Faculty of Education
School leadership in the context of standards-based reform the subject of recent book
Louis Volante, PhD
Department of Teacher Education
Associate Professor, Brock Univiersity Faulty of Education
It’s a rare combination, but Dr. Louis Volante, associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education, can be characterized as both the teacher and the student – especially when it comes to the relationship between assessment research, policy and practice.
Volante, who has credits to 67 scholarly publications and 63 scholarly presentations, is a well versed educator in his field, but continues to let his curiosity and passion drive him towards uncovering new ideas, methods and practices; remaining a constant student of the subject.
“I have always been fascinated with testing and student achievement and initially I did much of my earlier graduate work in the area of psychometric assessment,” says Volante. “Currently I am interested in international testing measures such as the OECD Programme in International Student Assessment and the policy implications of such measures on schools.”
Over the course of his research, Volante notes that there have been some interesting, sometimes surprising findings, one of which is related to where leadership in schools derives from.
“Often, it is the novice teachers and administrators that provide the instructional leadership within schools,” says Volante. “[This is] due to the currency of their knowledge and education.”
Volante’s most recent research has culminated in a 263-page publication titled School Leadership in the Context of Standards-Based Reform, that examines interconnections between standards-based reform, student assessment and school leadership as well as the impact of standards-based reform on school leadership across a range of international contexts.
The Book also highlights challenges that school leaders face in various international contexts and the implications for policy and practice, all the while discussing key issues for sustainable large-scale reform.
“Perhaps the most salient finding is that there is no one approach to standards-based reform and that countries change – there is a danger in paying attention to its evolution and impact in one context,” he says. “The book makes it clear that while the language may be the same across a range of countries the words reflect different contexts and can represent very different ideals, values and processes.”
In general, Volante hopes to “improve teaching and learning through the effective use of student assessment policies and practices” and will continue to conduct research and teachings in order to make that hope a reality.
Volante began his career in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii, taught at Concordia University in Montreal prior to coming to Brock in July of 2005, where his teaching responsibilities include the coordination of assessment and evaluation courses within the Initial Teacher Education Program and instruction of several graduate courses.
He is also the past recipient of the R.W.B. Jackson Award for the most outstanding English language journal article from the Canadian Educational Researchers’ Association.
For a full biography and to learn more about Dr. Louis Volante please visit
http://www.brocku.ca/education/directory/teachered/dvolante or http://www.foed.brocku.ca/~lvolante/
Dr. Louis Volante
Department of Teacher Education