For the last several months we have been working towards new ways of supporting schools in the work they do. This work is based on the conviction that the key to helping students improve their learning depends on the quality of the teaching they receive on a daily basis.
The literature for the last decade is very clear, teachers make the difference to student achievement, and they need to be well trained, well resourced and well supported in ongoing opportunities for professional growth.
This is a task that requires locating this support as close to the learning spaces as possible and in collaboration with the each individual school community. In this way we need to rethink the popular current models of support for schools and teachers. No longer should we think in terms the head office at the centre of decision making, nor is decision making only the responsibility of the school. The challenge is to find out what it is sensible for each to do for the benefit of the system. This implies therefore that the expertise resides across the system. We have to build new ways of communication, collaboration and setting strategic priorities. It is an exciting task and one we are now significantly commited to.
To this end we have developed a metaphor for embedding learning at the centre of the work we do. It is called ‘the learning web’. Its construct reflects a web 2.0 world as well as the intricate patterns and connections implicit in delivering quality schooling today.