Autonomy, Choice and Competition

A look at the Alberta education model Education secretary Michael Gove claims choice, autonomy and competition make Alberta’s schools the highest performing in the English speaking world. This film looks behind the rhetoric and discovers a highly collaborative network of school heads working with and within the local authority network.

Principal Jean Styles reveals the key role played by Edmonton district. The principals are a tightly knit and supportive unit who meet monthly for collaborative discussions about curriculum and teaching practice.

The programme explores the choice available to parents. In a number of primary schools two programmes operate side by side – a mainstream programme with children working in mixed ability groups and a more traditional, ‘Cogito’ programme, with children sitting in rows with the teacher at the front.

One principal states that the success of the choice agenda has had a profound impact on new private schools. ‘By all means set up’ he says ?and we’ll blow you out of the water’

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