Leading for Equity and Excellence in Education
- Alma Harris - Swansea University, UK
- Michelle S. Jones - Head of School of Education, Swansea University
Corwin Impact Leadership Series, Forewords by Adrian Piccoli and Yong Zhao
This book argues that much of what passes as contemporary educational reform in education is faulty and damaging. It argues that it is time for a ‘system recall’ and a need to look at what matters most in the pursuit of educational goals.
The book focuses on what we know about contemporary educational improvement, transformation, and change. It will provide insights into what strategies work, long term, to build the capacity for principled change at the school and system level.
The book will consider what leaders can do to secure principled school and system improvement which fully embraces diversity, equity, and equality. It will also dispel some myths about reform at scale and challenge some prevailing ideas about educational change that, it will be posited, are not helping many young people to reach their potential.
The main argument of the book is that too many school and system improvement initiatives have not paid sufficient attention to equity issues in their pursuit of ever higher achievement and that the net effect of large-scale, international assessments have been to distract policy makers in ways that have not always benefitted young people.
The book will use system examples to underpin and exemplify six core ways of re-botting the system and generating progress for all, It will highlight the implications for school and system leaders.
Harris and Jones deftly weave together seemingly polar opposite notions in education—equity and excellence—and provide persuasive arguments that the two are interrelated. System Recall proposes innovative and workable solutions to ensure that equity issues constitute the centerpiece of professional collaboration, policy-making, and educational reform. The key message is clear: poverty need not determine a child’s life chances, choices, or destiny if schools provide interventions that mitigate the impact of poverty and inequity on educational outcomes.
This important book looks systemic inequity in the face and calls out those things that exacerbate educational disadvantage around the world: punitive accountability regimes, marketplace competition, and a hyper-focus on international large-scale testing. System Recall presents a simple premise: that equity leads to excellence. It calls for those leading schools and education systems to consider culture and context, and provides a clear set of guiding principles.
In a time where “education has become the most important global currency,” this book is both needed and timely. Only if we make the changes described in this book can we ensure high quality and equitable education for all of our students. This is what excellence looks like.
System Recall: Leading for Equity and Excellence reminds all of us who are fortunate enough to be in leadership positions that achieving true excellence is only possible by placing ultimate value on equity.