By David Hopkins
As societies continue to set educational goals that are, on current performance, beyond the capacity of the system to deliver, strategies for enhancing student learning through school and classroom intervention have become increasingly important. Yet, as David Hopkins argues in this book, many of the educational initiatives developed recently under the umbrella of school improvement are inadequate of unhelpful. Simply blaming teachers and delegating financial responsibility, he maintains, has little positive impact on classroom practice. Similarly, school heads who restrict their influence to bureaucratic intervention, ignoring the learning level, should not be surprised when student achievement scores fail to rise. This is the bleak context within which school improvement has to operate today. It is a situation predisposed towards short-term remedies for profound problems, in organisational settings not always conducive to enhancing student achievement and learning. School Improvement for Real offers a genuine alternative: a strategy for educational change that focuses on student achievement by modifying classroom practice, and adapting the management arrangements within the school to support teaching and learning. It outlines an approach to school improvement that has a medium term, systemic orientation, providing both principles and suggestions for better practice. The author's experience in the field of school improvement ensures that the text is informed by a practical wisdom that is so often lacking from the more typical managerial texts on improvement and effectiveness.