01 SES 05 C, Learning about Teacher Learning
Parallel Paper Session
In the course of the recent test-based school reforms in Germany national standards and standardized student’s assessments in Grades 3 and 8 were implemented in order to improve instruction of teachers and school quality. This instrument of a new paradigm should mainly help to strengthen the accountability and to foster the autonomy at classroom and school level. Moreover, the feedback information resulting from these tests is intended to promote the communication and cooperation between the actors at administrative and school level. In this context the principals have the most important role at school level, especially as a key mechanism for school improvement (May & Supovitz 2010). Furthermore, they influence (indirectly) the effectiveness of schools and student achievement (Leithwood & Jantzi 2000, West et al. 2000).
In Norway school-based evaluation is required by the regulation of the education act. The schools must assess the extent to which the organization, resourcing, and teaching programs of the school contribute to the achievement of the national curriculum objectives, and the intention is to promote teachers’ understanding of the curriculum objectives and how to achieve them. In 2003 a comprehensive web-based publicly available digital resource called «Skoleporten» was introduced. The resource provides information about the organization and resourcing of every school in Norway, along with information on students’ backgrounds and achievements. The intention was that the information «Skoleporten» provided would be a resource in school-based evaluation.
Regarding the usage of feedback information, international empirical results show a high correlation with the degree of teacher's professionalism, organisational characteristics of schools and specific attributes of school systems (Visscher & Coe 2003). In this connection Luhmann (2006) assumes that decisions are basic elements within organisations, on which change processes can be found. Feedback information of standardized student assessments might have an impact on these decisions and their premises (which are persons, communication structures and program). Thus, there might be different strategies in using feedback information.
Based on that theoretical background the paper focuses the principals´ role and their usage strategies of feedback information in the dimensions
- involvement of staff
- reflection/analyses of the results
- use of results for school development and
based on the results in the countries Norway and Germany.
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