Volume 22, Issue 2

Discussion of Strategic Planning as Understood through the Theory of Planning and its Relevance to Education

By: Robert H. Beach and Ronald A. Lindahl

ABSTRACT:  The purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to strategic planning in education, including basic principles, templates, and factors that led to its rise to become a recognized approach in educational planning, and in the issues that have led to increasing reliance on other approaches to educational planning.

Practice of Strategic Planning and Strategy Implementation in Public Universities

By: Assefa Beyene Bassa

ABSTRACT:  Recently Ethiopia has been engaged in a huge expansion of its higher education institutions. This was also accompanied by a series of institutional management reforms and quality assurance regulations. Accordingly, the organizational environment in the public universities of Ethiopia has been changing from time to time. In such a context, the key to better align these academic institutions with the needs of their rapidly changing internal and external environments is the design of appropriate strategic plans and effective implementation of their preferred strategies. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the practice of strategic planning and strategy implementation in public universities of Ethiopia. Data were collected through questionnaires from staff members (from both academic and administrative) and students; and through interviews from the management team members (Vice Presidents and Directors) of three selected public universities. The results of this study showed that in the sampled public universities: stakeholders’ participation in the process of strategic planning was found to be low; less emphasis was given to critically assessing their ever changing external environment while planning; the practice of clearly communicating their preferred strategies and activities to both academic and administrative staff was found to be minimal and ineffective; there was also lack of adequate monitoring, follow up and feedback systems; moreover, major decisions were made without aligning them with the university’s preferred areas of priority and major objectives as stipulated in the strategic plan document.

Strategic Planning in Education in Turkey

By: Emine Babaoglan

ABSTRACT:  This paper examines the implementation of strategic planning within the K-12 schools of Turkey, beginning in 2010. In Turkey, the concept of strategic planning is often misunderstood and as a result, a large number of practical problems have arisen. Thus, strategic plans which were prepared and implemented in schools have not been realistic, functional or practical. Furthermore, educators throughout Turkey have become very skeptical of strategic planning. For successful implementation of the strategic planning process, it has been suggested that educators analyze and examine the values of the organization, the functional and situational plans, as well as the establishment of an effective communication network among school stakeholders. Furthermore, it is essential that the leadership/management of the school strategic planning engages the support of stakeholders’ awareness in this process. In addition, it is suggested that the creation of a conceptual foundation for strategic planning, including awareness, stakeholder participation and promotion of the strategic planning process should occur. It is also suggested that schools collaborate with other schools and universities to share ideas and support for planning.

Strategic Planning in the Educational System of Poland: Complex Challenges of the Past, Present, and Future

By: Rafał Piwowarski

ABSTRACT:  The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the strategic transition of preK-12 education in Poland in the Post World War II Period. Strategic planning was primarily focused on centralized state-control and was heavily predicated on Marxist-Leninist ideology in the three decades following World War II. However, since that time, there have been significant developments to decentralize education in Poland and empower more local control. This article provides the historical context of strategic planning during this transition.

When describing the Polish education system in general terms, it is necessary to state that, in the past, it was heavily state-controlled and entirely subjugated to Marxist-Leninist ideology. State control was reflected in a centrally designed syllabus, in the ministerial monopoly over textbook production, and in the laying down of strict requirements for teachers and other educational staff. In fact, teachers in the classroom had room for maneuver in their choice of methods, but hardly any in the content of their teaching.

An important feature refers to something that has, fortunately, not happened: the planned reform of the early 1970s intended to introduce the so-called “ten-year secondary school”, which, in fact, would not have been secondary but rather a prolonged primary school. The reform would have been the belated implementation of the similar Soviet project of the 1950s. Although experience with the ten-year school in the Soviet Union was negative and the experiment was discontinued in 1973, it was, nevertheless, to be realized in Poland. Due to a shortage of teachers, financial means and a lack of progress in producing the required curricula, the reform remained on paper and was never really implemented (Piwowarski, 1996b, p.16).

Another typical feature of the Polish system was the limited involvement of parents and the local community in school life. On the rare occasions it did occur it was limited to the problems of the material well-being of schools, and did not affect the syllabus and the contents of learning. For many years the development of general secondary schools was curbed, the learning of foreign languages was reduced and young people of the working class were led into a cultural cul-de-sac, namely, basic vocational schools. There was wide-scale destruction of the school network in the country; the educational (Communist Party) authorities decided, at the end of the first half of the 1970s, on a concentration of the rural school network because there were too many small schools. There were good reasons for the decision, but it was carried out without any preparation and in a mechanical way. Many schools that had existed for many years, some of them built by the farmers, peasants themselves, simply disappeared. Many teachers from these closed-down small schools left the teaching profession because they had lost their special allowances for work at a small school.

Strategic Planning Higher Education:  Plans, Pauses, Perils and Persistence

By:  Timothy Law Snyder

ABSTRACT: The strategic planning process requires considerable detail, much of which is covered in traditional literature on strategic planning. Using actual and existing strategic plans as example, we discuss aspects of strategic planning in academic settings that are often not addressed. We present a list of action items that should be considered as part of any strategic planning process, speaking to their value in the case of the example plans. One important action item is assurance that one’s plan, when formed and when implemented, is robust enough to weather unexpected circumstances like the financial surprises that arrived when recently-minted plans were launched. We also present cautions that require awareness and appropriate action as a strategic plan is created or implemented, again using example plans as case-study guides.