Challenging Assumptions about School Culture

The only way to embed transformative learning is to create a whole-school culture of reflection. Despite the pressures on time, reflection is not a nice-to have luxury, but an absolute necessity, argues Professor Russell Grigg in the third of his thought-provoking series.
Teacher with students

Here’s a personal, rhetorical question: ‘How many hours do you work each week?’ Recent research commissioned by the Department of Education reports that classroom teachers and middle leaders are working an average 54-hour week, while senior leaders are working even longer hours, typically 60 hours each week (Hazel, 2017). Not surprisingly, most have long to-do lists. Therefore, suggesting that school leaders make time for reflection might seem something of a luxury.  In this final article in the series on reflective practice, we argue, however, that one of the secrets behind the most successful schools is leadership which promotes a culture of reflection that leads to transformative learning. But what does this mean in practice and, given the constraints of time, how can school leaders develop a culture of reflection and evaluate its impact?

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