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Effectieve schoolverbetering

By T.J.E. Mijs


Effective School Improvement The knowledge, 'effective school improvement', developed significantly over the past forty years. Despite the knowledge about school improvement built up over this period, it is still not possible to predict whether a specific reform will be a success or failure. Various school improvement programmes have been designed over the past fifteen years based on the knowledge of school improvement and school effectiveness. Evaluation studies have been carried out on some projects to study the effects and the reform process. The findings of these evaluations constitute the best knowledge available on school improvement, but this knowledge has never been systematized into theories and/or models. The available research on programmes and makes it now feasible to explicate and classify knowledge about conditions for effective school improvement, thus contributing to the formulation of theories on effective school improvement. The problem statement for this dissertation is therefore: What factors can predict or explain the success or failure of the implementation of a reform in primary education? In the literature nine principles are mentioned that might enhance effective school improvement:\ud \ud 1. The school as a centre of change; \ud \ud 2. A systematic approach to change as a long-term process geared to incorporation;\ud \ud 3. Directed at the internal conditions: teaching and learning processes; \ud \ud 4. Directed at school procedures, roles and structures and sources, which support the teaching and learning processes;\ud \ud 5. Setting educational targets at school, teacher and pupil levels;\ud \ud 6. Using a multi-level perspective;\ud \ud 7. Operating integrated implementation strategies;\ud \ud 8. Some form of (external) support should be present;\ud \ud 9. Research-based, in which knowledge from various research areas, such as school improvement and school and teacher effectiveness is integrated. \ud \ud We investigated whether empirical evidence can be found for the nine principles through further literature study. 36 evaluation studies of school improvement projects were selected from which evidence for the nine principles could be collected. In addition we used quantitative and qualitative data collected during the evaluation study conducted during the implementation of the Dutch project 'Managing Differences in Beginning Reading'. Reviewing all the available empirical data, we concluded that a great deal of evidence was found for the principles 3, 4 and 8. Evidence was also found for the need for these three principles to be to some extent combined with each other. A reasonable amount of evidence supports the principles 1 and 2. The evidence for these five principles has been summarised in a model. Little or no evidence was found for the principles 5, 6, 7 and 9. Therefore these principles could not be included in the model. However, based on ideas mentioned in the literature and our own experience, we still expect these relationships to be important. To show these postulated relationships a heuristic model for effective school improvement has been developed for use in research and development of effective school improvement programmes

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, effective school improvement, reading, school effectiveness, school reform, comprehensive school reform program(s),, evidence based reform, empirical evidence, primary education, heuristic model, eductional innovation
Publisher: Utrecht University
Year: 2007
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