Browsing by Subject "school development"

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  • Tikkanen, Lotta; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne (2017)
    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of how national board administrators, more precisely, officials at the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) have perceived the primary influencing factors, or "regulators", of the national core curriculum reform and the success of the implementation. The alignment between the identified regulators was also explored. Design/methodology/approach - Altogether, 23 FNBE officials participated in this mixed methods study. Findings - The results showed that the officials perceived the core curriculum reform as a systemic entity: the reform was implemented using a top-down and bottom-up strategy, and several regulators were identified at different levels of the education system. The officials also viewed the implementation as successful, and identified more promoting than hindering factors in it. However, they emphasised regulators at the administrative level, whereas regulators at the district or national levels were less often identified. They also highlighted the importance of orchestrating collaboration in comparison with the other regulators. Practical implications - The results imply that in addition to considering separate determinants of reform success, it is important to pay attention to sufficient alignment between the regulators at different levels of the education system in order to better understand and promote the implementation of a large-scale reform. Originality/value - This study provides new knowledge on national board administrators' perspectives on what regulates the implementation of a large-scale curriculum reform.
  • Pietarinen, Janne; Pyhalto, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina (2019)
    This study aims to gain a better understanding of the Finnish national curriculum reform by examining how the educational practitioners, at the district level, orchestrate the shared sense-making concerning the reform work in their school districts. Qualitative focus group data was collected from 12 groups, throughout Finland, that were responsible for orchestrating curriculum reform work at the district level. Results showed that curriculum reform steering groups recognized the importance of orchestrating shared sense-making. They strived to develop functional, context sensitive, and shared strategies for reform implementation across their districts. They employed a range of strategies for managing, navigating, and regulating the shared sense-making of the local curriculum work.
  • Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne; Pyhalto, Kirsi (2018)
    Curriculum reform that has an effect on the everyday practices in schools always entails translation of new ideas into new educational practices. This takes place primarily through shared sense making. However, our understanding of the different ways in which shared sense making is carried out is still scarce. In Finland, the district level plays an important intermediary role in orchestrating curriculum development work at the municipalities and in translating and mediating reform into school-level development work. The study explores different shared sense-making strategies employed by 12 district-level curriculum reform steering groups around Finland, including participants from 54 municipalities. Three hands-on strategies of shared sense making including comparison, standardisation and transformation were identified. The results indicated that different hands-on strategies have different functions in the process of making sense of the reform objectives. To a certain extent, the strategies can be viewed as hierarchical. Overall, results suggest that district-level actors aim to foster shared sense making; however, a more intentional use of strategies is needed.