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SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT Theories Handbook – School Development Strategies Book

SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT Theories Handbook – School Development Strategies Book

SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT Theories and Strategies An International Handbook

We are about to witness yet another sea-change in the development of Western educational systems. The last two decades have been unprecedented in terms of  the amount of change expected and the shift in locus of responsibility for implementation. At one and the same time the centre has assumed enormous authority vis-a-vis policy direction, yet the schools and their local support systems have, in the spirit of decentralization, become increasingly responsible for the quality of implementation and the standards of student performance. The tension between centralization and decentralization has been highlighted by numerous research studies that claim that 'policy does not mandate what matters', and that it is 'local implementation that determines outcomes'. This presents educational reformers with a crucial challenge - how to reconcile the conflict between centralization and decentralization.

This conundrum provides the focus for this book, and there is no-one better suited to solving and exploring it than Per Dalin. For over three decades Per Dalin has been one of a handful of world-class educational researchers and activists who have mapped out the territory of school development, researched it, and in a variety of cultural contexts made successful attempts at enhancing it. From his work with the OECD in the early 1970s, through the transformation of IMTEC into a cutting-edge international educational agency in the 1980s, and as a result of a series of high-profile educational projects in the 1990s funded by among others the World Bank, Per Dalin has firmly established himself as an authoritative figure in the reform of the world's educational systems.

One of the defining features of Per Dalin and his work is that he is in the Lewisian sense a true action researcher. He is someone who intervenes in problematic educational situations with the purpose of improving them. Consequently Per Dalin's contribution to the knowledge base of educational reform has been a continual stream of publications that not only document three decades of innovation efforts, but also constitute a major effort to conceptualize the theory and practice of educational change.

It is far too soon to say that School Development: Theories and Strategies is the culmination of this effort. Per is still as energetic, incisive, optimistic and charismatic as he was when we first had the privilege of working with him some twenty years ago. School Development is, however, a major statement by a leading scholar on the most pressing challenge facing educational systems today. In it Dalin undertakes a comprehensive review of the centralization/decentralization paradox, of the theories that inform resolution, and of the strategies that will lead to eventual success.

School Development is not only a major contribution to the field, but it is also the name of this series of books. It is entirely appropriate that this book, that so eloquently charts the evolution of school development as afield of enquiry and action, is being published almost exactly a decade after the series that bears its name was originally conceived.
DAVID HOPKINS
DAVID REYNOLDS
July 1998
Series Editors' Foreword vii
Preface ix
Introduction xi
Part I: The Changing Context of School Reform
1 The New Balance: Centralization and Decentralization 3
Part II: Theories of School Improvement
Introduction 27
2 Theories of Organizations 29
3 The School as an Organization 65
4 Leadership and Management Theory 80
5 Theories of Change 93
Part III: Strategies for School Improvement
Introduction 133
6 Individual Strategies 137
7 Organizational Strategies 180
8 System Strategies 214
References 253
Name Index 265
Subject Index 269

SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT Theories Handbook – School Development Strategies Book
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