Self-Evaluation: What's in It for Schools?

Self-Evaluation: What's in It for Schools?

Self-Evaluation: What's in It for Schools?

Self-Evaluation: What's in It for Schools?

Synopsis

Self-evaluation in schools sits at the top of the national agenda in response to an awareness that performance tables and inspector's reports can only tell a partial story. Schools are now encouraged to raise questions about 'How are we doing?' and 'How do we know?'. Self-Evaluation: What's in it for Schools? demystifies school self-evaluation and encourages schools to be self-critical and self-confident. The book helps schools and teachers develop the necessary confidence to work with evaluation tools. Accessible and packed with case studies, it tackles the issues that are at the forefront of the national agenda in most countries in Europe. Challenging ideas for the future are given through discussion of the concerns and issues of schools in the present day.

Excerpt

Kate Myers and John MacBeath

Series introduction

There is a concerted move to raise standards in the public education system. The aim is laudable. Few people would disagree with it. However, there is no clear agreement about what we mean by 'standards'. Do we mean attainment or achievement more broadly defined, for example, and how we are to raise whatever it is we agree needs raising?

At the same time, there appears to be an increasing trend towards approaching changes in education through a controlling, rational and technical framework. This framework tends to concentrate on educational content and delivery and ignores the human resource perspective and the complexity of how human beings live, work and interact with one another. It overemphasizes linearity and pays insufficient attention to how people respond to change and either support or subvert it.

Recent government initiatives, including the National Curriculum, OfSTED school and LEA inspections, assessment procedures, league tables, target-setting, literacy and numeracy hours, and performance management have endorsed this framework. On occasions this has been less to do with the content of 'reforms' than the process of implementation - that is, doing it 'to' rather than 'with' the teaching profession. Teachers are frequently treated as the problem rather than part of the solution, with the consequence that many feel disillusioned, demoralised and disempowered. Critics of this top-down approach are often seen as lacking rigour, complacent about standards, and uninterested in raising achievement.

We wanted to edit this series because we believe that you can be passionate about public education, about raising achievement, about

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