Over the last decade, policy makers around the world have achieved varying degrees of success when trying to change their education systems. Initiatives have ranged from efforts to improve classroom instruction to system-wide structural upheaval. Some change programmes have been transformative, some have initiated incremental improvement and some have been disappointing.
This paper explores the successful aspects of the change projects we have been involved in. Our findings demonstrate that when thinking about change in different political and economic contexts there are common features that can make or break a programme.