What (& Where) Are the World’s Most Transformational Schools?
OK, people, let’s get specific: Out of all the schools in the world, which ones are the most transformational when it comes to imagining a new way to think about teaching and learning in the 21st century?
There are a lot of inspiring schools out there, so I want to repeat: which are the most transformational — by which I mean schools that are demonstrating, by policy and practice, 10 or more of the 22 core categories from QED Foundation’s Transformational Change Model?
What I find so useful about the QED model is the way it identifies the central pillars of a high-quality education, and then demarcates what each pillar looks like in a traditional, transitional, and transformational setting.
In a traditional school, for example, we tend to assume the student bears the primary responsibility for learning; in a transitional environment, that responsibility shifts to the teacher (see, e.g., just about every recently proposed accountability policy in the U.S.); but in a transformational context, the responsibility is shared via a learning team that includes, and extends beyond, teacher and student.
Of course, learning teams are just one part of a holistic system of environmental conditions. That’s why, taken together, the QED change model helps clarify what we need, and which stages our own evolution will need to pass through, in order to pull K-12 schooling out of the Industrial-era model and into a new Information-era paradigm.
Because that sort of clarity is in short supply, too often we hold up models of school reform that are, at best, examples of transitional progress, not transformational change.
With that caveat in place, please help me find the best set of transformational schools the world has to offer. Where are the schools that are demonstrating a transformational approach to teaching and learning? And in which specific ways are they doing so?
I look forward to your recommendations and ideas (which you can share here).