suspensions in kindergarten through 2nd grade. As Eden put it: “Mulgrew wouldn’t have broken so publicly with the man he helped to elect if he didn’t have a good reason” (although couldn’t that reason include unwavering support for the teachers Mulgrew represents to make their own decisions whatever the issue?). Korman, for her part, highlights that “The vast majority of incidents leading up to suspension or expulsion are non-serious or non-violent infractions, disruptions, and misbehaviors.” Notably, the decisions about whether and when to suspend students for these minor infractions are often subjective and end up disproportionately affecting African-American, Latino and Native American students, especially boys. One can imagine that both Eden and Korman might agree (as well as others they cite including researchers like Robin Lake and school leaders like Nancy Hanks) with efforts that focus attention on eliminating suspension/expulsion for minor infractions and establishing clearer criteria that limit subjectivity and bias. As Korman puts it, we all need “a more robust toolkit to respond to disruptions and frustrations” that provides a safe and constructive learning environment for all.

Thomas Hatch

Does preschool need PISA?

In his recent IOE Blog post, Peter Moss describes a new OECD study, called the International Early Learning Study (IELS), which is set to begin piloting in 2017. As Moss points out, while government officials are aware of what’s in store, few in the early childhood education field are. Moss and his colleagues have written an article intended to spark a broad conversation about this study will mean for early learning and they have identified five areas they view as causes for concern. Among their concerns, the authors point to the complexity of all educational systems and the potential harm of applying one standard to many different countries. To quote the IOE Blog post:

The IELS, and similar testing regimes, seek to apply a universal framework to all countries, all pedagogies and all services. This approach rests on the principle that everything can be reduced to a common outcome, standard and measure. What it cannot do is accommodate, let alone welcome, diversity – of paradigm or theory, pedagogy or provision, childhood or culture. The issue raised – and not acknowledged, let alone addressed by the OECD in its documentation – is how an IELS can be applied to places and people who do not share its (implicit) positions, understandings, assumptions and values.

As we often scan education news from around the world, this week we share links that provide some information about the issues and concerns facing several countries on the issue of preschool, or early childhood education. Here is a short list of articles that have been posted by online news organizations this summer.

 

IRELAND

Why we need more men working in our creches http://buff.ly/2aZGqPa

Preschools issue warning over free childcare scheme http://buff.ly/2aZOkYT

 

SCOTLAND

Bill to increase free pre-school childcare in Scotland – BBC News http://buff.ly/2aX1PKt

How will early years be affected by Brexit? | Nursery World http://buff.ly/2aX1Yxi

 

UNITED STATES

How the U.S. Is Failing Its Youngest Students http://buff.ly/2b5JcXn

 

AUSTRALIA

Reimagining NSW: tackling education inequality with early intervention and better research http://buff.ly/2axJ9CR

Why We Need To Teach Our Kids About Money In Early Childhood http://buff.ly/2aPaHCD

 

MALAYSIA

Study to gauge standard of English at preschools – Community | The Star Online http://buff.ly/2aPbTWv

Skills upgrade for pre-school teachers – Community | The Star Online http://buff.ly/2axLSMN

 

SINGAPORE

What goes on in the (not so) secret world of 4-year-olds http://buff.ly/2axLQEE

Free child care may limit options, increase burden on taxpayers: MSF http://buff.ly/2axMqCi

 

INDIA

Preschool or Child Care Market in India to Grow 21.84% by 2020 – Increasing Implementation of Childcare Services at Workplace – Research and Markets | Business Wire http://buff.ly/2aZNqf2

Preschool skills may predict kindergarten math success http://buff.ly/2aZNH1y

Pre-school boys should be treated more like girls, says study | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis http://buff.ly/2aD5MRL

34 per cent Muslim children have never been to pre-school: UNICEF : News http://buff.ly/2aX0PWN

Deirdre Faughey

A Tale of Two Countries: Improvement in Germany and Decline in Australia’s Educational Performance

This post by Dr. Stephen Dinham offers his observations and reflections on educational policy and performance in Germany and Australia. Dinham has over forty years of experience in Australian education as a teacher and academic, and has been visiting Germany since 2008 under the auspices of the Robert Bosch Stiftung [foundation]. A visit of three months in late 2014-early 2015 as a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy enabled him to spend a longer period in Germany visiting schools, observing classrooms, teaching, presenting, interviewing in schools, universities and various government departments, and engaging with educators, relevant ministers, officials and others. The focus of his fellowship was on comparing the German educational landscape with that of Australia, including structural and regulatory arrangements, policy, and current trends and developments. This is the second post in the Leading Futures series, which is designed to share different views on the process and practice of changing education systems for the better. The first post in this series, by Alma Harris, Michelle Jones, Jan Heijmans and Job Christians, focused on the success of the educational system in The Netherlands.

When I first visited Germany in 2008 I was struck by several concerns many Germans had about their educational system.

The first concern grew from the ‘PISA shock’, still being felt from Germany’s results on the first Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2000. Germany had believed its education system to be amongst the most effective in the world. PISA indicated otherwise.

The second, possibly related concern, focused on the educational attainment of growing numbers of migrant and refugee children. Many of these children had non-German speaking backgrounds, from nations such as Turkey, Russia, Poland and the Balkans, and some wondered whether they might have contributed at least in part for the unexpectedly unfavourable results.

My other major impression of German education was that of its tightly regulated nature, in contrast to Australia.

Today, in 2016, however, I am struck by the contrast between Germany’s steady improvement in international measures of educational performance and Australia’s general decline. Below, I explore these differences in performance and then describe some of the major similarities and differences in the two systems.

Comparing Educational Performance in Germany and Australia (2000-2016)

The “Pisa shock” in 2000 reflected the fact that German policy makers and the general public were of the opinion that Germany had one of the most effective and highest performing education systems in the world. Although there were warning signs that were largely ignored when Germany first took part in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 1995 and the nation scored relatively poorly, the first PISA results made it clear that many German schools were under-performing compared with other participating countries. Germany reacted strongly to these adverse findings, however, and Germany’s PISA results have improved in every iteration since 2000.

The OECD summarised the major factors contributing to Germany’s strong recovery and improvement on PISA since 2000:

  • Changes made to the structure of secondary schooling to enable greater accessibility to the various qualifications including the Abitur and other measures aimed at overcoming the effects of socio-economic background on student achievement, which are greater than for any other OECD country.
  • The high quality of Germany’s teachers including the strong focus on initial selection, state-based examinations, training and certification.
  • The value of Germany’s dual system whereby workplace skills can be developed in children before they leave school.
  • The development of some common standards and curricula guidelines and the assessment and research capacity to monitor these.

Because of near universal public education in Germany, coupled with strong Land control, it may have been easier to introduce reforms across systems and schools than might be the case in a more diverse and less ‘controlled’ system such as Australia, which has a large (by world standards) and growing non-government school sector.

International tests are only one indicator of teaching and learning achievement but the following comparisons between Germany and Australia may be instructive.

While Germany’s PISA results have shown steady improvement since 2000, that is not the case for Australia, where PISA results have been in general decline and measures such as PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) and TIMSS have recorded primary school results that are inferior in comparative terms to Australia’s secondary TIMSS and PISA results.

In fact, on every aspect of TIMSS, PIRLS and PISA – with the exception of PISA Reading Literacy where Australia narrowly leads Germany and with the difference in performance not significant – German students now outperform their Australian counterparts, a startling turnaround from the beginning of this century.

Germany, along with Mexico and Turkey, are the only countries to have improved in both PISA mathematics and equity since 2003, with these improvements largely the result of better performance amongst low-achieving and disadvantaged students, and with Germany’s performance in mathematics, reading and science now above OECD averages. Possibly the one negative amongst this pattern of significant improvement is that PISA data show Germany also has one of the highest rates of grade repetition among OECD countries (in 2012, one in five German students had repeated a grade at least once). However, some might argue the improvements in performance are partly attributable to this repetition.

 

Similarities and Differences in Educational Policy and Organisation

Germany and Australia are similar in that constitutionally education is a state responsibility. In Germany there are 16 Bundesländer/Länder educational ‘systems’ rather than one, with each state determining its own educational policies, regulations and mechanisms for standards, innovations and quality assurance. Similarly in Australia there are eight states and territories with primary responsibility for school education, although since 2007 there has been more of a nationally consistent approach in the areas of national testing, national curriculum, professional teaching standards, teacher development, teacher appraisal and certification, and the accreditation of teacher education courses.

Thus, while some aspects of education and schooling in Australia have become ‘looser’, for example government funded independent schools, greater school autonomy, moving teacher education to schools, and a greater emphasis on ‘choice’ and the free market, some aspects have become more uniform, regulated and ‘tighter’ as a result of national agreements and developments.

In comparison, Germany does not have the same level of federal involvement in education as Australia, although there has been greater federal and Länder ‘soft’ cooperation since 2001 in areas such as aggregated national reporting on education, along with reporting on special issues such as diversity and inclusion, commissioning of international and national studies into certain priority areas and the collaborative formulation of national standards for students at three levels, although the adoption and utilisation of many of these initiatives has been optional and thus take-up has been varied across Länder.

While federal authorities in Germany provide funding to universities for initial teacher education, there is little federal involvement in continuing professional development for teachers, which is commonly regarded as the responsibility of Länder and schools.

A key difference between the countries is in the proportion of students attending government schools. In 2012, around 65 per cent of school age students in Australia attended government schools, a small proportion by world standards and one that is falling. In Germany, the proportion of students attending non-government schools is increasing slightly, but fewer than eight per cent of students in Germany attend such schools.

Another point of difference is that local government in Germany plays a more active role in school education than in Australia, with local government taking substantial responsibility for the provision and operation of schools, apart from teachers’ salaries. This involvement of local government extends beyond financing, however, with local elected officials and communities demonstrating a high degree of engagement with and ‘ownership’ of local schools.

In both Germany and Australia there is thus a lack of direct federal government influence and control over education, with a commensurate need to gain consensus among the states/Länder in order to implement uniform national policies, structures, programs, standards and change agendas.

A Critical Difference: ‘Tracking’ versus ‘Comprehensive’ schooling

The most significant difference between German and Australian schooling lies in the organisation of primary and particularly secondary schooling.

In Germany primary schooling (Grundschule) begins at age six and ends at the age of 10 (grade 4) after four years (except for Berlin and Brandenburg where students leave primary school at 12), whereas in Australia there are seven years of primary schooling – Western Australia and Queensland have adopted this structure in recent years – from the ages of five to 12, ending in grade 6.

Whilst comprehensive secondary education was progressively introduced in Australia from the mid-1950s, it is still rare in Germany. While comprehensive secondary school is an option in some places, it is not universal, meaning such schools are not truly comprehensive in the usual sense of the term.

Traditionally in Germany, entry to the secondary ‘tracks’ was determined by primary school staff after students’ completion of grade 4. More recently, parents in some cases now have a choice in (or try to influence) the type of school their child will attend. Some educators I have spoken with see this as a retrograde step, in that the decision has been taken out of teachers’ hands, with greater pressure now being exerted by ‘pushy’ and/or ‘middle class’ parents. In some communities, entry to the highest status and more sought after Gymnasium schools is through ballot.

German secondary education varies from Land to Land and regionally within Länder but typically there are now five major forms. The first three types are the traditional pathways or forms of secondary schooling in Germany. Although it is possible to change tracks, this is usually ‘downwards’ and not to a ‘higher’ track):

  1. Gymnasium (or grammar schools) – the most ‘academic’ schools, operate until grades 12 or 13 and enable those who meet the general standard for entry to university (Hochschulreife) and passing of the Arbitur examination to qualify for university entrance. (The Arbitur – a combined written and oral examination – guarantees admission to a university but not to a particular field of study.)
  2. Realschule – grades 5-10 with the Mittlere Reife exit exam and Realschulabschluss
  3. Hauptschule (Main School) – the least ‘academic’ stream usually ending in grade 9 (with the qualification of Hauptschulabschluss and in some cases Realschulabschluss after grade 10, and in the case of Mittelschule [grades 5-10] combining Hauptschule and Realschule in some Länder).
  4. Fachoberschule – vocational/technical school, [sometimes leading to a Berufsschule that offers academic study combined with an apprenticeship] with admission after grade 10 until grade 12 (or 13 in some cases), with the Arbitur available/obtained subject to certain conditions.
  5. Gesamtschule – grades 5-12 or 5-13 comprehensive/community school effectively combining the three main types of secondary school. The Arbitur is available/obtained subject to certain conditions.

An overall impression is that Germany has and continues to place great emphasis upon formal education and training. There is compulsory school attendance (Schulpflicht) from age 6 until 15 and home schooling is illegal. There is strong belief in the contribution effective public education makes to personal, social and national prosperity.

There are pathways to obtaining certificates, diplomas, degrees and other qualifications that are long established and well-known, including the highly regarded ‘dual system’ with industry. (As OECD explains it, “Germany’s dual education system … combines apprenticeships in a company and vocational education at a vocational school … In the company, the apprentice receives practical training which is supplemented by theoretical instruction in the vocational school. Around 60% of all young people learn a trade within the dual system of vocational education and training in Germany.”) Training for any occupation is usually lengthy with the payoffs being tenure, security, salary and status.

While Germany is prepared to invest in education and training, In Australia governments are moving away from supporting technical education through cutting funding to traditional technical and further education (‘TAFE’) colleges, encouraging alternative vocational education and training (VET) providers and importing skilled labour rather than training local people.

Two Different Approaches: The Roles of Regulation and Deregulation

While it could be argued that strong traditions and tight government regulations in education might hinder innovation and change in Germany, these can also act as a form of protection from international trends and forces and ensure that standards are not compromised. Whilst Australia is moving down the road of greater deregulation, there is strong resistance to this in Germany. As noted, federal agencies in Germany are relatively less influential in education than is the case in Australia and this might also act to protect the country as a whole from some of the fads and fashions that are becoming endemic in other countries such as the USA and England.

There is no context free recipe or model for educational success, however defined and measured. Australia is not Germany, nor Finland, Singapore or Shanghai for that matter. However Germany has been successful in lifting its performance at a time when Australia’s is in decline, and so there may well be lessons to be learned.

Conclusion

Whilst challenges remain for education in Germany and educators and officials express dissatisfaction with the current performance of schooling, there are impressive features that contrast with the current state of education in Australia.

Overall, the education sector in Germany is highly valued, well-supported financially, tightly regulated and stable, yet it has shown itself to be responsive, serious about and capable of reform.

Finally, the strong emphasis within German education on regulation, standards, evidence, reform and improvement appears preferable to the current situation in Australia where there seems to be a headlong rush to deregulate, dismantle and open (public but also private) education to market forces, without, or at times despite, available evidence, whilst overall performance and equity are declining.

Accountability in decentralized systems: rethinking how we evaluate schools

This week, Dr. Melanie Ehren expands upon her most recent research on accountability and decentralization in Scotland’s schools. Here she provides background on a project she touched on in last week’s post, in which she explored the connection between testing and teaching in UK schools. This piece also follows a recent post IEN published on Chris Chapman’s work with school improvement efforts and learning partnerships as well as earlier posts on “centralized decentralization” in Singapore. Dr. Ehren has also written about her work in a project on school inspections in Europe and in an earlier IEN post comparing school inspections in England, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

 

Many countries have given schools more autonomy over the last decade, according to the OECD. Examples are the Netherlands where schools have autonomy in allocating resources as well as in making decisions about curricula and assessments and England where publicly funded independent academies and free schools have freedom in setting pay and conditions for their staff, decide on how to deliver the curriculum, have the ability to change the length of terms, and set their own school hours. The assumption behind greater school-level decision-making is to give power to make decisions to those who have first-hand knowledge of the challenges they face and what they need to solve those challenges. Greater autonomy often goes hand in hand with increased accountability as national governments want to have a safety net in case schools misuse their freedom. The combination of decentralization of decision-making with centralized accountability creates an interesting paradox of freedom with greater control, which can, according to the OECD, lead to improved student outcomes if combined intelligently.

Decentralized decision-making, centralized accountability

In a recent comparative EU-funded study we have started to look at what such intelligent combination might look like, analyzing countries that have recently implemented more locally embedded inspection models, often alongside existing centralized inspections of schools. Newer models are inspired by ‘theory-driven evaluation,’ which take the purposes of the evaluation and how these purposes are expected to be achieved, as a starting point. The foundation for theory-driven evaluation were laid by Peter Rossi, along with Carol Weiss and Huey-Tsych Chen who explained how programme theories and logic models can be constructed to guide an evaluation. Mayne’s ‘contribution analysis,’ also focuses on the causes of outcomes by gathering various perspectives on the degree of impact on observed results. Finally, Michael Quinn Patton’s developmental evaluation provides relevant approaches that help people to learn to think and act as evaluators with a goal of ensuring that evaluations have a lasting impact. This approach encourages those involved in an initiative to constantly assess their work, to reflect on whether it has the intended outcomes, and to make adjustments.

In our EU-funded study we are mapping examples of countries that have incorporated such models in their accountability systems. One of the interesting examples comes from Scotland where the Inspectorate of Education (Education Scotland) is collaborating with other stakeholders in Scotland’s ‘School Improvement Partnership Programme’ (SIPP); an approach that clearly features ‘developmental evaluation.’ In March 2013, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning announced the SSIP as a solution focused approach to tackle the steadfast link between socio-economic deprivation and low educational attainment. The aim of the programme is to make explicit links to strategic improvement planning in schools and local authorities. The School Improvement Partnerships is described by Education Scotland as an approach based on action research and a process of collaborative inquiry. Schools have been asked to take the lead in developing projects around a number of key themes (e.g. differences in achievement by gender, improving transition, differences between small and large schools); projects are also expected to operate across local authority boundaries (cross-sectoral, multi-disciplinary, partnerships with independent sector) and involve a partnership with local authorities, Education Scotland and other agencies. Each partnership is expected to share and try out effective approaches and to indicate what success will look like, with a strong focus on impact in making a difference to young people’s achievement and ultimately life chances. Each of the partnerships develops a structured, collaborative inquiry approach along three phases of preparation (analyzing the context and agreeing on inquiry questions and purposes), exploring the evidence and testing change.

In this approach, evaluation and accountability are key drivers for change and improvement, but they are framed by local questions and local issues instead of centralized frameworks. The programme also offers support to build evaluation and improvement capacity by a trio of named individuals from Education Scotland, local authorities and university researchers who each undertake their own inquiry to explore how the partnership project contributes to the overarching programme inquiry. Education Scotland’s role is to coordinate the development and implementation of the programme, deciding on which partnership gets funding, brokering national partnering and making links across authorities and university researchers and visiting partnerships to identify key challenges in and monitor developments of the programme. Its role is also to provide assistance in collating statistical information about the schools and partnerships to inform their decision-making; supporting a database and communication system to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources within and between partnerships, and bringing partnerships together to share experiences at appropriate points within the programme. According to Education Scotland, “This ambitious programme seeks to harness the professional creativity and innovation that exists within the Scottish education community. The programme provides exciting opportunities to rethink roles and relationships within the system and generate and share new practice.”

Expanding the menu of school accountability to include such decentralized approaches allows for greater flexibility in implementing evaluations that fit different purposes and inform system-wide improvement in an ever changing education landscape. The next step in our project is to understand the impact such decentralized accountability models have in improving student outcomes in schools and education networks, but initial results are promising.

For more information:

www.schoolinspections.eu

http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319310015

 

 

Life after levels: Is the new Year 6 Maths test changing the way teachers teach?

This week we share a blog post written by Melanie Ehren and Nick Wollaston. Originally published on the IOE London Blog, of University College London, this blog is part of a Nuffield foundation funded research project Dr. Ehren coordinates. The research looks at the Key Stage 2 test in mathematics in England and how the test affects teaching of primary mathematics. The test is administered in year 6 (end of Primary school) and is considered to be high stakes as schools performing below the floor standard are monitored by Ofsted (the Inspectorate of Education), face potential forced academization, and test outcomes are used in (teachers’ and head teacher’s) performance management reviews. The test has undergone changes this year to reflect the new national curriculum, and the researchers have asked teachers (after the administration of the new test) how they are changing their teaching in response to the changes in the test. More info on the project (and a broader introduction) is on the website: www.highstakestesting.co.uk

Here we share the blog post in full. To read the post on the IOE London Blog, click here.

 

Life after levels: is the new Year 6 maths test changing the way teachers teach?

Earlier this month (5 July), the Department for Education published the results of the Key Stage 2 test for 10 and 11-year-olds. The publication was awaited with more anxiety than usual as this year’s test was the first one on the new national curriculum. One of the major changes in the test is the removal of the ‘old’ national curriculum levels 3, 4 and 5, where children were expected to reach at least a level 4. The level 6 paper for the most able children has also gone and results are now reported as ‘scaled scores[1]’. Each pupil now has to achieve at least a score of 100 to reach the expected standard. It seems like a minor change with little impact on how teachers teach mathematics and prepare children for the test, but recent findings from our Nuffield-funded study suggest otherwise.

We interviewed 30 Year 6 teachers in schools performing both below and above the floor standard in Mathematics. Interviews took place prior to the changes in the test in May/June 2015, and again after the changes in the test in May/June 2016. In the interviews in 2015, levels were one of the key topics teachers talked about when we asked them about notable features of the test that would inform their teaching. They explained how each of the two written Maths test papers would start with easy level 3 questions, have level 4 questions in the middle and finish with the difficult level 5 items at the end. This order of questions according to difficulty level would allow the lower attaining children to access the test, according to these teachers, and would build their confidence in answering the questions and their motivation to do well on the test. Teachers tell us in the second round of interviews, how all the questions are now ‘at level 5’ and how some of their lower attaining children stared at them in horror when opening their test booklet, asking them where the easy questions had gone.

Not only does the abolition of levels seem to have an impact on children’s motivation and confidence in test taking, it also appears to have a profound impact on how teachers come to understand and teach mathematics. Prior to the introduction of scaled scores, teachers would talk about gradually building up the level of difficulty when teaching specific mathematical content areas, such as ‘number sense and calculation’, ‘data handling’ or ‘shape and space’. Level 3, 4 and 5 test items on past Key Stage 2 test papers would help them understand the hierarchical nature of mathematics and how to introduce children to, for example, increasingly more difficult calculations (e.g. moving from one step to multistep problems, or from adding and subtracting whole numbers to adding and subtracting decimals). Resources such as Test Base would allow them to access available questions according to content area and difficulty level and they could simply download relevant questions when teaching a specific skill. Now that the levels have been removed, some of the teachers tell us that they just focus on getting all students to perform at level 5 in number and calculation as this is where most of the marks on the test are given and some hardly teach shape and space at all. These teachers also talk about moving towards a more ‘mastery style’ of teaching where they ensure that all students master the basics before they move on to teach more complex skills or other (more complex) content domains, such as algebra or geometry.

It is too early to know how widespread these changes are and the effect they will have on children’s understanding of mathematics. Our study, however, indicates that we need to keep a close eye on the breadth and depth of what our children are learning as some of these changes may be masked by an average single test score.

 

[1] A pupil’s scaled score is based on their raw score. The raw score is the total number of marks a pupil scores in a test, based on the number of questions they answered correctly. The Standard and Testing Agency develops tests each year to the same specification, but because the questions must be different, the difficulty of tests may vary slightly each year. This means that the raw scores pupils get in the tests need to be converted into a scaled score to be able make accurate comparisons of pupil performance over time. Every scaled score will represent the same level of attainment for a pupil each year, so a pupil who scores 103, for example, in 2016 will have demonstrated the same attainment as a pupil who scores 103 in 2017. A scaled score of 100 will always represent the expected standard on the test. Pupils scoring 100 or more will have met the expected standard on the test. In 2016, panels of teachers set the raw score required to meet the expected standard on each test.

Lead the Change interview with Karen Edge

Dr. Karen Edge

Dr. Karen Edge

Dr. Karen Edge is a Reader in Educational Leadership at UCL Institute of Education and Pro-Vice Provost (International) at UCL. Dr. Edge studied Biology and Environmental Science (Bsc) and Higher Education Policy (MA) prior to pursuing a PhD at OISE/ University of Toronto in Educational Administration. Before joining UCL, she worked for the Minister of Education (Ontario), the Centre for Educational Leadership at UC-Santa Barbara, and the World Bank (USA). Dr. Edge’s work continues to focus on bringing policy, practice, and research together to influence understanding and action to improve education for all students and adults in our education systems.

Dr. Edge consults domestically and internationally on a range of strategy, leadership, and research topics. Partner organizations have included DfID, British Council, PLAN (UK), Gates/Hewlett Foundation, and STIR Education. Dr. Edge is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Danish Strategic Research Review Panels, and the Executive Board at UKFIET. She is the past Editor-in-Chief of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability and has held recent visiting academic appointments in Canada, Chile, and Malaysia. She sits on the international advisory panel for the International School Principal Program in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Edge regularly delivers keynotes and workshops for academic and professional audiences related to leadership, knowledge management, talent spotting, retention, gender and leadership, and system-level reform.

In this interview, which is part of the Lead the Change Series of the American Educational Research Association Educational Change Special Interest Group, Edge shares findings from her Global City Leaders study and her thoughts on educational change:

Based on our observations, we believed quite strongly that this emerging generation of school leaders may be experiencing their careers differently due to their own generational positioning and characteristics. Generational influences on professional practice and careers remains under-researched in the public sector. As a result, these factors may not be fully considered by policy makers and scholars.

This Lead the Change interview appears as part of a series that features experts from around the globe, highlights promising research and practice, and offers expert insight on small- and large-scale educational change. Recently Lead the Change has also published interviews with Diane Ravitch, and the contributors to Leading Educational Change: Global Issues, Challenges, and Lessons on Whole-System Reform (Teachers College Press, 2013) edited by Helen Janc Malone, have participated in a series of blogs from Education Week.