From the ICSEI President

As President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, I want to give everyone a warm welcome to and an invitation to ICSEI's 31st Congress. Please enjoy the professional and cultural life of "Surprising Singapore", as the country itself proclaims, through your participation in our Congress. What better place could there be for ICSEI to discuss and disseminate its historic and defining concerns with educational effectiveness and improvement and to engage with leading edge changes in educational innovation.

Singapore is still a relatively new country. Only recently, it celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation. In 1965, it was described by Sir David Attenborough as "just a group of small tin sheds". Within little more than a single generation, through the work of its political founder, Lee Kuan Yew, it became one of the world's most advanced economies and outperforms most other countries every year on almost all key indicators in education.

During the Congress program, you will have opportunity to visit some of Singapore's schools as I have been able to do in the past. There you will see professionally trained teachers working diligently and collaboratively within and across their schools to improve education for every child. You will see commitments to nation-building and character development as well as academic results. You will encounter a profession that is always willing to give away its best ideas to stimulate it to keep inventing new ones. You will meet many educators who have studied abroad, visited schools internationally and brought the best of what they see back to their own system.

The Congress Committee has pulled together an impressive program of speakers and presenters from all over the world. In line with my own platform on cultivating diversity and generational renewal in ICSEI, we will see main stage presentations from many women speakers, exciting presenters in mid and not just late career, and outstanding thinkers and researchers from all across the region. We will be treated to great cultural events and to eating splendid food in a world-class venue.

The theme of this year's Congress is "Deepening School Change for Scaling: Principles, Pathways & Partnerships". In my own work, I have spent decades addressing and advising on how to make change sustainable, how to have it spread across many schools, how to transfer it successfully and sensitively from one culture to another, how to lead from the middle by moving innovation around rather than always delivering things that are given to us by the top, and how to build networks that can generate and germinate innovation themselves.

We are living in a time when it is not only important to scale up ideas. We must also scale up the right ideas that have integrity in serving all students so they can be successful and grow up with dignity and be able to work with collective responsibility for their community and society. It's a challenging theme and will be a truly dynamic Congress with many hundreds of participants from all over the world

I look forward to seeing you in all at our Congress in Surprising Singapore.

Professor Andy Hargreaves
Brennan Chair of Education, Boston College
ICSEI President

From the NIE Director

It is with great pleasure that I welcome all participants to the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement 2018 at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore.

The theme for this year's conference is Deepening School Change for Scaling: Principles, Pathways and Partnerships. To meet the challenges of an ever-evolving economic and global landscape, educators and researchers need to work together to continually improve school, transform curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, and enhance the professional capital of teachers. We need to move beyond individual school improvement to improvement as a system; beyond educators leading within a school to leading nationally across schools; beyond individual teachers working on their own to learning communities with teachers as co-designers of engaging learning environments. We need to generate different principles, pathways and partnerships to inculcate in our students the joy of learning, strength of character and the 21st century competencies required to thrive in the future. I hope that conference delegates will build on the networking opportunities provided to stretch their imagination, broaden their horizons, and develop leading-edge knowledge and practices.

NIE has constantly placed emphasis on innovation through research and productive engagement with school practitioners. We are moving from research focusing on specific innovations to designing more programmatic research with the potential to impact the system and schools at various ecological levels, and across socio-cultural dimensions. As Singapore's national teacher education institute, NIE has been a thought-leader in teacher education and education research both locally and globally. Through collaborative endeavours with researchers and practitioners, we will continue to be future-oriented, to embrace innovating thinking and practices and to engage in research that impacts policy formulation, school effectiveness and improvement.  

I thank you for your participation and wish you a fruitful conference ahead.

Prof Tan Oon Seng    
Director, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University