Sustainable School Development

This is the central question for which the Sustainable School Development professorship of applied sciences wants to provide an answer. Sustainable School Development is a systematic strategy for improving learning results through the professionalisation of the (new) teachers, school management and school organisation. The development of the school’s ability to manage and strengthen changes is also essential.

The task that the Sustainable School Development professorship has set itself is to enable schools to become organisations for learning, experimentation and research. Strengthening the innovative and research ability of schools is key to this.

Together with lecturers, the professorship carries out practice-based research into the innovations that have been developed at the schools. In doing so, the process and effects are monitored in a systematic and methodical manner. In this way, the Sustainable School Development professorship makes an important contribution to the sustainable and integral educational and organisational development of schools; towards a ‘Plan-Do-Check-Learn’ cycle. 

Living Labs as innovation strategy 

The task that the Sustainable School Development professorship has set itself is to enable schools to become organisations for learning, experimentation and research. Strengthening the innovative and research ability of schools is key to this.

Together with lecturers, the professorship carries out practice-based research into the innovations that have been developed at the schools. In doing so, the process and effects are monitored in a systematic and methodical manner. In this way, the Sustainable School Development professorship makes an important contribution to the sustainable and integral educational and organisational development of schools; towards a ‘Plan-Do-Check-Learn’ cycle. 

Living Labs as innovation strategy

In order to arrive at a sustainable innovation strategy, we make use of the Living Lab innovation concept. This concept is based on an integration of the innovation process ( which the users themselves give shape to) and practice-based research. A process of so-called ‘natural experimentation’ takes place in the ‘real’ world of the education institutes. By explicitly and systematically incorporating the research phase within these innovations, we can create the preconditions that make it possible to follow the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Learn’ cycle and subsequently realise learning organisations.

This is the central question for which the Sustainable School Development professorship wants to provide an answer. Sustainable School Development is a systematic strategy for improving learning results through the professionalisation of the (new) teachers, school management and school organisation. The development of the school’s ability to manage and strengthen changes is also essential.

Room for Dialogue

How do you as an art organisation use social media to realise valuable interaction with your public? In the RAAK research project Room for Dialogue, part of the Vital Education research group, methods and strategies are being developed for the interactive use of social media for art activities.

Art organisations are becoming increasingly aware of their social function and are looking for new ways to give form to the relationship with their public. Due to its interactive nature, social media can play an important role in bringing about valuable interaction. Digital media after all carries with it new communication practices, with an equal and active dialogue with and between participants. This is in contrast to the usual way of working, in which the provision of information is one-sided. By stimulating active interaction, based on the exchange of experiences, views and insights, art organisations can give shape to their social function: sharing together and investigating the way in which we give shape to our lives and society.

Impact of strategies 

Together with the leading Frisian art and art education organisations - including Tryater, the Fries Museum and Keunstwurk - researchers are developing targeted strategies in order to realise significant interaction around art activities. The impact of the strategies deployed are also being described and analysed. The focus is on the content and the form of the communication as well as on the digital networks - the communities - that are created. Room for Dialogue will ultimately result in a set of methods and strategies, which art professionals can use to bring about or stimulate artistic interaction.

Students 

In the Room for Dialogue project, students work alongside the professional researchers. This is usually done in the form of sub-studies that are linked to minors, p tasks or graduation projects. In this way, students are researching, for example, how the storytelling communication strategy can be deployed in order to bring about interaction between talented young Frisian musicians and professional musicians in preparing for a live performance at the Freeze Festival in Leeuwarden.

“It is precisely in this day and age that it is important to show the value of the arts!”

- Antine Zijlstra, head researcher and project leader

Innovations in secondary school education

In the Innovations in Secondary School Education study of the Sustainable School Development professorship, innovative secondary schools in the north of the Netherlands function as Living Labs. Central to the research at these schools are their own innovations.

Schools make a choice in the manner in which they want to set up their education learning environments based on their own education vision and context (conditions). The adage ‘There is no one best way to organize education’ is the guiding factor here. Schools therefore have the possibility of varying the way in which they give shape to their own education and which changes or innovations they want to implement for this. 

For all schools it is important that they follow up their own innovations with research. The fact that this research is carried out by the teachers themselves provides important benefits; this helps to develop learning, investigative professionals and a learning school.

Burgemeester Harmsmaschool

At the Burgemeester Harmsmaschool in Gorredijk, the research group closely follows the development process of the lesplein  (learning centre). The possible effects on the learning and well-being of pupils resulting from the introduction of a lesplein for three AVO (general education) subjects in the junior classes is undergoing empirical research for a number of years. In addition, the teachers from the research group supervise various development teams in designing and researching various educational innovations.

Harens Lyceum 

At the Drachtster Lyceum in Drachten (part of Singelland) and De Groene Driehoek in Hoogeveen (part of RSG Wolfsbos), research groups are studying the effectiveness of educational innovations at school level as well as supervising teacher development groups in developing their own innovations.

National studies 

The Sustainable School Development professorship is also involved in a number of national studies. The professorship (subsidised by NRO) for example carries out research, together with the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, into the manner in which teachers use (scientific) knowledge to improve their lessons. In partnership with the Serious Gaming professorship of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, a development and research project subsidised by Raak-Sia is being conducted into the possibilities of gaming technology for teachers in effectively guiding gifted pupils in primary schools: De meester de Baas.

With whom do we work?

The Sustainable School Development professorship is a professional learning community that acts as a catalyst in the areas of knowledge development and knowledge exchange between schools, teacher training courses and the education supervisors and advisers.

The professorship also wishes to be an inspirational knowledge network for innovative schools in the northern region of the Netherlands. This network of professional learning communities of teachers consists of not only schools but also education advisers from the Educatief Centrum Noord en Oost (ECNO), staff of the teacher training courses and the Master’s degree programmes of the Institute of Education and Communication of NHL Stenden.

Various innovative secondary schools in the north of the Netherlands are attached to the professorship. These schools function as Living Labs. Central to the research at these schools are their own innovations. The schools are:

  • Burgemeester Harmsmaschool
  • Harens Lyceum
  • Drachtster Lyceum

Team

The people involved within the Sustainable School Development professorship include experienced researchers and education consultants who work at the Educatief Centrum Noord en Oost (ECNO), the teacher training programme of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and the Master’s degree programmes.

This knowledge network is also open to ambitious teachers who wish to further develop their skills in research and school development. The professorship is headed by professor of applied sciences Hennie Brandsma. He is an expert lecturer at the school leaders course ECNO/NHL Stenden Professionals.

Contact

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Research group Innovation in Higher Education

Team members