Jaap Versfelt, Founder of leerKRACHT
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What is 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 870 schools, 10% of all primary, 1 in 8 secondary schools and 50% 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.
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.