Why are educational frameworks essential in schools? Have they been proven to work – is there research to indicate their effectiveness? These are some of the questions that I have been asked, and apart from the fact that I have implemented and seen the impact of educational frameworks myself, additional proof of their usefulness can be found in the corporate world. Frameworks in business aren’t a new concept: if you search on Google, you will find examples of frameworks designed for business strategy, management, processes, transformation, analysis, etc. While schools are not “corporate businesses,” this doesn’t mean that they can’t benefit from implementing a modified version of a business framework – an educational framework. According to Customerthink.com, a robust business framework is comprised of:
“A good business framework creates an organizational environment in which people think and act for themselves, yet collaborate to achieve common goals and objectives."
While not all of the above objectives apply to the field of education, most do, and can be achieved through the use of an educational framework that includes goals and strategies, organization and culture, roles, tools, systems, objectives, and creating an environment where people think for themselves, yet collaborate to achieve common objectives. How do educational frameworks serve to achieve these goals? Let’s take a look at the Flipped Classroom Framework below, designed for any school wishing to flip the way subjects are taught by having students follow online lessons at home while utilizing classroom time with learning activities and traditional homework.
A. Goals & Strategies
The Flipped Classroom Framework’s goals stem from the center – the school’s vision and any strategies provided to staff will serve to reach these goals.
B. Organization & Culture
The secret to creating a successful organization and a cohesive culture at any school is in providing a visual for staff to see how everyone connects and then presenting them with tools that will allow them to work as a team. The above diagram is the visual depicting the school’s organization, and the customized planning templates that accompany the framework are the means to attaining a clearly defined and unified culture.
The Flipped Classroom Framework allows for individual roles to be considered, as highlighted by the four subject area branches. Four branches have been used in this diagram, however a school will likely have more than 4 branches and examples of branches could be – P.E., Math, Science, Language, etc. Roles for Learning Support and ELL teachers have also been defined, as they will be providing support to both the mainstream and specialist teachers.
As mentioned in point B, no framework is complete without the tools that will be provided to staff in order for them to realize the school’s vision – the individualized planners. Each planner takes into account subject area and where individual teachers are in their career learning journey. By providing these customized tools, teachers are inspired, and this empowerment has a direct effect on students and their learning.
The Flipped Classroom’s objectives will be based on the school’s vision and met by the provided teaching planners.
F. Collaborative Environment
Like any business framework would, this educational framework serves to create a collaborative environment, as depicted by the inner and outer rings of double arrows. Staff will not only be required to flip their individual subject areas, but also work within a team environment where if a connection can be made between language and science, for example, teachers would work together to create both the online materials for home and the in-class learning activities. ELL and Learning Support staff are involved as they will be assisting in creating both the differentiated and scaffolded learning materials sent home and the classroom activities. As with any good framework, staff are encouraged to both think for themselves and to collaborate on common objectives.
As illustrated above, a solid educational framework can effectively meet the above-mentioned objectives the same way as any well-designed business framework. And the proof that educational frameworks do work and are essential? I challenge you to find a successful company that isn’t using some form of framework(s) to achieve their goals and create a strong culture. So, the only question left to ask is, if the corporate world is using business frameworks to successfully achieve their goals, what are we in the field of education waiting for? The answer to achieving your vision and a cohesive culture at your school is only an educational framework away.
What is an Educational Framework?
The Flipped Classroom Framework
The Language Framework
The Transitional Framework
The Early Years Framework