Opening up thinking about education today for tomorrow - Imagining possibilities and solutions

Friday, June 23, 2006

Visit to IGS Schaumberg, Stadthagen

Well this was the last day of my project and I was quite looking forward to it. I didn't expect the trip out to Stadthagen from Gutersloh to be such an ordeal. I was told that it is pretty straight forward. Not so!
Firstly it was a public holiday in Gutersloh, so no information help was available in the morning. The internet information indicated an 8:49am train from Gutersloh arriving in Stadthagen at 9:49am. Problem was the timetable postings didn't list Stadthagen.
Turns out I had to go one station and change onto a train to Minden, then change again to get to Stadthagen. I got there on time!

The school was ale to take me through their involvement in INIS and the use of the review data for school improvement. Very interesting and the outcomes of improvement evident.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Is an inspector needed for school improvement?

The work done through the International Network of Innovative Schools has led to the development of a school improvement instrument (SEIS). The network is a network of schools from Canada, Scotland, Finland, Hungary and New Zealand. Through the network elements and components of effective schools have been identified.

An instrument has been devloped that allows schools autonomy in determining levels of effectiveness and identification of areas of development. There is accompanying surveys for staff, parents and students that generate triangulated data for each of the components. The data alows for a comprehensive report to be generated. The report allows the school to identify its areas of strength and areas for development.

The process allows:

  1. for teacher, student and parent voice
  2. transparency in explicitness of standards
  3. greater ownership given to the school for improvement
  4. lack of pressure from an external "inspection".

The process is seen to be valid, keeps ownership of the process in the school and its community, doesn't invest knowledge of standards and their application in an inspector or team of inspectors.

Bertelsmann Stiftung

After arriving in Dusseldorf from London I met with Petra Madelung, project leader for the Semi-Autonomous schools network. This is network of schools in North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) that have had a focus on increasing professional learning of staff and increasing the autonomy of schools.

From Dusseldorf I travelled by train to Gutersloh which is about 2 hours away. Gutersloh itself isn't much to look at, but the Bertelsmann Stiftung is impressive. It is philanthropic undertaking by Mohn, a media mogel.

My visit to the Stiftung allowed me the opportunity to meet with:
  • Michael Sebarich (Assistant to the Board of Governors and responsibility for strategic direction)
  • Eric Vacarro (Project Leader for International Network of Innovative Schools/SEIS)
  • the SEIS team
  • Uli Kober (Project Leader for Semi-Autonomous Schools project).

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dusseldorf pics

Dusseldorf, Hauptstadt Nordrhein Westfalen ist auf den Banken vom Rhein Fluss befunden. Die Architektur ist interessant, das Bier gut und die Speise sehr gut.
Die Fußball Weltmeisterschaft ist auf hier. Es gibt Leute von überall auf der Welt. Es ist ein Bit wie Sydney, als die Olympischen Spiele dort waren.

Some London Pics

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