11 SES 09 A, Do Assessments Help with Improving Schools' Quality?
The paper aims to demonstrate lessons that can be learnt about evaluation of schools and teachers using examples drawn from a transnational Erasmus+ project 'Evaluation of School Leaders and Teachers' Practice.' The paper aims to stimulate reflection amongst participants on the potential for comparative studies for personal reflection and for professional development of school leaders and school inpsectors.
This paper will have two, interlocking components;
- To share findings about similarities and differences in the evaluation of school leaders and of teachers drawn from a number of European countries. This section will illustrate alternative approaches to the evaluation of schools and teachers that demonstrate an on-going, formative approach to evaluation that is collaborative and participatory.
- To demonstrate how comparative studies can lead to meta-cognition that goes beyond the scope of the topic that forms the focus of a transnational project. This section will draw on Mezirow’s theory of ‘perspective transition’ to illustrate the challenges and opportunities presented by reflection on transnational differences in professional practice.
Reflective practice is seen as an important component of developing teaching and learning (Ghaye, 2010) and international projects create opportunities for high-quality professional learning through comparative studies of education which can provide insight into one’s own and others’ professional practices (Dale, 2005). Systems and procedures for the evaluation of school leaders and teachers’ practice vary widely from country to country ( Eurydice Report, 2013) with differences in philosophical approach, aims and purpose, design and implementation, and consequences and impacts of evaluation systems.
This paper will consider the experiences and opinions of school leaders and school inspectors in the Basque Country following the introduction of a formative system of school evaluation. The paper will use this evidence to demonstrate some of the opportunities and constraints posed by transnational learning about the evaluation of school leaders in two directions: Firstly, in considering how school leaders and inspectors in the Basque Country drew upon experience and perspectives from other countries and adapted these to local contexts. And secondly; in considering how experiences drawn from the Basque context can be interpreted and used in other countries.
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