ERG SES G 09, Education and Quality
The assessment of quality is currently playing a decisive role in the field of education. This is due to the fact that we live in the knowledge society, whose constant search towards change and improvement makes evaluation an indispensable requirement for every school to reach quality in their education. The OECD gave in 1995 a wide definition of quality assurance as the one that “assure the youth the gaining of knowledge, skills and necessary attitudes to educate them for the adulthood”. In this context, if we analyse the surrounding countries and the European Union in general, we find that inspection is a fundamental part of the educational systems. Not only it takes place almost everywhere, but it also presents great similarities with other countries in terms of structure and basic objectives, representing the creation of a growth factor in the quality of our educational systems.
This growing interest in the assessment of quality is being reflected on international education indicators developed by the OECD in collaboration with various institutions like the European Union, UNESCO and the Organisation of Ibero-American States, among others. It was in 2010 when the European Commission published a comparative document on the various assessment tools, and indicators pointing purposes used in such tests and it concludes that although universal standards has not been set yet, most of the developed tools are common and rational parameters (Beerkens, 2010 cited in Yemini, 2012, p. 158). Some of the main concepts reflected on these assessment tools are closely related to quality and excellence. Every school is required to demonstrate their quality level through participating in both external and internal assessment. Thus, the achievement of these two factors is a major goal that most countries have set both short and medium term. Assuring the quality of education through a reliable and valid assessment is decisive in every educational system (Dahler-Larsen, 2010). The purpose of these tests is focused on assessing all educative areas and on meeting the expectations of the members of the educational community involved in this process (teachers, students, families…).
The concepts mentioned above (excellence and quality) are an important part of the basis of the EFQM model. Hence, there is a large number of national and international schools working with standardised criteria within this model. These indicators refer to aspects of educational performance, teachers’ methods, level of family involvement…According to Martinez and Riopérez (2005:37), "the European model of excellence can be used as an assessment tool for comparing best practices among organisations and to identify areas for improvement and a basis for a common way of thinking and framework for management teams". Thus, the ultimate goal would be "to achieve excellent schools through a system that allows monitoring, assessing and making decisions in a continuous and systematic process to achieve the goals that every school determined for the different management areas and sectors of the educational community within it " (Ramirez and Lorenzo, 2012: 43).
Due to constant societal expectations regarding the results of these tests, the object of our study is to approach the analysis of instruments assessing the quality of education offered in European international schools located in the south region of Spain. Therefore, our research question is formulated under the following queries: What kind of models and instruments are used by international schools? How is the evaluation process carried out within this assessment? Is this a voluntary or asserted assessment? Hence, this research aims to analyse and describe the different aspects taken into account while seeking for quality assurance in some European international schools located in Andalusia.
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00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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