Leading Education Series

Learning Creates Australia Co-Chair Anthony Mackay AM is Commissioning Editor of the Leading Education Series (Published by Centre for Strategic Education).

The papers in this series make the case for change to broaden learning recognition and have enabled Learning Creates Australia to situate our work within an international reform agenda. They demonstrate best practices in broadening learning recognition internationally, map pathways forward for systems and articulate rigorous methodologies of measuring and assessing this change across learning systems.


Adaptive leadership: A perspective on transforming education (April 2023)

Penelope Brown’s paper, Adaptive leadership: A perspective on transforming education, is written in direct response to Valerie Hannon and Anthony Mackay’s paper, A new politics for transforming education: Towards an effective way forward. It explores how an Adaptive Leadership perspective might further strengthen our understanding of the failures they identify, and elucidate options for leadership practice on this transformation agenda.

Published for CSE's Leading Education series, It articulates the foundations of an adaptive leadership framework, makes connections to the education context, and poses provocative questions, so that we can see the challenges in greater depth and become inspired to have new conversations.


A new politics for transforming education: Towards an effective way forward (February 2023)

Valerie Hannon and Anthony Mackay’s paper, A new politics for transforming education: Towards an effective way forward, is published for CSE's Leading Education series, as a follow up to the fourth paper in the series, The future of educational leadership: Five signposts.

The paper offers a perspective on the politics of education as we seek to move from a a 20C learning system to a 21C learning system. It draws from interview transcripts, conducted from November 2022- January 2023, as part of an international enquiry with elected ministerial and senior political advisors.  It discusses the role that politicians can play and should play in a transformation agenda and includes an exploration of two paradigms currently at play, the misalignment caused, what can be done to advance change and what we can learn from climate movement.


Leadership as a learning activity (October 2022)

Nicholas Conigrave's paper, Leadership as a learning activity, paper is written for leaders and practitioners who are facing the challenges of leading organisational change in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times. It explores the idea that to lead this change, leaders need to put learning at the centre of their practice and make it part of their core role.  

The paper, published for CSE's Leading Education Series shares current thinking and frameworks to support leaders to create an environment in their organisations that will enable people to do their best work and truly thrive.  



School Improvement: Precedents and Prospects (August 2022)

David Hopkin's paper "School Improvement: Precedents and Prospects" outlines the history of school improvement interventions internationally and best prospects for improvement at all levels of our learning systems. Published for CSE's Leading Education series, the paper point out continuing myths and mistakes systems have made to improve learning (top-down approaches) and sketches a path forward, demonstrated by schools, experts and systems towards the transformation of systems and the improvement of learning for all.






Renegotiating learning in a hybrid world (July 2022)

Chris Harte and Summer Howarth's paper "Renegotiating learning in a hybrid world" redefines and clarifies the term "hybrid learning" and centres learning in the context we all inhabit - a world where technology, learning settings, the time in which learning happens, the diversity of learners and power differentials must be negotiated. Published for CSE's Leading Education series, the paper provides a guide for learners and educators to make sense of a hybrid world and the implications of adopting a hybrid learning model at system, school, pedagogical practice and learner levels. 






Building World Class Learning Systems (June 2022)

Geoff Masters' paper "Building World Class Learning Systems" is based off a three-year study (NCEE & ACER partnership) of British Columbia, South Korea, Finland, Estonia and Hong Kong's learning systems. This summary paper (published for CSE's Leading Education Series) details what these high-performing learning systems have historically put in place and how they are anticipating transformational change needed maintain that level of achievement going forward.







Education for human flourishing (May 2022)

Michael Stevenson's paper "Education for human flourishing" for CSE's Leading Education Series explores new thinking on the purposes of education. After an opening reflection on societal goals and the priorities for education systems, he presents the concept of Education for Human Flourishing. He then discusses underpinning orientations; three competencies that people might need; the opportunities for assessment; and potential directions for how people should learn. In the final section he suggests trajectories for education system design and concludes that there will be opportunities to validate and strengthen this thinking, but also to enrich it with new ideas and approaches, through research, dialogue and consultation.






What schools for tomorrow? Futures thinking and leading for uncertainty (Apr 2022)

A new paper from NCEE and Australia’s Centre for Strategic Education, “What schools for tomorrow? Futures thinking and leading for uncertainty” argues that anticipation and preparation for the future need to be essential elements of strategic thinking in education. Noting that the pandemic has reminded us of the costs of being unprepared for shocks and surprises, the paper builds on four fictional future school scenarios outlined in a 2020 OECD book co-authored by Tracey Burns, NCEE’s Senior Advisor and Distinguished Research Fellow.





Learning in a floating world of disciplines: Reflections on the MetaPraxis Project (Apr 2022)

The MetaPraxis Project has worked with 12 schools in Adelaide to facilitate the conceptualisation, design and leadership of interdisciplinary learning projects, in which a central focus has been the development of meta-intelligence. This paper begins a story of critical partnership: layers of dynamic, agentive and collaborative learning, between MetaPraxis teams and their schools and communities; between teachers, between teachers and students, and between students.





Learning on purpose - Ten lessons in placing student agency at the heart of schools (Feb 2022)

Charles Leadbeater is an internationally renowned author and advisor on innovation, including to the OECD’s 2030 framework. His latest paper, in partnership with the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia, presents lessons participating schools learned from the three-year Student Agency Lab project in South Australia. The ‘A Lab’ helped schools help one another develop practical approaches to achieving greater agency among students. The schools also explored the role of teachers, as well as the organization and leadership of the whole school.






The World’s Best Performing Education Systems: What Would It Take for Them to Adapt to What Might be a Very Different Future? (Oct 2021)

Marc Tucker, Founder and President Emeritus of NCEE, argues in his latest paper, The World’s Best Performing Education Systems: What Would It Take for Them to Adapt to What Might be a Very Different Future? that education systems all over the world are out of date and unable to provide the kind of education all young people need to succeed in the global economy of tomorrow.





The future of educational leadership: Five signposts (Aug 2021)

The fourth paper in a series on ‘Leading Education’ from the Centre on Strategic Education in Australia, The future of educational leadership: Five signposts, explores and reflects on the nature of the leadership required at this pivotal time in human history. The paper argues that a new form of leadership is urgently needed to reshape our educational systems in a post-Covid environment, taking into account how our schools fit with and relate to the economy, technology innovations, and the broader society. The authors offer and discuss five ‘signposts’ to indicate the direction that leadership should take. Find an introduction to the paper in the video below.






Assessing countries’ competencies - The 4D index: ranking of skills, character and meta-learning (Jun 2021)

The third report in the Leading Education Series is a Discussion Paper. It is intended to advance the imperative for multidimensional assessments of countries’ competencies. The authors fully and openly recognise the methodological challenges – in conceptualisation, in data sources, in construction and in establishing validity. This paper does not claim to have resolved those challenges.







Rethinking Assessment in Education: The Case for Change (Apr 2021)

In this paper, Bill Lucas, Co-founder of Rethinking Assessment, a coalition of education leaders, employers, researchers, and policymakers looking to reform assessment in England, argues that current approaches to assessment use ‘the wrong kinds of nets’, especially if we are wanting to ‘catch’ young people’s strengths. He discusses issues with the content of school curricula; models of a more global curriculum and lifelong learning; the roles of skills and competencies in learning; and related problems with educational assessment. Lucas revisits the purposes of assessment, explores promising practices from around the world and provides examples of both visible progress and emerging new directions in assessment. Find an introduction to the paper in the video below. 





The right drivers for whole system success (Feb 2021)

The first report in the Leading Education Series, written by Michael Fullan, is intended to provide a comprehensive solution to what ails the current public school system and its place in societal development – a system that is failing badly in the face of ever complex fundamental challenges to our survival, let alone our thriving as a species. What follows is a ‘big’ proposal. Once started the ‘four drivers’ feed on each other as a system in motion. Most important, the timing is right