Developing a Model of a Cycle of Fast Learning (CFL)

Project Number
OER 03/09 PT

Project Duration
October 2009 - December 2010

Status
Discontinued

Abstract
One of the central challenges confronting national educational policy makers and systems leaders and school-based leaders involves development of the capacity to produce, disseminate and implement improvements in educational practices that contribute to time-sensitive improvements in student learning. This challenge is one that requires the development of a systematic approach to teacher and organisational learning that can underpin small and rapid improvements that incrementally contribute to larger improvements, which, in turn, are sustainable because they achieve sustained changes in how teachers think and work (Darling-Hammond et al 2009, Lieberman 2008). The overarching rationale for this project reflects the view that schools in Singapore are increasingly required to develop the capacity to generate solutions to their problems internally. Singapore’s schools are becoming more diverse as a result of government policies such as ‘thinking school, learning nation’, ‘teach less, learn more’, and ‘top down support for bottom up initiatives’. This project is a response to these challenges, leveraging current OER research in Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) to develop an indigenous resource for generating ‘home grown’ improvements in educational practices, and related thinking. The research will document the evolving nature and use of a ‘cycle of fast learning’ (CFL) which serves to improve school-based staff development and organisational learning. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of CFL in terms of both the capacity development of those involved, and the improvements they achieve. The sites for this initial work will be RGS and NIE. The CFL cycle has five activities: reconnaissance; design; implement; evaluate; strategise and learn. The CFL will itself be improved through its repetitive use—the CFL will be both an object for research, and a means for its improvement. Evaluation will also focus on elaborating the optimal conditions for its use. Implementation, if successful in RGS and NIE, will be extended to additional sites. This research has great potential to provide an indigenous approach to educational improvement that is strongly aligned with local values and practices, and especially Singapore’s relentless quest for rapid improvement in its educational practices.

Funding Source
NIE

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