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How can we create a strong body of teachers and create a continuous improvement culture?

leerKRACHT

Netherlands
The leerKRACHT foundation believes in the quality of all teachers, and wishes to give ownership of education back to the teachers. It aims to achieve this through helping schools to promote a continuous improvement culture, wherein teachers work together to improve their teaching, with school leadership being role models in the improvement process.
Introduction

What is leerKRACHT?

“The quality of education is driven by the quality of teachers.”

Jaap Versfelt, Founder of leerKRACHT

The central idea of leerKRACHT is that creating a continuous improvement culture in schools is the key to improve the quality of education and thereby student results. This idea was the basis for the leerKRACHT foundation – started as a pro bono initiative of McKinsey & Company in 2012. leerKRACHT started to work with 16 schools to develop and pilot a 2-year intensive transformation programme that helps schools improve the quality of their teaching.

The goal of the programme is to lay the foundation for a continuous improvement culture in schools, where teachers work together to improve the quality of education. By further developing this approach and introducing it to thousands of schools leerKRACHT wants to be the catalyst for a movement that helps the entire Dutch educational system move from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Six years after it began, leerKRACHT is operating in 750 schools, 10% of all primary, 1 in 8 secondary schools and 40% of vocational schools in the Netherlands. This is despite being a bottom-up private initiative, requiring particiapting schools to free up their own coach, time from the school leader and making space in the roster of all teachers in the school for 1-2 hours each week. The reason schools make this investment is that they hear from participating schools the impact of this approach on the quality of education, work satisfaction and student involvement.

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Innovation Overview
TEACHERS
Target Group
-
Children/Users
1
Country
2012
Established
-
Organisation
296
Views
Tips for implementation
In order to participate education providers have to be willing to make free one to two hours of their teachers timetables every week, so that they can work together. They will also need a free internal coach for around half a day to help. The leerKRACHT foundation works full-time with schools for the first year, part time the second year, and then schools are on their own from the third year on wards. Visit LeerKRACHT's website for more information: https://stichting-leerkracht.nl/
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HundrED Review
Innovativeness

leerKRACHT is innovative in that it has managed to impact such large amount of teachers and therefore students in just a short number of years.

Impact

In 2013 an independent investigation carried out by the Open University, 82% of the participating teachers indicated that they believe that their teaching had improved as a result of participating. A similar number said that they would recommend participation to fellow teachers. In 2014 the Dutch Ministry of Education funded a next round of an independent impact assessment. This time carried out by the University of Utrecht. They concluded that 1) schools carry out the programme as planned, 2) it leads to enormous enthusiasm in participating teachers and school leaders, 3) that leerKRACHT helps to build a professional culture and that 4) teachers and school leaders see and expect that leerKRACHT will lead to better student results. See this summary and links to the report: http://www.stichting-leerkracht.nl/nieuws/resultaat-van-onderzoek-en-metingen-naar-de-impact-van-leerkracht/ (in Dutch)

Scalability

leerKRACHT is now in hundreds of primary schools, 1 in 8 secondary schools and 40% of vocational schools in the Netherlands.

Media

See this innovation in action

How a simple idea is transforming Dutch education
Netherlands 2016 | READ online

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Classroom observation and feedback conversation
To get inspired, give feedback and jointly identify areas for improvement (at least once every two weeks per teacher).
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02
Joint lesson planning
To share experiences and jointly tackle difficult teaching challenges (at least once every two weeks per teacher).
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03
'Board session'
This idea is taken from the LEAN movement in the manufacturing industry, where small teams hold daily stand up meetings to jointly improve quality.
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04
Teachers asking students for feedback
Students play a pivotal role in shaping their teachers development, through continuous open feedback.
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