23 SES 03 A, Policy Reforms and Teacher Professionalism (Part 2)
Paper Session continues from 23 SES 02 A
Like many other European countries, German speaking countries have seen – in particular after the PISA-shock 2001 ‑ new policies to change the governance of their education systems (Martens et al., 2010). The then dominating version of input-oriented governance was criticized and steps were taken to establish new ‘evidence-based’ governance systems which are built on measures such as performance standards, state-wide comparative student assessment and data feedback, ‘new’ school inspections, and national or regional education reports (Altrichter & Maag Merki, 2010).
As a result, the governance models in many countries are currently transforming (see Skedsmo, 2009). From the perspective of governance theory (Moos, 2011; Altrichter 2010) school leaders have a decisive role for the ‘implementation’ of such new governance models. They occupy an intermediate position between education policy and central administration which promote these policies on one hand, and the ‘operative side’ of the school system, the individual school and its members, on the other (Moos & Paulsen, 2014). They must stimulate, organize and coordinate the process of ‘re-contextualization’ (Fend, 2006) by which the structural ideas of new governance systems are translated into viable work structures and coordination patterns on the level of individual schools (Ball et al., 2012). In order to do so they must understand new governance models and have an idea how they may be translated in to the everyday work practices of schools. As a consequence, it is interesting to know how school leaders evaluate new ‘evidence-based governance models and whether or not they expect – in comparative assessment with alternative strategies of quality development ‑ positive impulses for the development of the quality of schooling.
The paper starts with giving an overview of the development of various instruments of quality assurance in education and discusses alternative governance strategies which are in place and proposed for German speaking educations systems. In a second section a questionnaire for collecting school leaders’ attitudes towards alternative strategies of educational governance is explained. In a third section empirical data with respect to the following research questions is analysed:
(1) What is the evaluation of Austrian and Swiss school leaders of evidence-based governance strategies? Are there alternative governance strategies to which they attribute better potential for quality development in education?
(2) Is there a difference in their assessment of governance strategies between primary and secondary school leaders?
(3) Did school leaders‘ assessment of new ‚evidence-based governance strategies‘ change between 2009 – 2014?
(4) Is there a correlation of school leaders‘ assessment of new ‚evidence-based governance strategies‘ and their commitment to quality development? Is there a correlation to special results with respect to quality development?
(5) Is there a difference between Austrian and Swiss school leaders in their assessment of new ‚evidence-based governance strategies‘?
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