32 SES 13, Data Driven Change Processes - three national approaches
This article demonstrates how educational research can support school improvement projects in a policy-forced implementation process. Local school law in Switzerland, which is based on article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (see Lundy, 2007 for additional deliberations), expects schools to promote student participation. A research project called "Strengthen Participation – Improve School" investigates how schools deal with this policy as implementation is based on a process of sense-making and in the local school context (Spillane, 2004). In this paper we illustrate research results on the promotion of student participation and how these results were fed back to the schools, assuming that this new knowledge supported the collective sense-making process. While a project using a longitudinal, mixed-methods design answers many questions related to student participation (see also Müller-Kuhn, Häbig, & Strauss, 2016), in this paper we focus on the process and form of feeding back research results. Schools were offered a written report and a workshop led by the research team to interpret results and take further steps to implement student participation. A systematic overview of the research team’s experiences and quantitative data of schools’ perceptions of this process is examined. The primary goal of the research project was to determine where schools stood in the process of implementing the new policy promoting student participation and how they could be supported in doing so. First wave data collected in Spring 2016 shows that two of five schools interviewed had concrete visions of or actual experience with student participation and were quite developed in this area. The three other schools were still at the discovery stage. They lacked concrete ideas, had no shared understandings or little confidence in promoting student participation. Systematic experiences of the research team indicate that schools were not familiar with such collective interpretation processes; however, they (especially the principals) found them very useful. Further questions will be discussed in the symposium: How do policy implementation processes function over the long term? How does feedback of research results influence this process? What consequences does feeding back results have on future research practice?
Lundy, L. (2007). “Voice” is not enough: Conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. British Educational Research Journal, 33, 927–942. Müller-Kuhn, D., Häbig, J., & Strauss, N.-C. (2016). Ein Recht auf Mitbestimmung – wie kann (schulische) Partizipation gelingen? In Bundesakademie für musikalische Jugendbildung Trossingen (Ed.), Partizipation – Mein Part zählt (pp. 9–13). Trossingen. Spillane, J. P. (2004). Standards deviation: how schools misunderstand education policy ([2nd ed.]). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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