The future of
educational leadership:

Five signposts

Leading Education Series #4


This report is not a Research Paper; it 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.
However, we wish to point out that:
The process used is not unusual, even in education circles: for instance,
the construction of university rankings,1 with several competing views about which parameters matter, and their weights.
Similarly, The Economist, financed by the Yidan prize,2 has published its ‘Worldwide Education for the Future Index’ in 2018 and 2019,3 with arguably opaque parameters, such as:

2. There is a tendency by the education research community to focus on
‘demonstrable validity’, which, if pushed too far, impedes progress. There are limits to demonstrability, and even the best instruments like PISA have their share of uncertainties.
Furthermore, implying resolution of validity problems misrepresents the quality of the underlying data (for instance, debating the weight given to a parameter, when the error bar of the parameter might exceed the weight variation). The Centre for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) paper ‘Theory of Change and Research Process’4 describes this complexity under the section ‘Evidence’.
3. The parameters at stake are hard to define to begin with, although CCR has established specific criteria during its research. CCR is collating large statistical surveys with variable validity, so it considers that triangulation is the best way to ascertain the hard-to-measure Skills, Character, and Meta-Learning abilities described here. This is a clear demarcation from, and complementary approach to, the traditional psychometrician approach of ‘few data points with high validity’.
If readers are keen to learn more details of the proxy parameters used in this study, please contact the Centre for Curriculum Redesign. CCR is committed to further investigation and development of this work and sincerely welcomes constructive feedback to this Discussion Paper.

Overview & Preview

9 Chapters

26 Pages

Building on the initial work done in collaboration with Brookings Institution, the CCR has developed an Index to highlight the disconnects between measures of students and adults education on one side, with the aggregate results of their countries on the other side. It expects this report to serve as a mindful thought-provocation about the importance of societal learning, and Competencies learning rather than only Knowledge – Knowledge is critical but not sufficient.

About the authorS.


Valerie Hannon is a global thought leader, inspiring systems to re-think what ‘success’ will mean in the 21st century, and the implications for education. The co-founder of both Innovation Unit and of the Global Education Leaders Partnership, Valerie is a radical voice for change, whilst grounded in a deep understanding of how education systems currently work.

Formerly a secondary teacher, researcher and Director of Education for Derbyshire County Council; then an adviser in the UK Department for Education (DfE) she now works independently to support change programs across the world.

Currently, she is also Senior Adviser to the OECD in its Education 2030 project. Valerie is a regular keynote speaker and facilitator at international conferences and workshops, drawing upon her substantial research and collaborative publications, including:

• Learning A Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work (Bloomsbury 2013);
• Redesigning Education: Shaping Learning Systems Around the Globe (Booktrope 2014);
• Local Learning Ecosystems (WISE 2019).

Valerie is the 2020 author of The Australian Learning Lecture on the subject of The Future School, which will appear as a new book in late 2021. Her last book, THRIVE: The Purpose of Schools in a Changing World (2021) was published by Cambridge University Press. Also in 2021 Valerie was given the Outstanding Achievement in Education Award by EduFuturists.

Anthony Mackay AM is CEO and Board Co Chair of the Washington DC based National Center on Education and the Economy. He was Inaugural Chair Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), Inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), immediate past Chair, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and immediate past Deputy Chair of New Zealand’s Education Council.

He is currently Co Chair of the National Project, Learning Creates Australia; Deputy Chancellor, Swinburne University, Melbourne; Honorary Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne and Chair, The Song Room, Australia.

Anthony is Co-Founder of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP), and Foundation Board Chair of the Innovation Unit Ltd, England.

He is an Expert Advisor to OECD/CERI, Consultant Advisor to the Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network, Senior Fellow IBE UNESCO; International Advisor to Learning Forward (USA); and Director, High Resolves Global Board.

Anthony is the Moderator of the Annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession; Moderator of Ministerial Sessions and Key Debates at the Annual World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) and Moderator of OECD’s Global Education Industry Summit.

Sample Pages

It is clear that leadership in education is entering a new phase. Leadership is more important than ever, but is faced with profound challenges: the legacy of health-related disruption; unacceptable and unsustainable growth in inequality; mental health problems amongst learners and teachers; leadership burnout; and difficulties in recruitment

Valerie Hannon and Anthony Mackay AM

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