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The Autonomy Premium

Professional autonomy and student achievement in the 21st century
ISBN13: 9781742863788
Author(s): Brian Caldwell
Publisher: ACER Press, 2016
SKU code: A5343BK
In stock


The Autonomy Premium is a concise response to the popular and often loosely defined debate about whether higher levels of student achievement may flow from autonomy in school management and professional practice. Drawing on over 40 years of research Brian J Caldwell examines a series of compelling questions that bring the reader through the key pillars of autonomy-related studies. These include:

  • Why are there mixed results in research into links between school autonomy and student achievement?
  • What do more autonomous schools actually do to make gains in student achievement?
  • Is professional autonomy the key driver for improvement?

Through the lens of case studies in Australian public schools with support for autonomy across levels of government, the book focuses on research where the links to learning improvement have been mapped. In addition to a capacity for local decision-making for school improvement, the findings highlight local discretion in curriculum, personnel, pedagogy and resources. Professional autonomy trumps structural autonomy.

The Autonomy Premium is essential reading for anyone with an interest in understanding the policy and practice of designing drivers that can shape successful school autonomy.

Author(s): Brian Caldwell
About the Author(s):

Brian J Caldwell is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Educational Transformations Pty Ltd in Melbourne and Professor Emeritus and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne where he was formerly Dean of Education. He is Deputy Chair, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). His major interests lie in leadership, governance, policy, finance, the arts and the management of transformational change in schools and school systems. His previous titles include Re-Imagining Educational Leadership and Why Not the Best Schools?, both from ACER Press.