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 his book, many of the educational initiatives recently developed under the umbrella of school improvement are inadequate or unhelpful. Simply blaming teachers and delegating financial responsibility, he maintains, has little positive impact on classroom practice. This is the bleak context within which school improvement has to operate today.
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.
David Hopkins is Professor and Dean of Education at the University of Nottingham. His most recent publications include co-authoring The International Handbook of Educational Change and Improving the Quality of Education for All 2nd edition
'This is an excellent addition to the literature on school improvement that will be read appreciatively by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. All in all, this is a seminal text that should help to galvanise thinking on improvement issues in the learning and skills sector.' - Paul Martinez, Quality Matters
'School Improvement for Real is a very good book. It is intelligent and thoughtful. It is well conceptualized, well researched, and very well written. It is cogent and coherent. It has good research integrity and excellent flow. The language is both precise and elegant. The academic tradition of school effectiveness, school improvement and action research achieve an ecological balance equal to the ambitious goal set for their union ... [This book] ought to be read by all of those who have a stake in making today's schools better.' - Journal of Educational Change