School Effectiveness for Whom? Challenges to the School Effectiveness and School Improvement Movements

By Roger Slee; Gaby Weiner et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 9

Realizing the Mission: Catholic Approaches to School Effectiveness

Gerald Grace

The field of school effectiveness research (SER) is currently marked by a lively debate and by conflicting evaluations of its own significance and effectiveness. For Reynolds (1995, p. 53) this 'infant discipline' has already achieved many positive results in that:

…it has helped to combat pessimism about the importance of the school system, to build professional self esteem and to provide a knowledge base that can act as a foundation for the development of improved practice…

Reynolds emphasizes the important role which SER has played in overcoming earlier notions of structural and cultural determinism (the school as relatively ineffective against existing social divisions) and against feelings of powerlessness for educational practitioners which could arise from such an analysis. In short, against pessimistic forms of sociological pre-destination along the lines of 'abandon hope, all you who work in capitalist school systems', SER has offered a measure of hope and a form of empowerment for education professionals.

For Hamilton (1996, pp. 54-6), however, school effectiveness research is not an infant discipline but 'an international industry' engaged in 'peddling feel-good fictions' among educators by generating research and writing which is 'technically and morally problematic'. The problematic nature of its research and writing, according to Hamilton, is that it oversimplifies both the concept of 'effectiveness' and the comprehensive range of methodological approaches needed to appreciate it. Above all, it offers to New Right ideologues in education policy an apparently scientific legitimation for placing all of the blame for educational underachievement upon 'failing' schools and 'incompetent' teachers, while 'winning' schools and 'successful' teachers can celebrate the virtues of self-improvement. Such debates, as that represented here, are important for a field of research which has risen to prominence in only the last 20 years. For all his positive credo in praise of school effectiveness research, Reynolds (1995, pp. 54-9) does recognize that it is characterized by: 'many controversies concerning epistemological issues, methodological concerns and more theoretical matters'. He also recognizes that: 'we have been instrumental in creating a quite widespread popular view that schools do not just make a difference but that

-117-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
School Effectiveness for Whom? Challenges to the School Effectiveness and School Improvement Movements
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 197

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.