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Influential Institutions


Created on 08 February 2011 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 25 September 2013 by ncetm_administrator

Influential Institutions

 

The Influential Institutions materials address the question

What are the characteristics of an institution that make it likely to be influential when working with others on professional development for teachers of mathematics?

Audience:  These materials are primarily for Headteachers whose commitment to improving teaching and learning by offering professional development extends beyond their own institution.

Purpose:  The materials give an insight into organisations that have been successful in working with others in professional development for teachers of mathematics.  Case study Headteachers frequently spoke of the impact on their own teachers and learners of their institution’s work with others.  They are therefore designed to help Headteachers develop the influence their own institution has with others, and to help them have a positive impact on their own institution.

The materials:  There are 5 elements to these materials

report The main report includes background to the research, followed by the common characteristics of institutions which are influential.

reportAs well as providing details of the institutions involved and how they work with others, the case studies illustrate the common characteristics and the interplay between them in particular circumstances.

category grid The category grid provides a summary of institution status, type of collaboration, professional development, and sources of funding.

category grid The Interactive Google map shows the location of all the case studies along with further indepth information.

report The self analysis questionnaire will help Headteachers to establish how closely their organisation matches the characteristics, and to determine what action they might take to establish theirs as ‘influential institutions’.

The common characteristics:  The main report groups the common characteristics within 5 themes:

  • Theme 1 - Institutional leadership and subject leadership driven by people with vision, energy and commitment
  • Theme 2 - A commitment to professional development within the institution and across institutions, with its roots in current research and best practice
  • Theme 3 - A track record of working in partnerships with others underpinned by a strong ethos of sharing resources and experience
  • Theme 4 - Careful planning, processes and project management which ensure effective project outcomes
  • Theme 5 - Close attention to practicalities including funding opportunities

themes Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme 4 Theme 5
The report explores each of these 5 themes succinctly but not simplistically.  Each theme is illustrated by reference to particular case studies; each case study reports the aspects of influence relevant to the particular circumstances, and how the aspects inter-relate in the particular case.

reportMain Report
report
Who are the materials for?
The Influential Institutions materials are for Headteachers and leadership teams in primary, secondary or tertiary organisations whose commitment to improving teaching and learning and thus raising achievement in mathematics extends beyond their own institution. 
report
What is the purpose of the materials?

The purpose of the materials is to provide an insight into organisations which have been successful in working with others in professional development for teachers of mathematics.  In the process, it will also highlight the type of development activities which flourish in an environment of collaborative practice.

Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, case study Headteachers and representatives frequently spoke of the positive impact on their own teachers and learners which directly resulted from their institution’s work with others. The materials are therefore designed to help Headteachers develop the influence their own institution has with others, and to help them have a positive impact on their own institution.

The self analysis questionnaire based on the characteristics identified, is intended to help Headteachers and senior staff establish how closely their own organisation matches the characteristics, and determine what action they may want to take to establish themselves as ‘influential institutions’ for mathematics professional development.

report
How you might use these materials

You could:

  • Read the main report, particularly the common characteristics section
  • Use the links within the common characteristics section to explore a small sample of the case studies
  • Use the category grid to prioritise case studies for further reading
  • Use the self analysis questionnaire (‘Current approach’ sections) to record how your institution matches the common characteristics
  • Use the self analysis questionnaire (‘Areas for development’ sections) to determine what actions you might take to develop your institution’s capacity to influence others

Or, you could:

  • Start with the self analysis questionnaire, using the ‘Current approach’ sections to describe your institution in terms of your interpretation of the 5 headings
  • Read the main report, particularly the common characteristics section
  • Use the links within the common characteristics section to explore a small sample of the case studies
  • Use the ‘Areas for development’ sections of the questionnaire to determine what action you might take to develop your institution’s capacity to influence others.

Or you could:

  • Start by reading a sample of case studies, perhaps focusing on those most relevant to your education sector, or using the short summaries or category grid to identify ones that interest you.
  • Read the main report, particularly the common characteristics section
  • Use the self analysis questionnaire (‘Current approach’ sections) to record how your institution matches the common characteristics
  • Use the self analysis questionnaire (‘Areas for development’ sections) to determine what actions you might take to develop your institution’s capacity to influence others
There is, of course, no one right way to use these materials and we envisage that you will develop your own ways while in the process of using them.
report
Background and research

The report is based on case studies of 22 institutions; 3 from the primary sector, 8 involving primary/secondary cross phase collaboration, 10 from the secondary sector and 1 involving post-16/secondary collaboration. The opportunity to take part in the project as one of the case study institutions/partnerships was widely promoted, and recommendations were sought from Local Authority contacts, SSAT, National College and other networks.

A number of institutions that expressed an interest had previously engaged with NCETM and were known to have taken a leading role in collaborations and partnerships promoting professional development. Written expressions of interest were sought and these were followed up by the project team through phone conversations and email dialogue.

The final 22 case studies were selected to illustrate a wide variety of models of working, as well as being drawn from different sectors and regions, and they include urban, suburban, inner city and rural catchment areas. NCETM associates visited the schools and colleges in question, holding in depth interviews with teachers in the named institution as well as with some of their partners to investigate how their influence arose and the form of the relationships and development activities.

report
Common characteristics

An analysis of the case studies shows that the influential institutions studied exhibit a number of common characteristics.  For convenience we have grouped these common characteristics under five themes.

Of course, some (perhaps all) of these characteristics are demonstrated by many institutions. However, it is the way that institutions prioritise and address the different factors, and the complex interplay between those factors, that enables some institutions to have real influence on teachers in other institutions and in their own.  And it is that influence that can then lead to genuine impact on pupils and on their performance.

The 22 case studies illustrate how the characteristics are manifested in particular situations, how they inter-relate, and how the institutions have prioritised and addressed them.

Influential institutions are characterised by:

  • Theme 1:  institutional leadership and subject leadership driven by people with vision, energy and commitment
  • Theme 2:  a commitment to professional development within the institution and across institutions, with its roots in current research and best practice
  • Theme 3:  a track record of working in partnerships with others underpinned by a strong ethos of sharing resources and experience
  • Theme 4:  careful planning, processes and project management which ensure effective project outcomes
  • Theme 5:  close attention to practicalities including funding opportunities

The hyperlinks for each of these themes analyse the characteristics further, with key elements highlighted in the text.

Under each of the themes there are links to selected case studies.  Whilst each of the 22 case studies has been identified under one of the themes that it illustrates, they invariably also illustrate aspects of the four other themes. 

We hope this will help the reader to make connections between the themes and the case studies - seeing the common characteristics in action.  The category grid provides a summary of specialist status, type of collaboration, professional development, and sources of funding.

report
Useful Weblinks

National College for leadership of schools and children’s services

OFSTED reports

NRICH

LSIS

Glossary of Terms 

 
 


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