Here’s a bit from this report by Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley:
In his new book on Finnish Educational Reform, Finland’s greatest educational expert and former World Bank specialist, Pasi Sahlberg, refers to this pervasive new Second Way strategy as the Global Educational Reform Movement (GERM) (Sahlberg, 2011). The GERM has five defining characteristics:
- Standardized Teaching and Learning with “clear, high, centrally prescribed performance standards for all schools, teachers, and students”;
- A focus on Literacy and Numeracy and basic skills in reading, writing, mathematics and natural sciences;
- Teaching for Predetermined Results with predictable and uniform outcomes;
- Renting Market-oriented Reform Ideas from other systems or sectors rather than devising one’s own solutions;
- Test-Based Accountability linked to systems of inspection, punishment and reward;
- Control through continuous monitoring of data
With colleagues Dean Fink, Ivor Goodson and others, one of us evaluated the impact of these reforms on a range of secondary schools in Ontario and New York
State (Hargreaves, 2003). We found the reforms were utterly antithetical to the knowledge society objectives of schools then being promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its associated goals of increasing innovation and creativity. – Hargreaves & Shirley, 2011
(Emphasis is mine.)
The whole report is well worth reading.
As I mentioned in response to Jana’s comment on another post, if governments and systems would simply stop embracing all the wrong ‘reforms’ so enthusiastically there’d be more hope. The prescription for the woes caused by these policies seems to be ‘more of the same’.
What do Hargreaves and Shirley think are the solutions? Guess you’ll have to read the report to find out!