Welcome to ICSEI 2011 - 24th International Congress
Host city Limassol, CYPRUS
22 Dec 2010 - View Final Conference Program & Schedule
Welcome to ICSEI. Each of the letters of that acronym stand for something which defines the movement and the values on which it rests. First and foremost we are international in our scope, our vision and our membership. We believe that it is through the quality of discourse across national boundaries that we challenge inert ideas, renew our commitment and reframe our thinking and our practice. We also believe that this is achieved through congress, a term which refers to the meeting of minds. This is something which happens in different ways. It is celebrated annually when we come together in host countries of the North and South, East and West, each new journey halfway round the globe reminding us that beneath the similarities of the schools we visit and the papers we deliver there are unique historic, linguistic and cultural 'life worlds'.
However, congress extends beyond those annual events to an ongoing dialogue, locally face-to-face and virtually across continents. While, as a movement we have been good, and sometimes superbly good, at conference events, we are less adept at sustaining the dialogue in between, often overwhelmed by the immediate demands of our workplaces and impatient political masters. We have to become as good at sustaining improvement as we are at talking about it.
School effectiveness and improvement is the common cause that brings us together. Whatever our country affiliation we share a desire to make our schools more effective through a continuous quest to better understand what that big idea means, both theoretically and in practice. It was effectiveness studies that gave birth to our movement just over two decades ago, a period in which we have amassed an impressive corpus of knowledge on effective schools, effective leadership, effective teaching and how those inter-play with one another to enhance student learning.
School improvement emerged as the natural offspring of that movement, seeking to apply the lessons learned while urging caution on policy makers overly keen to apply simplistic remedies.
We are in an era in which schools are undergoing radical change in response to the growing gap between the formalities of institutional life and the turbulent complexities of societies in transition. There are far reaching implications for us as a movement if we are to stay ahead of the game and have something vital to say to the world of policy, to the world of research and to the world of practice. That is why we need to constantly challenge our most cherished articles of faith, both from within and outside the movement. In so doing we will continue to strengthen our knowledge base and our commitment to the world-wide community of learners that we strive to serve.