The Autonomy Premium

The Autonomy Premium: Brian Caldwell’s next book

Brian Caldwell’s next book, to be published by ACER Press in mid-2016, is entitled The Autonomy Premium. This is his tenth book on the theme of school autonomy published over 30 years since 1986. We’ll keep you posted on publication dates, price and availability of Brian to conduct seminars, workshops and presentations based on the book.

The book describes and illustrates how schools can build the capacity to achieve higher levels of student achievement by using the autonomy that has been granted to them in recent years – thus gaining the autonomy premium – and how school systems can support them. The book addresses eight key questions:

  1. Why are there mixed results in research on the links between school autonomy and student achievement?
  2. What is it that schools actually do with a higher level of school autonomy when they take action that leads to gains in student achievement?
  3. Why is it that some critics or sceptics about school autonomy advocate approaches to school improvement that assume or require schools to have a relatively high degree of autonomy?
  4. How important is a higher level of school autonomy when all of the forces that may help achieve gains in student achievement are taken into account?
  5. Is a higher level of school autonomy likely to foster innovation of a kind that will yield benefits to the student and the nation, especially in the development of new approaches to learning in the 21st century?
  6. How important is school leadership and how may principals and other school leaders be prepared for and supported in their roles?
  7. What is the role of the school system in encouraging and supporting a higher level of school autonomy?
  8. Where is the profession heading for principals and other school leaders if trends to higher levels of school autonomy are sustained and new approaches to learning are developed?

The book is intended for policymakers and practitioners, especially for principals and other school leaders who seek to attain the autonomy premium. A feature is the set of 100 ‘big ideas’ to guide schools and school systems.

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