ERG SES H 11, Research Partnerships in Education
Changes in society and in working life do not stop at schools. School development means the purposeful design of change processes in individual schools. There are different ideas about which strategies could be applied to help to develop schools. The cooperation in school networks in order to jointly develop processes is one of these strategies which is used in schools in Germany as well as in other countries (see Manitius & Berkemeyer 2015, p.6; Bryk 2015, S. 467; Muijs, West and Ainscow 2010, p. 21).
School development is a subject of high expectations due to existing challenges in the school system. However, the empirical findings available can be summarized to the result that the expectations have not yet been fulfilled (see Killus & Paseka 2013, p. 24). In fact, there is little empirical evidence to suggest that school development improves the quality of school work. The stated ineffectiveness of school development is also attributed to the methodological approach of the studies. Quantitative studies, in particular, reach their limits if they primarily aim at the analysis of effects and, at the same time, ignore deeper insights into the processes and mechanisms of school development. In order to work on this desideratum, method-combining studies or more qualitative studies were carried out. But also for the qualitative studies, several authors criticize the neglect of micro-processes in the context of school development research in general and school network research in particular. Only the investigation of micro-processes, that means the processes and actions of the actors, promises a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and processes of school development and school networks (see Little 2012, p. 143; Maag-Merki & Werner 2013, p. 298; Dedering 2007, p. 65).
In the German school network ‚Blick über den Zaun' (2018), several schools build a partnership together. Representatives of several schools come together twice a year in order to conduct peer reviews. The goal is to continuously exchange experiences and knowledge at eye level and to give feedback concerning school development as critical friends.
This paper deals with the question of how these critical friends work together. The theoretical framework is formed by the discourses of school development consultancy (see Dedering et al., 2013; Tajik 2008) and peer reviews (see Gieske-Roland 2015; Gutknecht-Gmeiner 2006). To answer the question the micro-processes taking place during the peer reviews are being examined.
The research design consists of two steps. The preliminary study (step one) aims to explore the field of research and instrument development. In the subsequent main study (step two), data were collected from seven peer reviews. Firstly, observations of individual critical friends performed as shadowing observations were conducted during the peer reviews (see McDonald 2005, p. 456). These observations made it possible to explore the processes and actions ‚in situ‘. Secondly, audio recordings were gathered during the feedback. It is to be mentioned that the access to natural data from school development processes in networks is often not given and so far, hardly any data of this kind could be collected and analysed. The data will be evaluated based on qualitative content analysis (Kuckartz 2016). The explicit characteristics of the processes and actions in the peer review and in the feedback will be evaluated by means of content-structuring and formal-structuring qualitative content analysis. The audio recordings will be used for the analysis of implicit markers based on natural communication. Therefore a combination of formal-structured content analysis with conversational analytical methods (see Deppermann 2008) will be realised.
The presentation aims at developing a differentiated picture of the micro-processes that occur during the collaboration of critical friends. Further, the concept of these peer reviews should be specified in the theoretical context of school networks, school development consultancy and peer reviews. Based on the findings, risks and potentials for professionalization and possible processes of de-professionalization are also shown.
Blick über den Zaun (2018): Was ist der Blick über den Zaun? Hg. v. Blick über den Zaun. Online verfügbar unter http://www.blickueberdenzaun.de/?page_id=519, zuletzt geprüft am 07.11.2018. Bryk, Anthony S. (2015): Accelerating How We Learn to Improve. In: Educational Researcher 44 (9), S. 467–477. Dedering, Kathrin (2016): Schulentwicklung durch externe Evaluation? Schulinspektionen und Vergleichsarbeiten in der deutschen Schulpraxis - eine Bilanz. In: Pädagogik (1), S. 44–47. Dedering, Kathrin; Tillmann, Klaus-Jürgen; Goecke, Martin; Rauh, Melanie (2013): Wenn Experten in die Schule kommen. Schulentwicklungsberatung- empirisch betrachtet. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Deppermann, Arnulf (2008): Gespräche analysieren. Eine Einführung. 4. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften / GWV Fachverlage GmbH Wiesbaden (Qualitative Sozialforschung, Bd. 3). Gieske-Roland, Mario; Buhren, Claus G.; Rolff, Hans-Günter (2014): Peer Review an Schulen. Unterrichtsentwicklung durch gegenseitige Schulbesuche. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz Verlag. Gutknecht-Gmeiner, M. (2006): Externe Evaluierung durch Peer Review. Qualitätssicherung und -entwicklung in der beruflichen Erstausbildung. 1. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Killus, Dagmar; Paseka, Angelika (2013): Wie kommt Neues in bestehende Systeme? Dynamiken und Beharrungstendenzen in Schulentwicklungsprozessen. In: J. Hellmer und D. Wittek (Hg.): Schule im Umbruch begleiten. Studien zur Bildungsgangforschung. Unter Mitarbeit von Uwe Hericks, Meinert A. Meyer und Matthias Trautmann. Opladen, Berlin & Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich, S. 17–34. Kuckartz, Udo (2016): Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Methoden, Praxis, Computerunterstützung. 2. Aufl. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz Juventa. Little, Judith, Warren (2012): Understanding Data Use Practice among Teachers: The Contribution of Micro-Process Studies. In: American Journal of Education 118 (2), S. 143–166. Maag-Merki, Katharina; Werner, Silke (2013): Schulentwicklungsforschung. Aktuelle Schwerpunkte und zukünftige Forschungsperspektiven. In: Die Deutsche Schule 105 (3), S. 295–304. Manitius, Veronika; Berkemeyer, Nils (2015): Netzwerke als Schulentwicklungsstrategie. Theoretische Überlegungen und empirische Befunde zur Vernetzung von Schulen untereinander. In: Pädagogik 67 (9), S. 6–9. McDonald, Seonaidh (2005): Studying actions in context: a qualitative shadowing method for organizational research. In: Qualitative Research (5), S. 455–473. Muijs, Daniel; West, Mel; Ainscow, Mel (2010): Why network? Theoretical perspectives on networking. In: School Effectiveness and School Improvement 21 (1), S. 5–26. Tajik, Mir Afzal (2008): External change agents in developed and developing countries. In: Improving Schools 11 (3), S. 251–271.
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