32 SES 13 B, Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice: Four national perspectives
The aspect that regional specifics must be considered when it comes to need-orientated development, led to the need of new concepts in regional development. The engagement and use of research evidence represents one conceivable opportunity to improve teaching and learning (Brown 2017). This paper examines the consequences of focusing on the region as the unit of school of improvement (see Otto et al. 2015, Altrichter 2015) and the use of research as a catalyst for development activities in schools. More precisely, the theoretical framework for this contribution is to explore which actors are relevant and to reconstruct their logics of policy enactment. The paper aims to design a framework that can be transferred to any region by using DiMaggio and Powell's (1983)/Hoffman's (1999) concept of an organizational field and Ball's (2012) idea of enactment. In order to demonstrate the theoretical concept in its application, a pilot project from Austria is used. Since 2014 there has been a focus on using research to promote continuous school improvement in the model region "Bildung Zillertal". The project was initiated by and under the governance of the provincial government of Tyrol and was initially launched to investigate what is needed to work proper in a comprehensive school. Key actors in this project are school authorities, in-service training and school leaders. First findings indicate that achieving iterative research-informed school improvement scale is not without its problems. It requires researchers to consider the different concepts of enactment of the key stakeholders , the extant connections between stakeholders and their motivations to engage. Based on this, regional specific data were collected and provided back to weave the different enactment programs together and develop regional goals. The paper will discuss enabling factors and obstacles of this inclusive regional development approach.
Altrichter, H. (2015). Regionale Bildungslandschaften und Neue Steuerung im Bildungssystem. In: Huber, S.G. (2014) (Ed.). Kooperative Bildungslandschaften. Netzwerke(n) im und mit System. Köln: Carl Link. Ball, S. J., Maguire, M., & Braun, A. (2012). How schools do policy: Policy enactments in secondary schools. London, New York: Routledge. Brown, C. (2017). Research learning communities: How the RLC approach enables teachers to use research to improve their practice and the benefits for students that occur as a result. Research for All, 1(2), 387-405. DiMaggio, PJ. and Powell, W.W. (1983) The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review 48(2): 147-60. Hoffmann, A. J. (1999): Institutional evaluation and change. Environmentalism and the US chemical industry. In: Academy of Management Journal 42:351-371. Otto, J., Sendzik, N., Järvinen, H., Berkemeyer, N., & Bos, W. (2015). Kommunales Netzwerkmanagement. Forschung, Praxis, Perspektiven. Münster: Waxmann.
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