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Promoting Equity in Schools


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Table of Contents

Foreword Ann Lieberman

Preface Jess Harris, Suzanne Carrington, and Mel Ainscow

Chapter 1. Addressing the challenge of equity Mel Ainscow, Jess Harris, and Suzanne Carrington

Chapter 2. A collaborative action research network Suzanne Carrington, Mel Ainscow, and Jess Harris

Chapter 3. Using accountability data as a catalyst Judy Smeed and Suzanne Carrington

Chapter 4. Listening to the voices of teachers Barbara Comber, Val Klenowski, and Jess Harris

Chapter 5. Students as active participants Nerida Spina, Val Klenowski, and Suzanne Carrington

Chapter 6. A whole-school approach to change Nerida Spina and Jess Harris

Chapter 7. Sharing knowledge beyond the school gate Mel Ainscow and Jess Harris

Chapter 8. Making sense of ethical leadership Lisa Catherine Ehrich and Suzanne Carrington

Chapter 9. Speaking to policy and practice: Implications for change Jess Harris, Mel Ainscow, and Suzanne Carrington



About the Author

Jess Harris is Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. Her research interests include school change, educational leadership, teacher learning, and the study of talk and social interaction using Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis. Suzanne Carrington is a Professor and Assistant Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. Suzanne's areas of expertise are in inclusive education, disability and teacher preparation for inclusive schools. She has engaged in research to inform policy and practice in Australian and international education contexts, more recently extending this research to the South Pacific and Asia. Mel Ainscow is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Manchester. Currently he leads Schools Challenge Cymru in Wales. He is a long-term consultant to UNESCO, working on international efforts to promote equity and inclusion globally. In the Queen's 2012 New Year honours list he was made a CBE for services to education.


Educators around the world have been dazed by the speed and impact of recent reforms based on markets, testing, and accountability. Too often the response has been paralysis and defensiveness, rather than innovation and collaboration. But there is a better way forward.

In this deeply democratic and inspiring volume, based on a network of schools in Queensland, Australia, educators can learn about how they can protect themselves from the worst dimensions of recent reforms, while capitalizing on their latent potential. Promoting Equity in Schools is an indispensable volume for all educators who want serious, practical, and sustainable solutions to the nitty-gritty challenges of leadership today.

Dennis Shirley, Professor of Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, USA

A very remarkable book of international significance that could and should not only enable schools to transcend the narrowness of what they are so insistently required to do, but also help governments to return to education worthy of democracy as a way of living and learning together.

There are at least three compelling reasons why this book is important: it is at once principled, realistic and inspiring.

  • Principled because it returns us to education as a common good that cherishes the development of all young people in all their diversity, not just those whose test scores drive and distort the daily realities of so much contemporary schooling.
  • Realistic because it shows us how commitment to inclusion and equity is not only possible and productive within the narrow imperatives of high pressure policy requirements, but transformative of them.
  • Inspirational because its many examples, rooted in the realities of multiple cases and contexts, give us a sense that another way is not only desirable but possible.

In sum, it restores and sustains our educational integrity in contemporary contexts that too often invite its betrayal. It nurtures hope in hard times."

Emeritus Professor Michael Fielding, UCL Institute of Education, UK

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