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Reimagining Education Reform and Innovation

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Edited By Matthew Lynch

Reimagining Education Reform and Innovation provides scholars and laymen with an assortment of theoretical and practical perspectives for questioning contemporary practices and forging new methods of education reform and innovation. This volume is the leading collection of contemporary essays by the major thinkers in the field of education reform and innovation. Carefully attentive to both theory and practice, this is the definitive source for learning about education reform and innovation, while also enhancing the existing literature.
This book attempts to move the field to the next phase of its evolution and provides the U.S. K-12 system with the tools that it will need to return to its former preeminence. Reimagining Education Reform and Innovation generates a corpus of new and original scholarship that significantly examines the field of education reform and innovation broadly conceived. Each chapter examines one or more of the critical topics that are missing from or underrepresented in the extant literature. The various chapters of this book integrate into their analyses the conceptual, political, pedagogical, and practical histories, tensions, and resources that have established education reform and innovation as one of the most vital and growing movements within the field of education. A central tenet of this project is that we need to make visible the multiple perspectives and theoretical frames that currently drive
work in the field.
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Chapter 9: Design Principles As A Methodology for School Reform

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   CHAPTER NINE

Design Principles AS A Methodology FOR School Reform

SHEILA GIESBRECHT

A team of parents, school board members, and administrators sits around a table in a small school division in Manitoba. The team examines a chart that outlines the division’s four main strategic priorities and the steps designed to support the migration of these priorities into school life and culture. One parent complains that the school is still not meeting the needs of his child, while a board member bemoans low graduation rates and the slow pace of change. A second parent suggests a return to fundamental skills, while another wonders how their Aboriginal values are reflected in school culture and curriculum. The superintendent scratches her head and wonders how to meet the varied needs and growing achievement gap within the school’s community. She also wonders how to bring together such disparate needs and opinions in regards to educating students in the 21st century.

Within our society, we are experiencing deep divisions surrounding what it means to be democratic, what it means to educate our children, and what it means to live in an ordered society. We are living in a postmodern, post-experimental (Denzin and Lincoln, 2001), and post-knowledge (Giesbrecht, 2011a) world. The deep divisions within our collective society are echoed in the confusion surrounding where we are going and what directions are appropriate to pursue within the field of education. What core competencies are most important for a 21st century...

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