Phased Implementation: Successful Alignment of Tools of Implementation to Improve Motivation and Mastery in Lower Secondary Schools in Norway14 nov 2014
Is one national implementation strategy better than another given similar conditions? Or: Is choosing an implementation strategy a way of altering its conditions? A Norwegian aphorism says that the forest stands although its trees changes. In this chapter we examine current implementation dynamics in Norway. We discuss how perceived changes fit long-term (‘standing’) national features of the education system, and how they may inform and play into the changing international landscape of travelling policies. In Norway, a phased implementation strategy is being used to implement the Strategy for Lower Secondary Education 2013-2017. The aim is to improve classroom instruction in lower secondary schools. The strategy is based on research indicating that student motivation for learning is at its lowest at this level of schooling. In this chapter we explain the idea of phased implementation. We describe stakeholder responsibilities and indicate how implementation tools are aligned across phases. Our perspectives are based on a survey among school leaders and school owners conducted Spring 2014. Findings show a surprisingly high degree of optimism in informants’ responses given that former implementation research in Norway pointed to loose couplings between reform goals and local impact. We discuss benefits and challenges of the phased strategy, paying attention to aspects specific to Norway and to those shared by other CIDREE-members.