educational leadership development 
Jan Arend Brands

free man management consultants

(New site made in AppDrag. September 2019) 

ABOUT ME

PERSONAL DETAILS

Name: Jan Arend Brands

Date of Birth: 14 June 1946

Address:
Ooijsebandijk 30 6576JE Ooij Netherlands

Phone: +31 654645636

Email: janarend.brands@freeman.nl

PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION

I was educated as a (head)teacher in basic education, a mathematics teacher and
I studied ‘Educational management and education in international perspective’ at the State University Groningen in the Netherlands.



MY WORK BACKGROUND

EXPERIENCE (Main projects)

Projects and activities in:
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Flanders, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Russian Federation, South Africa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, South-Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, Viet Nam, Zambia

2014 - CURRENT

Focus on Latin-America


PROJECTS

2019, Chile. Draft report 'Induction and mentoring for novice principals in Chile'
as a follow up to the report on Induction and mentoring of novice principals in the USA and 4 EU countries: Flanders - Belgium, Netherlands, UK (England, Scotland) and Finland.
Commissioned by the Technical Assistance for the SA-EU Dialogue Facility (Pretoria, South Africa).
Part of the Framework for Induction of School Principals Project. 
Participation in a Round Table organised by the Ministry of Basic Education South Africa.
(Please note that the reports mentioned are not yet finished products. The information in the reports will be included in a broader final report).


2015, Chile. Two-week studytrip: Educational Management and Equity.
Conversations were held (amongst others) with schools, Ministerio de Educación, CPEIP, ACE, CIAE, CPCE and CEPAL


2014 - 2015, Ecuador. Joining VVOB  in supporting the 'Ministerio de Educación' in designing training for educational managers as part of the 'Programa de Fortalecimiento de la Educación y Formación Técnica Profesional' (EFTP - 2014-2016). 

Image: Cooking class, Quito
 

2007 - 2012

Focus on Viet Nam


PROJECTS

2008 - 2012, Project manager
Development and implementation of a new Masters in Educational Management at the University of Education, Viet Nam National University Hanoi and 4 other universities and organisations.

2007, Support to the the strategic planning of the National Institute of Educational Management (NIEM).




Image: School children, square in front of St. Joseph Cathedral Hanoi.

2000 - 2009

Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa


PROJECTS

2000 - 2004, Tanzania. Support to the Agency for the Development of Educational Management.

2003 - 2009, Initiative and support to LEAD-link (Leadership in Education for African Development). 
A network of organisations, leading in their country in the field of Educational Management Development. Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, South-Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.



Image: Meeting LEAD-link Arusha, Tanzania

1980 - 2004

the Netherlands
with focus on the USA


MAIN JOBS

1981 - 1982, Netherlands. Assistant Professor,
Department of Educational Organization, Twente University.

1982 - 1998, Netherlands. Senior consultant,
Interstudie, Centre for Educational Management,
University of Applied Science, Arnhem

1997 - Current, Netherlands. Partner
free man management consultants

1986 - 2004, USA. Member Advisory Board,
International Network of Principals' Centers (INPC) at Harvard Graduate School of Education


Image: Harvard Graduate School of Education, INPC

OBSERVATIONS

ELD CHARACTERISTICS AND PROBLEMS

SUPPORTING SHOOL LEADERS: HOW TO PROCEED?

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CURRENT SITUATION OF SCHOOLS AND
SCHOOL LEADERS

- Important changes in education: From learning returning to pedagogy (Biesta);
- Non-fundamental changes by the use of ICT in education and personalised learning, upscaling use of ICT difficult; 
- Seemingly contradictory trends: Decentralisation and autonomy of school (e.g. Sweden), versus fighting the inequality stemming from such features of education (e.g. Chile); 
- Detailed accountability focussing on measurable results of schools;
- Schools challenged to become excellent schools with declining resources;

- In theory: Focus on instructional leadership, distributed leadership, hybrid leadership and system leadership plus professional learning communities;
- In theory: A change of focus from leadership towards professional collaboration of teachers as major condition for sustainable innovation;
- In practice: Anxious teachers feeling hardly any leeway for acting as a professional;
- In practice: Anxious principals and higher level managers avoiding to be blamed, choosing for ‘proven' solutions;

- Growing support for school leaders: training, consultancy, research, but...
- Declining trust in capacities of organisations supporting schools;
- Universities and schools cooperating in action-research schemes, but transferability of results still low.



DEVELOPMENTS SCHOOL LEADERS  EXPERIENCE AS RELEVANT IN THEIR CONTEXT

- Solving problems of their students in cooperation with a growing range of other organisations (e.g. other schools, justice, health, social welfare);
- Sharing responsibilities for students in other schools (system leadership);
- Uncertainty about management levels between schools and other levels like provinces or ministries (some vanishing, some new appearing) bringing constant fights about responsibilities;
- Inspectorates creeping into the details of the school
- Appointment of national leaders in education after breakdown of support for schools (UK);
- Self-improving schools as philosophy and as means of cut funding (UK).

MAIN FACTORS INFLUENCING THESE DEVELOPMENTS

- Neoliberal thinking;
- Fact free policies and management versus strong focus on wide-scale data collection (OECD, World Bank);
- Comparisons between countries (e.g. PISA) promoted by global, economy-oriented organisations (also OECD, World Bank);
- Successful initiatives for lower SES students (mis)used for diverting public budget to non-public schools with lower accountability
  (Charter schools, USA; Academies, UK; Kunskapsskolan, Sweden). Large scale implementation not successful;

- Education is seen as costs not as investments in the future;
- Growing global education industry seeking and getting access to education budgets (meant for schools);
- Global (rhetorical) attention for equity;
- Focus on evidence-based innovation, sometimes widening the interpretation of evidence;
- Killing creativity to build innovative new schools by quality control;
- Distrust in research (Ioannidis), ELD research incoherent;
- Research mainly on leadership of those schools that in fact are old-school organisations;
- Growing attention for action-research, sometimes widening the interpretation of what is real scientific research; 
- Distrust in training and consultancy, distrust in authority;
- Expected growing distrust of principals and teachers, parents not any longer accepting the authority of them;
- Students not any longer believing in relevance of school for their future.


BECOMING A GOOD SCHOOL LEADER OF A GOOD SCHOOL

- Consider a good school as a realistic goal to aim for. (Research shows that only very few schools can maintain to be an excellent school);
- Strengthen the professionalism of the teachers (hopefully with internalised accountability);
- Carefully select the goals that you make yourself responsible for. Do not overstate your possibilities to be responsible (it causes anxiety and/or power play);
- Support teachers in their self-chosen paths of becoming a better professional;
- Prepare to defend differences in the behaviour of teachers;
- Do not compete with other schools, make yourself responsible for the wellbeing of children beyond your school;
- Invite students to take responsibility and to be partners in the construction and implementation of learning processes (not all students will accept the invitation just like not all teachers do);
- Concentrate resources on less-resourced students (having less budget, less social capital). (Asking volunteers to support those students shows a misunderstanding of your responsibility);
- Consider instructional leadership as teaming up with individual teachers or groups of teachers in clarifying their theory of their practice of instruction, support your teachers to extend their learning communities outside the school;
- Define distributed leadership as a constant search for colleagues who want to take responsibility;
- Resist attempts of teachers and students to broaden your responsibilities (there will be many attempts);
- Focus on and solve together the problems that students encounter, which precedes a vision and a mission;

- Do not try to create a culture of trust. Start with trusting teachers in their professionality;
- Do not attempt faithful implementation of a model or practice from others. It removes your creativity and the creativity of the people with whom you work; 
- Acknowledge that certain goals can’t be combined e.g. high quality education and efficiency;
- Be satisfied that major decisions regarding inequality will be taken at a higher level and be prepared that stakeholders in school will try to redress those decisions.  
- Focus data collection only on goals really relevant for you (such as results of lower SES children). Avoid/ fight against detailed accountability on all aspects of the organisation.


UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS SUPPORTING SCHOOL LEADERS

- Continuing (participatory) case studies trying to identify different composites or compositions or configurations of good working schools (the level below excellent - without extra resources, or volunteers or much overtime from teachers);
- Selecting sparring partners that can help you find what might be missing in your configuration;
- Do not trust partners-in-spe that offer you single clear-cut model reducing your complexity to a simple eight factor, four phases model (or similar). Hardly ever the models tell you how to go foward from phase one to next phases.
- Hopefully consultants learn not to propose measures that are not in your reach or that are even more complex to realise than the original problem (Fullan ICT-advice Latin-America).


OVERVIEWS

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

TOP PROFS

SOME 70

An overview of the most important players in Educational Leadership Development
(current and past)

Images:
Allan Walker, Philip Hallinger

(Very) relevant abstracts or analysis, archive, journal, quarterly, review, revista or studies

Images:
Educational Administration Quarterly,
Educational Management Administration & Leadership

JOURNALS

SOME 30

SOURCES

SOME 25

Important assocations or bank, centro/center, confederation, consortium, council, foundation, instituto/institute, network, project, organisation, school or society

Images:
Commonwealth Council for Education Administation and Management
International Confederation of Principals

BLOGS

BLOGS 2014-2018

   All blogs

Categories

All
  • ICT and education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Inequity
  • National results of education
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Educational Research
  • Education Industry

Tags

All
Accountability
Biesta
Context
Emancipation
Evidence
GEI
GERM
Harris
Implementation
INPC
Inspectorate
ISSPP
Learning crisis
Monitoring
Murphy
Pedagogy
Political will
Research skills
SABER
Social activism
South-East Asia
Subjectification
Teacher as professional
Transfer

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CONTACT DETAILS

Ooijsebandijk 30 6576JE Ooij, the Netherlands

+31 654645636

janarend.brands@freeman.nl

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