Keynote abstracts


The Practice of Improvement: Designing Organizational Infrastructures for Sustainable School & System Improvement

Prof. James P. Spillane (Keynote Speaker 1)
Northwestern University

Research and development work on sustainable school effectiveness must engage with the practice of school improvement.  This presentation examines the nature of school improvement practice along three interrelated dimensions. First, anchoring the practice of improvement in the core work of schooling - teaching, Spillane considers the entailments of different conceptions of teaching for improvement practice. Different approaches to teaching pose different challenges for school improvement and school transformation. Second, he shows how the design and redesign of organizational infrastructure is central in efforts to transform practice inside schools and education systems.  Third, considering different aspects of infrastructure, Spillane explores relations between formal structure (e.g., formal positions), normative structure, improvement practice, and teaching. In order to understand relations between standards-based reform and educational change in classrooms, we must engage with the practice of improvement in systems and schools and especially the design of organizational infrastructure.

Indonesia's school operational assistance program (BOS): Challenges in embedding results-based approaches

Prof. Suyanto (Keynote Speaker 2)

Education in Indonesia has been decentralized to the district government/ municipality in accordance with the mandate of the Law Number 32 of 2004 on Regional Government. Accordingly, the education authority lies with the local (district) governments and it follows that educational funding is to be the domain and responsibility of the local governments. In reality, however, most local governments cannot afford to totally finance the education sector in their own regions. Such a situation has threatened the provision on quality education service and this is indeed a serious problem, especially at the basic education level, since Law Number 20 of 2003 on National Education System also mandates that free nine-year basic education be provided for every child aged 7-15 years. To help solve this problem, the central government is committed to provideing school operational assistance in a large amount of money to ensure that the free 9-year compulsory education can be achieved with good quality. No less than US$2,621,644,442 allotted from the National Budget is disbursed to 181,160 elementary and junior high schools, both private and public, all-over Indonesia, comprising 36,579,003 students. How planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the school operational assistance program (BOS) which consists of huge amount of money, big number of schools and students, will be critically discussed in this presentation.

Redefining the Role of Schools and Schooling: A Public Values Perspective

Prof. Karen Seashore Louis (Keynote Speaker 3)
University of Minnesota

International policy conversations increasingly promote a view of effective schools that values a narrow range of cognitive outcomes.  This presentation will argue that there are historical and contemporary philosophical precedents for conflicting visions of what the public value outcomes of elementary and secondary education should be.  These preclude reaching an easy consensus about public value, but ?naming? desired outcomes should encourage discussions through which an enduring agreement, based on the views of key stakeholders, might emerge.  The challenge for ICSEI is to develop a public value(s) framework that can drive deeper conversations about public policy and promote a different school effectiveness research agenda.

Imagining a Transformed Future: Distributed e-Leadership and Trust: the Visibility/Invisibility Paradox in the Ecology of Online School Communities

Prof. Jill Jameson (Keynote Speaker 4)
University of Greenwich

Few things are more important to school effectiveness than inspiring leadership that enables high trust educational environments in which staff and pupils feel they belong and can succeed within proactively engaged learning communities in well-functioning school systems. Yet that is hard to achieve, and in the race to attain visible success in an increasingly economically-driven, competitive, marketised global education landscape, sometimes more effort to improve schools through stricter performance accountabilities, regulation, audit and standardised systems achieves less actual learning and achievement. The paradox that ?less is sometimes more? has been much debated in problematising research and professional practice on school effectiveness and improvement. Jameson brings a new theme into this discussion, observing that school effectiveness studies are often, pragmatically, based on natural assumptions that school communities operate mainly via face to face human interaction. A sense of shared time and place is important to us in establishing trusting human communities. Yet, like it or not, we are gradually slipping into a liminal zone in which new forms of highly uncertain, disruptive online technologies are emerging, changing education in unpredictable ways. Accelerating growth in educational technology and social media usage is radically changing the environment experienced by pupils, staff, schools and parents to the point that online C21st technologies need to play a more significant role in education than ever before.

Emerging pedagogic and systemic digital innovations, variously interpreted as utopian and dystopian, offer significant opportunities for schools to transform at system-wide levels to enable the future growth of high trust learning ecologies. In this changing future landscape, distributed e-leadership and trust will be vital: a visibility/invisibility paradox, akin to ?less is more?, can enable the facilitation of effective learning ecologies in which school communities thrive in achieving excellent curricular, administrative, technical and qualifications outcomes.