FIELD DEVELOPMENT
RESEARCH
TEACHING

 

MISSION AND CONCEPTUAL RATIONALE

At the turn of the century and into the new century, more and more educators are working in a world of intensifying and rapid change. In conditions that are increasingly unstable and uncertain, new technologies, greater cultural diversity, the skills called for in a changing economy, restructured approaches to administration and management, and a more sophisticated knowledge-base about teaching and learning, are all pulling students and their teachers in new directions. The dramatic changes that educators are making and being asked to make are not uniformly good or bad. Many of them pull in contrary directions.

Whether any educational change is good depends on what it is, how solid its base is, who benefits from it, and how well it is managed. The need for positive change in education is urgent but the consequences of bad change or badly managed change can be disastrous. In these challenging yet confusing times, educational change therefore needs strong advocates, skilled facilitators, articulate and intellectually independent critics, and rigorous scrutiny.

The International Centre for Educational Change provides a forum for the study of educational change and reform. As a practical and intellectual field, educational change is clearly here to stay. Educational change is being instigated, analyzed, discussed and read about with increasing frequency across the world. Yet the field of educational change belongs to no one discipline. Scholars in educational administration are interested in how change is implemented, organized and managed. Sociologists investigate the social forces that drive educational change, who benefits (or not) from educational change efforts, and the ways that different groups interpret them. Psychologists look at how individuals cope with change, how they learn the methods and skills to bring it about and what change means to them. Curriculum specialists are concerned with changes in what teachers teach and how they teach it. And historians examine the course of educational change over time, including changes that fail and continuities that prevail over them. All educational disciplines make important contributions to the study of educational change, yet the extent and complexity of educational change today is making it harder and harder to contain the study of it within any one discipline.

The International Centre for Educational Change is explicitly interdisciplinary in the approach it takes towards understanding and supporting change in education. While the Centre is housed in the Department of Theory & Policy Studies in Education the members have intellectual roots in a broad range of disciplines.

The people involved in the International Centre for Educational Change represent some of the best, most advanced thinking about educational change in the world with the kind of intellectual knowledge base and credibility with educators in the field that enables them to speak and write authoritatively and independently about the directions and consequences of educational change in the province, the nation and the world beyond. They have extensive and successful experience of working with schools, school systems and other organizations to initiate and implement improvements in education over time and are repeatedly called upon to speak to, advise and consult with education Ministries, teachers' organizations and charitable foundations in countries around the world, about the nature of educational change and how to manage it. The International Centre for Educational Change, in fact, is a community of scholars with world-class intellectual reputations and top-notch credibility among practitioners in the field.

 

   
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
of the University of Toronto