Inspiring Systemic Improvement
The study of five units mathematics and science in schools does not occur in a vacuum; the school’s management, teachers, guidance counselors and the parents – all influence students’ ability to choose, persist and succeed, and also affect the teachers’ ability to provide quality teaching. The school system plays an important role in implementing its objectives, values, culture, professionalism and leadership.
Factors external to the school are also very influential. Schools in Israel belong to a local authority or a school network, and are supervised and instructed by district and staff units of the Ministry of Education. These entities play a role alongside a wider circle of players, including the national government that defines policy, allocates resources, supervises and measures; and the “clients” of the education system in the army, academia and the labor market, which express their needs and set their entry requirements.
Assisting schools by developing and implementing tools, aids and measures
In schools that are successfully developing quality teaching and expanding the circle of five-unit mathematics and science students, the value of excellence permeates the organizational culture. The value of excellence is expressed in the manner of conduct of everyone at school, the high objectives and standards it sets, and the formal and informal interactions and messages. These schools define a shared instructional system, focusing on it in the collaboration of staff members and parents around the learning of each student.
For this challenging purpose, schools require management routines and pedagogic tools that operate in tandem, including the formation of school-based communities of practice, individualized learning plans for students, formative assessment tools, and more.