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A Guide to the School Improvement Cycle
It’s Not Rocket Science – A Guide to the School Improvement Cycle: With Examples From New Zealand and Australian Schools presents an easy-to-read, practical guide to effectively leading school improvement. It walks leaders through each step of ‘The School Improvement Cycle’ developed by Bendikson and Meyer, providing case studies, examples, and helpful tools from primary and secondary schools for the implementation of each step. The book will support school leaders in implementing improvement cycles without making the classic mistakes of failing to develop measures of improvement and test change actions before scaling up. Schools and system leaders will benefit greatly from this practical guide, in which Bendikson and Meyer demonstrate that implementing improvement cycles is not a difficult process. While the book uses examples from Australian and New Zealand schools, the lessons that the book teaches can be applied to school leaders everywhere.
The authors show how to make the complex work of improving student learning and outcomes at least somewhat simpler. They do this by describing and illustrating improvement steps that they have found to work in practice, providing examples from their work in schools to show the application of these ideas. If implemented properly, the cycles become “self-propelling,” thus reducing the cognitive load involved in planning how to improve. A range of evidence from international research and the authors’ own research and development work in schools explains the cycle and illustrate it.
The book is entitled It’s Not Rocket Science because this is the common reaction from leaders once they understand the improvement cycle process. The book is perfect for a variety of courses in Education Leadership, Professional Development, and any other curriculum devoted to improving schools and student performance.
REVIEWS : “At last! A useful text that draws on our own schooling context to provide much needed clarity and guidance about ‘what counts’ as an improvement cycle. This book weaves theory and practice together, in ways that provide practical insights to the sequence of improvement cycles. I particularly appreciated the time spent addressing common ways “improvement cycles” can be misinterpreted and enacted in schools, wasting precious time and energy. This book is ‘a must have’ for anyone who wants to do the real work of school improvement in ways that will make a positive difference for students and teachers.” – Dr Anne S Hynds, Senior Researcher Ihi Research Wellington NZ.
“Having worked with Linda and Frauke on improvement in my own school I know that they are not just speaking about theory here but from experience of what actually works in schools. It may not be rocket science but sometimes you need a book like this to focus on what is important and remove the clutter of everyday distractions in school. I have found that if you are able to focus on a clear action plan for improvement then these improvements come – you then gain clarity on the important things to focus on.” – Tom Webb, Principal, Mangere College, Auckland NZ