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Whole school change for literacy teaching and learning: purposes and processes


te Riele, K and Stewart, S and Stratford, E, Whole school change for literacy teaching and learning: purposes and processes, Language and Education, 36, (4) pp. 329-345. ISSN 0950-0782 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/09500782.2021.1944182


School improvement has become a goal in many education systems globally, with the mantra of ‘whole school change’ adopted as key to achieving that goal. However, whole school change is complex and interpreted variously. In Australia, a case in point is the drive to lift literacy outcomes. Drawing on qualitative data from a study of literacy teaching practice in one Australian state, this article aims to unravel the multiple meanings and enactments of whole school approaches to literacy. The study established that while most participating schools espoused such an approach to literacy improvement, the ways in which they enacted this approach varied, with different types and levels of change emerging. Combining Cuban’s orders of change framework (focussed on purposes) and May’s phases of school readiness for change (focussed on processes), we developed a three-level framework of whole school change: external, pragmatically driven change; structural and/or nascent cultural change; and internal, culturally driven change. Taking this multidimensional approach to understanding whole school improvement sheds light both on its complexity and on the challenges of sustainability. Two clear implications arise from the findings: the importance of focussing simultaneously on purpose and process, and the necessity of systemic support.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:literacy, whole school change, multidimensional approach, pedagogy, Australia
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Education assessment and evaluation
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:te Riele, K (Professor Kitty te Riele)
UTAS Author:Stewart, S (Dr Sarah Stewart)
UTAS Author:Stratford, E (Professor Elaine Stratford)
ID Code:145180
Year Published:2022 (online first 2021)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:College Office - CoSE
Deposited On:2021-07-08
Last Modified:2022-10-13

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