Sharon Lynn Kagan of Columbia University’s Teachers College is leading an international comparative study of early childhood education (ECE) in the world’s top-performing education systems. This study will analyze the nature, scope and promising practices of ECE in a select group of high-performing jurisdictions to better understand how they serve as a building block of student achievement and success. Kagan and her team of experienced researchers will analyze how education, health and social welfare systems intersect with one another and affect children from birth through their first year of formal schooling. Jurisdictions being studied include Australia, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to a series of policy and practice briefs, detailed case studies of each system will be produced along with the collection of authentic tools and video vignettes. The centerpiece of the research will be a cross-case book on the study’s major findings as well as an analysis of common and distinct principles and practices found in the leading ECE systems.
Ben Jensen, CEO of Learning First in Australia, is leading an international study of how high-performing systems develop great school leaders. The project combines case studies of leadership development in four high performing jurisdictions — Ontario, Canada; Hong Kong; Shanghai; and Singapore — with an analysis of the trends and challenges with leadership development programs in business and other industries. The study will have a particular focus on systems’ reform journeys and decision points, and what can be learned from those stories to develop a system-level school leadership development strategy, drawing out implications for policy makers in the United States. These cases will illustrate a general trend away from ad hoc traditional training courses towards an integrated balance of leadership development programs for aspiring leaders and ongoing school-based leadership development for current teacher leaders and for principals. The study is schedule to be released in 2017 and will include a cross case analysis and case studies of each of the four jurisdictions.
Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the University of London’s Institute of Education, is writing a book analyzing the knowledge and skill requirements for the 21st century. The book will discuss what this means for schools, including implications for standards, assessment and curriculum. Wiliam will also address what these new knowledge and skill requirements means for what teachers need to know and do and how their work should be organized. The book is slated for release in 2017.