A design for sustainable school reform – Digging into data to support differentiation

Using research-informed strategies to extend high achieving students in maths and improve a school’s systems for sustainable improvement

This article highlights some recent work my colleagues and I have been undertaking at a school in Singapore. It features in the journal for the Australian Centre for Educational Research and is focused on a sustained reform initiative in the area of Mathematics Education. This extract is the first of a two part series and describes the context for the reform, its goals and the key focus areas for students, teachers and school leaders. The second article in the series will focus further on the action that has taken place during the project and its impact on different stakeholders to date.

From a SOL perspective, an additional interest is the thinking that rests behind the reform. While not explicitly addressed within the article, a reading will reveal evidence of our attention to the development of personal mastery and team learning through a systems approach. In the second part of the article, as the impact of the reform is explored in more detail, we see the shift in mental models and evolution of a shared vision that has resulted from this work over time. While we are keenly interested in the impact of the initiative on student learning in relation to mathematics, the transferability or scalability of this approach across the school and other schools in the region is also a key interest. I’m developing a research paper that will explicitly focus on the organizational dimension of the work for presentation later in the year and will share via the meeting room for those who are interested.

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