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Improving School Governance using an Action Learning Approach
Start date: 01 Dec 2012,

Progress on supporting principal and head teachers in developing skills like leadership and team-working has been both slow and haphazard according to a 2007 EC impacts assessment report. Training for head teachers is not yet common practice in the majority of countries, and 'intuitive leading' prevails. Training needs to be clearly linked to EU policy goals like ET2020. But even less attention has been devoted to developing the skills of school governors, who tend to be ‘amateurs’ compared to their professional counterparts. Differences in skills, expertise and power between senior professionals and governors lead to tensions and have been identified as a major obstacle to improving and modernising the school. The bigger picture is the lack of tools to support good governance in general, including what role should be given to the ‘student voice’ on school boards. Teacher education needs to be viewed against the wider background of Education for Democratic Citizenship (EDC). Supporting effective leadership requires a collaborative and action learning approach that emphasizes the need to stimulate ‘sensemaking’ between the different actors. IGUANA therefore aims to develop a methodology and tools to support ‘training for good governance’ in schools by implementing and validating a school 'learning community'. The environment includes training modules in governance self-assessment, leadership, team-working and evaluation and standards, based on an 'emotional well-being' pedagogic model and is supported by Web 2.0 tools to promote co-working and sensemaking. It will be piloted in 5 schools in 5 EU countries and validated by the EU School Heads Association.
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