1st Edition

School-University Partnerships in Action The Promise of Change

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book provides new knowledge, insights and experience about school-university partnerships. Drawing upon evidence from international research of the world’s most improved systems, and learning from a UK research council funded ‘knowledge exchange’ project, it reveals that when the profound differences between the practice worlds of schools and the theoretical worlds of university academics are embraced and cherished, rather than eschewed, school-university partnerships become exciting avenues of learning which connect, challenge and transform the thinking and practice of all those involved.

    Over its eight chapters, the book explores uncertainties, challenges and possibilities faced by those who seek to create, develop and sustain school-university partnerships that aspire to improve the practice and understanding of the leadership of teaching and learning in schools. It explicates and elucidates precepts, principles and practices for achieving such successful partnerships between higher education and school leaders, and contextualises these in terms of policy wide developments internationally.

    This book will appeal to school leaders internationally, leadership training organisations, and academics who lead postgraduate leadership and management programmes.

    Foreword: Ann Lieberman


    Chapter 1 The Rise of School-University Partnerships: Changing Circumstances, Changing Roles

    Chapter 2 Successful Partnerships: Opportunities and Outcomes

    Chapter 3 Research and Development as a Shared Endeavour

    Chapter 4 An Exemplar Project: Working with Schools Serving High-Need Communities

    Chapter 5 Building and Sustaining Critical Friendships

    Chapter 6 Schools on the Front Line: Principals as Curators of Professional Learning

    Chapter 7 From Relational Connectedness to Trustful Collaboration

    Chapter 8 The Promise of Change


    Christopher Day is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.

    Qing Gu is Director of the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership and Professor of Leadership in Education at the UCL Institute of Education.

    Andrew Townsend is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK.

    Catherine Holdich was a primary school teacher for many years. She moved into educational research and promoting evidence-based practice after completing a PhD in 2004.

    "Too often we have seen a divide between, on the one hand, theoretical and academic research led by universities and, on the other hand, down-to-earth and pragmatic research led by schools. This timely book shows just how much this is a false dichotomy. Schools and universities need each other – not in some hierarchical sense but through trustful collaboration. The authors argue that there is positive power to be found in the differences between schools and universities and that we need to make the most of the constructive tension that this can create, as both learn from each other. The book is honest about the problems and issues, but refreshingly positive about how the challenges can be overcome. Like its rationale for strong university and school partnerships, I found this book to be relevant, challenging, insightful, sometimes discomforting and ultimately very rewarding."

    Steve Munby, former CEO of the National College for School Leadership, England.

    "We are in the midst of a "sea change" regarding the value placed on academic research as a source of guidance for practice in education. This is the case even in organizational cultures aiming to be strongly "evidence based". Growing appreciation for the critical influence of context as an explanation for the success of improvement efforts has a lot to do with this sea change. While many academics remain embroiled in debates about which research designs produce the most robust generalizations, others have begun to see generalization as the problem. Practicing educators need to know a lot less about what works in general and a lot more about what works in their classrooms and schools. This book offers considerable insight about how improvement efforts in schools can be enriched by the development of synergistic relationships between collaborating members of practice and research communities. It should be considered a "must read" for any leaders aspiring to develop a school/university partnership."

    Ken Leithwood, Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto.

    "This book makes the compelling case regarding the value and benefits of school-university partnerships. The authors argue that the value of partnerships lies in their potential to inspire, add momentum, or ‘kick start’ new ways of thinking, doing, and leading teaching and learning in schools. Using evidence from the scholarly literature and their own research the authors guide us to understand the intricacy and complexity of partnerships. By providing examples of effective partnerships, the authors help practitioners and policy makers understand the conditions required for partnerships to be developed and sustained in order to thrive.

    In some respects, this book could be retitled ‘What you need to know about School-University partnerships but were too busy to ask’. It is a comprehensive, accessible and an important scholarly contribution to the field of education practice."

    Judyth Sachs, Higher Education Consultant, Co-Convenor ANZ TMP Program Advance HE UK, Sydney, Australia.

    "In a global pandemic year that has presented the world with novel problems, Christopher Day and his colleagues remind us that "changing circumstances" demand "changing roles". In this new work, they thoughtfully outline what is needed more than ever—creative collective solutions that can emerge when educators put aside their differences, pool their knowledge, and stretch beyond the boundaries of the status quo to embrace common goals through partnerships of learning. This volume is timely and welcome because it offers possibility; we need to be inspired by school leaders who see opportunity in adversity and can build "trustful collaborations" with teachers and researchers to make meaningful change happen."

    A. Lin Goodwin, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.

    "This book is an important contribution to the thinking on school-university partnerships. The authors argue persuasively that "convergence of school policy and university reform, together with successful school leadership research has … provided new opportunities for the more regular formation of school-university partnerships to the benefit of both." They argue for a new form of mutually beneficial, evidence-informed partnership characterised by the ‘democratisation’ of knowledge creation which combines the expertise and knowledge of educators and academics. There is so much that is worthy of our attention – not least of all how we build trust and collaboration across people and institutions. This book gives us a powerful ‘promise of change’ analysing the social and intellectual assets that increase schools’ capacities to enact change for improvement. I wholeheartedly commend this to any educator or academic curious about how we work together to create a great education system."

    Leora Cruddas, Chief Executive Officer, Confederation of School Trusts (CST), UK.