Changing Our Schools: Linking School Effectiveness and School Improvement

By Louise Stoll; Dean Fink | Go to book overview

SERIES EDITORS' PREFACE

Around the world, schools and the societies of which they are part, are confronting the most profound changes, the like of which have not been seen since the last great global movement of economic and educational restructuring more than a century ago. The fundamental forms of public education that were designed for an age of heavy manufacturing and mechanical industry are under challenge and fading fast as we move into a world of high technology, flexible workforces, more diverse school populations, downsized administrations and declining resources.

What is to follow is uncertain and unclear. The different directions of change can seem conflicting and are often contested. Decentralized systems of school self-management are accompanied by centralized systems of curriculum and assessment control. Moves to develop more authentic assessments are paralleled by the tightened imposition of standardized tests. Curriculum integration is being advocated in some places, more specialization and subject departmentalization in others.

These complex and contradictory cross-currents pose real challenges to theoretical and practical interpretation in many fields of education, and constitute an important and intriguing agenda for educational change, and for this series which is intended to meet a deep-seated need among researchers and practitioners. International, social and technological changes require a profound and rapid response from the educational community. By establishing and interpreting the nature and scope of educational change, Changing our schools will make a signification contribution to meeting this challenge.

We are delighted that Louise Stoll and Dean Fink are opening this series with their thoughtful, panoramic yet practical account of school change. Stoll

-ix-

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