Creating Whole-System Change
Creating Whole-System Change: The Ontario Ministry of Education

Author: IPAC, Ontario Public Service
Publication Date: 2014

The Case Study Series is a joint undertaking of the Ontario Public Service and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada to advance the development of policy learning and capacity within the OPS through the transfer of knowledge in significant policy experiences in the Province.

Abstract: Improvements in student achievement have been achieved by adopting a number of existing policy instruments and developing new ones as required. In addition, the strategy included collaboration with, and engagement of, sector stakeholders, differentiated support for schools and school boards, and opportunities for fostering ongoing professional learning. It was supported by quantitative and qualitative research and the continuous sharing of findings as a means to build better practice through collaborative learning, not simply to address post-facto accountability requirements.

This case study examines the efforts of the Ontario Government in these areas, focused on the theme of implementing policy change through others ' in this case district school boards, principals, and individual teachers. It looks at how the ministry of education used research and evaluation findings and indicator data to track both practice and performance, and harvested on-the-ground experiences to transfer knowledge and build capacity. Robust data and on-the-ground experience were means to an end ' improving student achievement and rebuilding support for public education.