State of Innovation Report 2013_2

RICK’S café network is about schools becoming proactive players in their own right by adopting future oriented strategies for internationalisation while living with policy that is more often than not reactive in generic terms.

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Policy is more often than not reactive to change, is broad in its vision and handed down from the top on to schools and teachers. Teachers and schools are therefore on the receiving end of policies on immigration and integration and they are expected to implement them. This however does not preclude schools from living with policy in their own way, having their own strategies for internationalisation and readiness for intercultural change.

In this report we will see that this does not mean that schools need to be passive players in a world that usually changes faster than policy. Strategies for internationalisation are in the classroom, in the school and help live with policy and act as sounding boards for policy makers. This is what makes a school more proactive and preemptive when it comes to managing change.

Proactive stands for having future oriented strategies and for becoming a positive player in the design of policy. This would be more future proactive than reactive to change, since it can lead to alerting policy makers to necessary changes, supporting the development of new policy and accordingly of alternating existing policy as well as influencing their nature and animating change as early as possible without interfering with current policy. School’s proactive work would still take place within their own local frame, responding to it’s specific needs and having their own local identity that is the result of their immediate milieu. 

Schools necessarily implement policy that is handed down to management by policy makers. The school can use it in generic term in which policy are drafted to it’s own benefit. We are looking at a school that can be proactive in having its own future oriented strategies that make it ready for intercultural change whenever and whatever that change may be. This can be done without any conflict with policy within the classroom, in the school space and in the manner in which the school interacts with the community around it. In this report we will look at strategies, foresight tools and techniques that the school can adopt for its strategic planning and we will look at day to day small changes in the school that form part of the implementation of such strategies. Looking at the small steps one sees that strategies are in actual fact broad plans made up of concrete calculated small steps towards internationalisation that benefit teachers and students alike.

Therefore schools have the chance to have an impact on policy making through networking about the future oriented strategies they develop to be ready for intercultural change with the goal of having ready-made strategies at hand that help the school contain change. This would involve sharing these strategies with policy makers on different levels. It begins with those on school level, continuing to reach for higher players approaching policy makers on the local level and proceeding to the national level. This way teachers and schools aim to make policy makers aware of what changes are being approached without interfering with existing policies, but showing at the same time that with foresight teachers and schools equip themselves with what will be necessary to face future challenges. This could be an advantageous strategy to get covertly involved in policy making and even accelerating change on policy level.

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