I will teach a course (number A-317) at Harvard Graduate School of Education) this spring titled “International Lessons from Successful Education Systems to graduate and doctoral students of Harvard University. This course explores the question of what counts as credible evidence in education policy learning and whole-system school reforms. In this course I will be working with my students to bring more light into the world of educational change, high performance in education and ethics of global educational reform work.
Course description: The performance of education systems has become a common indicator of nations’ success or failure, and has both economic and social importance when countries are seeking more ecological sustainability and inclusive economic growth. The growing popularity of international benchmarking of education systems in the 1990s provided governments and media more comprehensive and comparable tools to compare educational performance in different parts of the world, and created a group of countries or jurisdictions where educational performance has exceeded that of other countries as measured by standardized student assessments. This course will take a closer critical look at what constitutes high performance and the transferability of successful practices between educational contexts, exploring questions such as: What should a good education system look like? How are high performing education systems similar? What are the principles of good international policy analysis and advice? How do international development organizations use the lessons from high performing education systems? Students will: explore, compare, and contrast the characteristics of high-performing education systems; learn to think deeply and critically about international education benchmarking, the opportunities and limitations of transporting policy ideas between systems, and the main principles of policy borrowing and lending to develop education systems around the world; and develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are needed in policy analysis and advisory using the lessons from high-performing school systems.
We will actively use social media as part of the learning tool repertoire. Students will communicate their process of learning with those interested in following our learning journey. More about that later.