23 SES 08 C, Inspection and Regulation
Parallel Paper Session
Many European countries have implemented instruments of school inspections as an element of quality assurance in the school system. Although they differ in some way, all have in common that school inspection is a procedure targeting the assessment of school quality and ensuring school development (Ehren & Visscher 2008). In Germany school inspections have been implemented in all 16 federal states between 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile, scientific research into the functioning of school inspections has begun, too. The question of its effectiveness and its outcome is increasingly examined in empirical studies. (Dedering & Müller 2011)
One of these studies is currently (2010 – 2013) conducted at Bielefeld University. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) and tries to answer the question, which intended and unintended side-effects have any causal effect on the quality of schools. In doing so, the aim is to generate new findings, which derive from general conclusions concerning the effectiveness of the newly introduced control mechanisms. The findings can also be used to point out new ways to both, support the administration in improving their inspection system and conditions outside school.
Moreover the study intends to identify those factors accompanying the development activities within schools (i.e. internal factors such as the innovation capacity of staff or external factors such as assistance systems). In this context the project takes into account the process level (reception of and reaction to feedback), the content level (measures in consequence of the feedback) and the context level (relationship between the feedback system, (external-) school factors and internal activities in school development).
Dedering, K. & Müller, S. (2011): School Improvement through Inspections? International research findings and first insights from Germany. Journal of Educational Change, 12, (3), 301–322. Ehren, M.C.M. & Visscher, A.J. (2008). The relationship between school inspections, school characteristics and school improvement. British Journal of Educational Studies, 56, (2), 205–227. Ehren, M.C.M. & Visscher, A.J. (2006). Towards a theory on the impact of school inspections. British Journal of Educational Studies, 54, (1), 51–72.
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