1 results for Annan, Brian

  • A theory for schooling improvement: consistency and connectivity to improve instructional practice

    Annan, Brian (2007)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis investigates the problem of how to speed up the process through which professional educators learn how to significantly improve disadvantaged students’ academic achievement. The problem is addressed through three questions: (i) What are the most effective national and international examples of school improvement? (ii) What is the condition of the evidence base for making claims of effectiveness? (iii) What can be learned about developing and implementing effective school improvement from those national and international examples? The thesis begins by searching international and national school improvement literature to find those initiatives with the strongest evidence of effectiveness. One initiative in England (the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies) and four initiatives in the United States (Success For All, Direct Instruction, The School Development Programme & a district-wide reform in New York District #2) were considered to have strong evidence of effectiveness. Two initiatives in New Zealand (the Numeracy Development Project & the Strengthening Education in Mangere and Otara project commonly called SEMO) had evidence that showed promise. It is argued that patterns of investment in different types of evaluation and ease of access to achievement information account for the difference between the strong international evidence and promising evidence in New Zealand. A series of investigations in the middle of the thesis focus on the processes set up in the initiatives to help practitioners learn effective reform practices. Three models of learning processes are developed which reveal a strong preference for vertical learning in England and the United States and a more balanced vertical-horizontal learning preference in New Zealand. Despite those contrasts, three characteristics were found to be common to all seven effective initiatives. They are a sharp focus on instructional improvement, a set of standardised practices, and, learning connections to transfer the reform ideas into practice. The latter part of the thesis transforms those three characteristics into a theory for schooling improvement which contribute to a faster and more effective reform process.

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