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School Improvement and Educational Innovation in Developed and Developing Education Systems (2016-present)

School Improvement and Educational Innovation in Developed and Developing Education Systems (2016-present)

Funded in part by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, this project explores the evolution of school improvement efforts and educational innovations in “higher-performing” education systems (Finland, Singapore, Estonia, and the Netherlands), “lower-performing” systems (Norway and the United States), and developing education systems (South Africa and Malaysia).  In the process, the project addresses a basic dilemma of organizational development: the more radical new programs and practices are, the more difficult it often is for those initiatives to take hold and to spread. To confront this dilemma, the project looks particularly at educational programs and activities that take place in settings that are “on the margins” of schooling:  places where children are learning and developing in ways that can support successful life outcomes but that are not (over)determined by the current demands of conventional schooling. While some of these settings may include innovative school or school-based programs, many other promising settings are located outside the walls and outside the schedules of the normal school day and year.  These may include formal settings such as camps, afterschool programs, museums, and art, drama and science clubs; but they may also include spontaneously forming youth, neighborhood and community groups.  In this digital age, children may also find these learning opportunities online in both formal and informal programs and activities.  Examining these settings on the margins of schools makes it possible to take advantage of the opportunities they present for supporting children’s development in new ways and capitalizes on the fact that even those children who participate in formal primary and secondary education only spend about 20% of their waking hours in a given year in formal school-related activities (LIFE Center, 2007).

For more information, contact Thomas Hatch, hatch@tc.edu 

 

Publications: 

Ongoing reflections and reports on the project can be found at thomashatch.org  and internationalednews.com

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