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Norwegian leaders in education improvment conclude learning at OISE

June 10, 2011

By Jennifer Sipos-Smith

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seminar for Norwegian leaders in education improvement concludes a successful few days of learning and collaboration at OISE today.  The seminar, organized in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), supports the Norwegian Ministry of Education in its efforts to improve lower secondary education by focusing on effective policy and implementation strategies.

Participants include 30 high-level Norwegian policy-makers, including the Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen (at left with OISE Dean Julia O'Sullivan), as well as the Directorate for Education, governors, municipality representatives, trade union representatives, congress and education representatives of parliament.

During the visit to Ontario, the delegation of Norwegian educators will interact with educators from OISE and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, meet with officials and stakeholders from the Ontario Ministry of Education, and visit with school boards and schools to discuss effective policies and practices implemented by the Ontario Ministry and consider how successful improvements to the Ontario system could be integrated into Norway's policy design and implementation strategy.

The seminar focused on two critical areas identified in the OECD-Norway review on lower secondary education:
1.  Implementation: How the Ministry can more effectively implement policies that will improve lower secondary outcomes directly, and primary and secondary schooling more generally;

School improvement strategies: How the Ministry in collaboration with municipalities and schools can improve lower secondary instruction through on-going school improvement strategies.

One outcome of the seminar will be to craft an improvement plan for Norway. The plan will be developed from the Norwegian White Paper on Quality in Lower Secondary Education, the OECD report Improving lower secondary schools in Norway, and readings selected by the seminar faculty from Harvard, OCED and OISE.  They include: Nancy Hoffman, Harvard GSE, Jobs for the Future, United States; Richard Elmore, Harvard GSE; Ben Levin, OISE; Robert Schwartz, Harvard GSE; Paul Reville, Harvard GSE and Massachusetts Secretary of Education. Also contributing to the Seminar from the OECD-Norway Steering Group are: Beatriz Pont (OECD); Diana Toledo Figueroa (OECD) and Dennis Shirley (Boston College, United States).