01 SES 03 A, Evaluating Professional Development
This paper is about a study conducted from 2015 to 2018 in a European project (Erasmus, 2019). It was realized during a strategic partnership, the EEPI project: "European Study of Practices of Inspection" with the contribution of Canary Islands (Spain); FWB (Belgium) and the Academy of Nice (France). "This strategic partnership (Erasmus, 2009) should enable inspectors to implement and strengthen their networks and increase their ability to operate at the transnational level. Among the actions realized during this partnership, a qualitative study was conducted.
We present the outline of this study: the context and main objectives. Then we will enhance two milestones concerning the collect of data (De Ketele & Roegiers, 1991). Finally we present issues which reflect the thoughts and expectations of participants (Bardin, 2001).
1. An investigation on the functions and missions of the inspection service needed to collect informations on the aspirations, wishes, proposals of the inspectors from the three countries and lead to the construction of a common document that would highlight the expectations for the assessment of quality of the schools. This work was based on the idea of Berry (1983) who said that the documents have an impact on human systems.This qualitative approach (Mucchielli, 1994; Richardson, 1994; Glaser & Strauss, 2010; Straw & Mucchielli, 2012) has been realized with the participation of more than hundred inspectors.
2. The collect of data by questionnaire (de Singly, 2009) started during the first transnational training in Nice, to “Lycée Masséna”.Two major lines of thought were addressed. The first concerned the role of inspection and involvement in the control and management of schools. Questions were on the identification of the needs in each country; the encouragement of educational innovation; the work in partnership with the institutes of initial teacher training and researchers (Bih, 2003); the tools that should have inspection to perform its duties of Council; the work in partnership with the pilotage service; the communication of the findings and advice to the hierarchy and the Government (Tornes, 2003). The second axis concerned, more specifical the inspection in its missions of control and piloting. The questions focused on how the Inspector can communicate to the teacher at the school (Capacchi&Moreaux, 2016), to the Government of the levers of change; how the Inspector can control the effects of encouragement, opinion and advice; useful tools to collect clues of quality and efficiency(; the construction of performance standards; qualitative elements of the class visit; privileged partners of the Inspector and the ideal composition of a team.
The participant observation (Briand, 1991; Coenen & Hutler, 1995; Dumez, 2010,) was focus on questions chosen by three observers in the two axes (Hatzfeld, H. & Spiegelstein, J. 2000). It was conduct during all the visits organized in the schools during the project.The main open-end questions retained for exploration in this paper are: "Which tools should have Inspectors?"; "What are the qualitative contributions offered by the class visit?"; and "What is the ideal composition of a team to inspect schools?".
3. The study was rich in issues but we will enhance three main of then (Grawitz, 2001).
- The tools expected: analytical tools for 'systemic' management of class ; special focus on the uses of digital.
- The qualitative contribution of schools visits: the contact with elements relating to human aspects that the only consultation of documents does not allow to discover.
-The ideal composition of a team : team made up of specialists who check teaching at the level of the standards expected; agents who analyze relationships within the institution; "facilitators" who help team to put in place the necessary tools for its progress.
METHODOLOGY and METHODS A piloting-staff composed by four members of each Partner State define a research question present in the tittle of this contribution: Which Inspection For Quality Evaluation ? The Erasmus Project envolved more than hundred inspectors, but for the sampling concerning this study, three groups of 12 Inspectors were selected to participate. They were the members of each delegations who participate to the three weeks of transnational training from 2015 to 2018, one week in each concerned country. 1. The questionnaire (Quivy & Van Campenhoudt,1988) was realized in collaboration with the piloting members and tested in small groups before to be submit for improvement and discussion in focus groups in Nice and La Laguna. The research question needed exploratory and descriptive data, so 10 questions were retained for each of the two main parts of the questionnaire: "The role of inspection and its involvement in the control and management of schools"; and "The missions of control and piloting. The open-ended questions needed the use of categories for the analysis of the data and a linguistic approach of certain terms used by participants. We followed the method suggested by Mathieu Brugidou( 2001). We first analyzed the corpus of each of the questions, then we have cleared the lexical fields and their associations. A list of topics was built from these lexical fields. Comparison of the distributions of the themes addressed by the participants highlighted shades according to the participating countries, 2. The participant observation during this qualitative study (Paillé&Mucchielli, 2012) was coordinate by three observers especially during the weeks of transnational training. Inspectors were observed by “pairs” when visiting schools and controlling teachers and teams. The data were collected with grids and digital material, videos and photos. 3. The analysis and the translation of all the observations (Briand, 1991; Bardin, 2001,Chambers &Skinner, 2003; Dumez, 2010) were done using classifications, categories and sometimes combining data collected in the two methods: questionnaire and observation. 4. The communication of the results was done using descriptions, but also graphics and statistics. The qualitative research doesn’t exclude the use of those instruments, when they may give a better comprehension of the situation (Berry, 1983). For example, graphics where very appreciated, to show the distributions of the representations, the whishes, expectations or practices in the three parteners states of the project. A document of synthesis has been send to the coordinators in Nice, Brussels and Santa-Cruz.
With all the data collected and the analysis of the observations (Chevrier, J. 1994 ; Pourtois & Desmet) it was decide to write a document containing the finfdings enhanced in this study and to prepare guidelines for EU Inspectors; and as informations, to the authorities. We retain for this paper three fields of findings. -1.Tools Tools already exist but the inspectors would like to observable grids, documents to upgrade in the works of innovative projects, current research ( in pedagogy and didactics) and regularly updated bibliographies and sitographies.They ask for analytical tools facilitating 'systemic' observations and analysis of schools (Demailly,1999). Special whishes concern the digital equipment and training for its use and training concerning lecture of indicators. - 2. The qualitative contribution of schools visits. The visits allow the taking into account of the heterogeneity of students, classroom management; The class visit also allows the observation of the working atmosphere, the instructions given by the teachers, the quality of the task of the teacher/student relationship, and the relationship of the student at school. It allows also to take into account all the elements relating to human phenomenon that the only consultation of documents does not allow of discover. -3. The ideal composition of a team. For individual visits or on a specific point of view on the teaching of a discipline, one (or two) Inspector may be sufficient. If it is instead a diagnosis as to the quality and effectiveness of education in a school, a team of several inspectors will be necessary. Several Inspectors recommend that the team would be made up of specialists who check teaching at the level of the standards expected; agents who analyze more relationships within the institution, the management of human resources; "facilitators" who help team to put in place the necessary tools for its progress.
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