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Leading Educational Change

This post is by Helen Janc Malone.

The global labor market demands and international benchmarking have over the last decade dominated the public discourse on what students should know and be able to do to succeed in the 21st century society. Countries around the globe have undertaken the task of improving their education sectors in hopes of better preparing students for their post-secondary futures. But, the "how" of leading meaningful, positive change has remained elusive to many nations.

The contributors to the International Perspectives on Education Reform blog begin to unpack the essential elements of educational change: How do systems engage in positive educational change? What assumptions and considerations do they make? What levers do they pull to create meaningful educational reform and improvement?

Educational change is highly contextualized, depending upon a range of unique cultural, economic, political, historic, and social factors. However, as the blog's contributors will note, there are several underlying principles of meaningful educational change: create a shared vision and common goals; lead in a distributed way and promote communities of practice; put teaching and learning at the center of system-level change; focus on building and sustaining an inclusive, just culture that provides equitable learning opportunities for all students; design accountability and assessment systems to inform practice; empower all stakeholders in the change process; encourage innovation; and be persistent, as meaningful change takes time.

Throughout the month of October, education thought leaders representing fifteen countries across six continents will be furthering the conversation on the International Perspectives on Education Reform. Each week, the blog will center on one of the following themes: (1) emerging issues in educational change; (2) improving practice; (3) equity and educational justice; (4) accountability and assessment systems; and (5) whole-system change.

We invite you to comment and reflect on the challenges and possibilities of meaningful educational change.
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