Professor Brian Caldwell Published Books

Professor Brian Caldwell Publications

the autonomy premiumThe Autonomy Premium – by Brian J. Caldwell

Published  September 2016 by ACER Press | ISBN-13: 978-1-74286-378-8 | Edition: 1

The autonomy premium is a concise response to the popular and often loosely defined debate about whether higher levels of student achievement may flow from autonomy in school management and professional practice. Drawing on over 40 years of research Brian J Caldwell examines a series of compelling questions that bring the reader through the key pillars of autonomy-related studies. These include:

• Why are there mixed results in research into links between school autonomy and
student achievement?
• What do more autonomous schools actually do to make gains in student achievement?
• Is professional autonomy the key driver for improvement?

Through the lens of case studies in Australian public schools with support for autonomy across levels of government, the book focuses on research where the links to learning improvement have been mapped. In addition to a capacity for local decision-making for school improvement, the findings highlight local discretion in curriculum, personnel, pedagogy and resources. Professional autonomy trumps structural autonomy.

The autonomy premium is essential reading for anyone with an interest in understanding the policy and practice of designing drivers that can shape successful school autonomy.

The Self-transforming School – by Brian J Caldwell and Jim Spinks

Published August 2013 by Routledge – 224 pages Professor Brian Caldwell Publications

This is the first mega-analysis in education policy and practice. It combines an overview of insightful meta-analyses of factors contributing to the success of schools and an analysis of powerful mega-trends that are shaping developments in education in general and schools in particular.

The book spans 50 years starting with Caldwell and Spinks’ ground-breaking book The Self-Managing School (1988) that described approaches that were considered at the time to be either undesirable or impossible to achieve yet are now accepted as preferred practice. Twenty-five years later in their fifth book they draw on their work in more than 40 countries to offer a prognosis and plan for the next 25 years.

The central theme is that all schools in all settings can secure success for all students in an era where society and economy are changing constantly and dramatically. This does not mean that schools will operate alone; many if not most will be members of networks – many networks in some instances – and these networks will be global more than they are local. Most will be part of a system of schools and will draw on ‘the system’ for support in some matters. However, the school will ‘call the shots’. No amount of externally designed re-structuring, re-staffing, or command-and-control direction will by themselves be sufficient to achieve the transformation of schools. Many schools in some nations are doing this now, but achieving scale-up for all schools everywhere by replicating particular approaches cannot and should not be an expectation. Leadership of the highest quality deeply embedded in schools and systems of schools will be required. Leadership to reproduce the status quo or to achieve modest improvement will not suffice.

Professor Brian Caldwell PublicationsTransforming Education Through the Arts – by Brian J. Caldwell and Tanya Vaughan

Publication Date: January 12, 2012 | ISBN-10: 0415687020 | ISBN-13: 978-0415687027 | Edition: 1

This timely book takes up the challenge of maintaining programs in the arts in the face of unrelenting pressure from two directions; the increasing focus on literacy and numeracy in schools, teamed with the cut-backs in public funding that often affect the arts most severely. Drawing on the wealth of evidence already available on the impact of the arts, including the findings of a landmark experimental study in Australia, this text considers:

  • The social and educational impact of neglecting the arts
  • Research evidence on engagement in the arts
  • Why there is a need for educational reform
  • How to transform schools through engagement in the arts

This challenge to arts education exists at a time where an increasing number of students are becoming disengaged from the traditional schooling model that appears ill-suited to the needs of the 21st century and to the ways young people learn in a globalised, high-tech knowledge world. Transforming Education through the Arts provides illustrations from around the world that clearly show how the arts have transformed learning for disengaged students and established their worth beyond doubt in settings where the disengagement of students has hitherto been presented as an intractable problem.

Transforming Education through the Arts is an indispensable tool for policymakers and practitioners in school education and for academic and postgraduate students with an interest in the arts. It is also highly relevant to the work of individuals and organisations in the philanthropic sector and those in the wider community who place a priority in closing the gap between high and low performing students.  

Professor Brian Caldwell PublicationsOur School Our Future – Shaping the future of Australian schools is for school leaders motivated to meet the challenge of ensuring their schools are successful both now and into the future.

The kit includes a book and supporting Resource Book. The book investigates the forces shaping the future of schools, looks at the need for a clear vision and detailed planning, describes the role of values and innovation and analyses the elements involved in gearing for change. It draws upon the views of teachers and school leaders in Australian schools, the experience of schools that are sustaining success, and expert thinking from around the world.

The Resource Book uses the structure of the book to set out practical activities and exercises to challenge thinking, encourage and facilitate collective thought and action and lead schools to feel empowered to create schools for the future.

Authors Brian Caldwell and David Loader were co-directors of the Futures Focused School workshop series conducted nationally in 2009. They are both successful authors in the education field.  

Professor Brian Caldwell PublicationsChanging Schools in an Era of Globalization – by John Chi-Kin Lee and Brian J. Caldwell

Published 5th April 2011 by Routledge – 234 pages – Series: Routledge Research in Education

Much has been written about globalization and the challenge of preparing young people for the new world of work and life in times of complexity and continuous change. However, few works have examined how globalization has and will continue to shape education in the East. This volume discusses education within the context of globalization and examines what is occurring in schools and systems of education in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Australia. Closer examination of recent developments and current trends reveal the same turbulence and a range of common issues in areas such as assessment, curriculum, leadership, management of change, pedagogy, policy, professional capacity and technology. This volume demonstrates the commonalities and differences and offers tremendous insight into the way things are done in places where student achievement is high but there is also a sense of urgency in continuing an agenda of change.

Why not the Best Schools? What we have learned from outstanding schools around the world – by Brian J. Caldwell and Jessica Harris

Published by ACER Press **Shortlisted for an APA award 2009!**

Expectations have been raised in Australia and comparable countries for an ‘education revolution’ that will secure success for all students in all settings. Such a revolution must ensure the alignment of educational outcomes, the skills required for a strong economy, and the needs of a harmonious society. Why not the Best Schools? offers a ten-point, ten-year plan for an education revolution that will result in the transformation of Australia’s schools.

Why not the Best Schools? goes beyond system characteristics to provide an in-depth account of how transformation occurs in schools. Fifty indicators are provided to help shape strategies for policy makers and practitioners in schools and school systems. Guidelines for leadership and governance ensure a future-focus for those who are determined to ensure that all students will succeed in the twentieth-first century.

This book draws on a five-year study culminating in the International Project to Frame the Transformation of Schools conducted in Australia, China, England, Finland, the United States and Wales. The findings are consistent with the McKinsey & Company report on the world’s best performing school systems and those arising from OECD’s PISA. There are 6 Case Study books, sold separately  


Raising the Stakes From Improvement to Transformation in the Reform of Schools – by Brian J. Caldwell and Jim M. Spinks

Published 20th July 2007 by Routledge – 256 pages – Series: Leading School

Raising the Stakes provides an understanding of the breadth of resources that are needed in order to provide a quality education to all students so that every individual, organisation and institution can become a stakeholder in the enterprise. This comprehensive book draws on best practice in several countries to show how resources can be allocated to help achieve high expectations for all schools. The book demonstrates how schools can move from satisfaction with improvement to accepting the challenge to transform, identifying and exploring the need to align four kinds of resources:

  • intellectual capital, that is, the knowledge and skill of talented professionals
  • social capital, being support in the form of cash, expertise and advocacy drawn from a range of individuals, organisations, agencies and institutions in the broader community
  • financial capital, which must be carefully targeted to ensure that these resources are aligned and focused on priorities for learning; and finally
  • spiritual capital, which can be viewed in a religious sense or in terms of the culture and values that bring coherence and unity to these endeavours.

The authors also outline a Student-Focused Planning Model with particular attention to the deployment of resources to support each student and embracing the notion of personalising learning. Practitioners and researchers reading this book will be inspired to work more closely in networking knowledge about how ‘high quality’ and ‘high equity’ can be achieved. Raising the Stakes is essential reading for those with the responsibility of ensuring that resources are acquired and allocated to achieve the best possible outcomes for students.  

Re-imagining Educational Leadership – by Brian J. Caldwell

Publisher: ACER Press, 2006

Re-imagining Educational Leadership will help reshape educational leadership in school systems around the world at a time when policymakers seem to be losing faith in what schools can accomplish and school leaders are losing heart. Part A, ‘Re-imagining the Self-Managing School’, reports what has happened in schools that became self-managing in the 1990s. Caldwell describes how best practice has far outstripped the initial vision. Two exciting new concepts of ‘synergy’ and ‘sagacity’ are described and illustrated.
Deeper exploration of the new image of the self-managing school led to the formulation in Part B, ‘The New Enterprise Logic of Schools’, the first element of which is ‘the student is the most important unit of organisation – not the classroom, not the school, and not the system’. Illustrations from schools that had been transformed or were on the way to transformation reveal that leadership can be exhilarating, even under the most challenging circumstances. Part C, ‘Exhilarating Leadership’ counters the negative headlines about leadership in schools that is too often portrayed as ‘mission impossible’. Re-imagining Educational Leadership will challenge policy makers at all levels to re-imagine educational leadership. This book shares a genuine optimism that educational leadership is ‘mission possible’ at a time that many have doubt.

The Future Of Schools, Lessons From The Reform Of Public Education – by Brian J. Caldwell and Don Hayward

Published 29th August 1997 by Routledge

This book provides a unique analysis of the efforts to establish systems of self-managing schools around the world. It describes the ‘Schools of the Future’ program in Victoria – the largest system anywhere to have decentralized 90 percent of its budget for local management in schools. The core of this important book charts the move from dependence on a highly centralized and bureaucratized structure to one that values local decision-making, and the creation of a system of self-managing schools. The book also shows how these and similar programs in other nations will lay the foundation for further reform. This is a fascinating collaboration between a leading academic and a former government minister.

The Return Of The Mentor, Strategies For Workplace Learning – by Brian J. Caldwell and Earl M.A. Carter

Published 16th April 1993 by Routledge

This is a book on the good practice of mentoring written by scholars and practitioners in education, health and industry. It considers the roles of the mentor-mentee in changing workplaces affected by external forces including technology, the economy and the dismantling of middle- management structures, and offers guidelines for those who seek good practice, and the nurturing of the individual in a caring and collaborative culture.; A brief history of mentoring and its subsequent usage is presented, with special attention paid to the gender issues. New concepts such as “shadowing” and “reflective interviewing” are introduced and explained, and strategies are presented in such a way that they can be applied and adapted in any setting. The whole process, therefore, aims to empower the professional in a school, university or industrial level, and with others, towards a more effective and perceptive practice.; All those involved in education and training of individuals at a school, college or industrial level training will find this useful. 

Leading the Self-Managing School – by Brian J. Caldwell and Jim M. Spinks

Published 27th April 1992 by Routledge – 240 pages

This work is a sequel to The Self-Managing School and deals with leadership responsibilities on two levels – as head of a school responsible for local management and as a director in a Local Education Authority responsible.  

The Self-Managing School – by Brian J. Caldwell and Jim M. Spinks

Published 28th January 1988 by Routledge – 288 pages

Offers a model for self-management based on research in effective schools. Guidelines and illustrations based on successful adoption are offered throughout. The aim is quality in education, with the beneficiary being the pupil.