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Creating a Learning School
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Creating a Learning School

First Edition


May 2005 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'It is full of good sense, a treasure chest of helpful ideas which have the credibility of being grounded in case-study material, and in the experience of the authors, two of whom are practising headteachers. The book sets out the principles underpinning the learning school, but offers also a strong pragmatic focus and is organized so that it can be dipped into and something worthwhile easily found…It will support change and improvement in the professional practices involved in making a school a stimulating learning environment for adults as well as students' - Dr Martin J Coles, Assistant Director, National College for School Leadership

The 'learning school' described in this book suggests an alternative to the preoccupation with tests, targets, and leadership from above, and focuses instead on independence of learning and structural flexibility within schools.

The authors give a complete overview of how schools can adapt to meet changing needs. They look at the teacher as learner, learning outside the classroom, and the nature of leadership in the learning school. Practical suggestions to the problems of staffing, resourcing and assessment are all covered, enabling those in schools to make their own choices.


This book is an invaluable resource for all mid-to-upper level managers in schools, anyone aspiring to these positions, or anyone who takes a long-term view of the future with learning at the heart of educational practice.


David Middlewood is a research associate of the University of Lincoln.
Richard Parker is Principal of Beauchamp College, Leicestershire.
Jackie Beere OBE is Headteacher at Campion School.

David Middlewood
What Will Learning Schools Look Like?
David Middlewood
Why Learning Schools are Needed
Richard Parker
Leadership for Learning Schools
David Middlewood and Richard Parker
Staff in Learning Schools
Jackie Beere
Teachers as Learners
Richard Parker
Resourcing the Learning Environment
Jackie Beere
How we Learn in the 'Classroom'
Jackie Beere
Creating the Contexts for Effective Student Learning
Richard Parker
Learning and Transition
Jackie Beere
Assessment for Learning
David Middlewood
The Role of Parents in the Learning School
Richard Parker and David Middlewood
Moving Beyond Conventional Schooling

'Improving the quality of learning and teaching is the most important thing that school leaders do. This book contains much that will help the reader in that enterprise. It reflects the fact that much of what we know about effective, high-quality schools is already ‘out there’ in schools across the country. The book mines that gold. It is full of good sense, a treasure chest of helpful ideas which have the credibility of being grounded in case-study material, and in the experience of the authors, two of whom are practising headteachers. The book sets out the principles underpinning the Learning School, but offers also a strong pragmatic focus and is organized so that it can be dipped into and something worthwhile easily found. It sets out practical and specific steps to creating the Learning School and will support change and improvement in the professional practices involved in making a school a stimulating learning environment for adults as well as students' - Dr Martin J Coles, Assistant Director, National College for School Leadership

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2 (pdf file 170kb)


David Middlewood

David Middlewood is currently a part-time Research Fellow at the Centre for Educational Studies in the University of Warwick, having previously worked at the University of Lincoln and the University of Leicester where he was Deputy Director of the Centre for Educational Leadership and Management. Prior to working in Higher Education, David taught in schools for many years, culminating in the principalship  of a comprehensive secondary school for nine years, where awards were won for creative arts and equal opportunities. He has taught and researched extensively in the UK and also in various countries in Europe and Africa, being a... More About Author

Richard Parker

Richard Parker, PhD, is also a professor in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City as well as President of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA) [http://www.abiaids.org.br/] in Rio de Janeiro.... More About Author

Jackie Beere

Jackie became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 1999, training many teachers and school leaders across the UK in techniques for transforming learning and developing Emotional Intelligence. In 2002 Jackie received an OBE for services to education for her work in developing Learning to Learn initiatives and for leading national training for AST's.... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412910422
£30.99 

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