26 SES 05 JS, Assessment, Effectiveness and School Improvement
Joint Session with NW 11
The introduction of the National System for Quality Assessment and tools such as standardised achievement tests in the Norwegian education system in 2004/2005 increased the focus on educational outcomes in terms of students’ performance demanding new modes of school governing. In short, the new modes imply concepts of educational quality which in form seems to be defined by expectations about specific outcomes. They indicate a belief that any divergence between the expected outcomes and the level of achievements can be identified. They require ‘data based practice’, and the increased transparency opens up for new accountability measures.
This paper explores how local actors emerging data practices in order to respond to national expectations about using data in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning. First of all, this paper investigates what kind of data which inform decision making in schools and the type of data practices which are developed with respect to quality development. Second, it examines how and to what extent data practices are linked to internal and external forms of accountability. Third, the paper explores intended and also possible unintended consequences in terms of the various forms of accountability that are played out.
Our analysis focuses on organisational routines with respect to data use and feedback practices in schools. Organisational routines can be defined as “repetitive, recognizable pattern of interdependent actions, involving multiple actors” (Feldman & Pentland, 2003, p. 311). This approach has several advantages. First, it concentrates on patterns of interaction between members of the school organization rather than activities of individuals. Second, it takes into account that organizational routines can represent both mechanisms of preservation and change (Spillane, 2012). On the one side, implemented and institutionalized routines can enable efficient and coordinated actions among the members in the school organization. On the other hand, these routines also represent important mechanisms to transform and change the school practice (Sherer & Spillane, 2011). In our case, this is particularly important since there is a lot of development work going on in the schools due to new national assessment policies and regulations as well as local initiatives expectations. Third, using organisational routines as analytic framework draws the attention to both ostensive and performative aspects of data use and feedback practices and the relationship between these two types of aspects (Spillane, 2012). While ostensive aspects of organizational routines refer to the ideal or schematic form of a routine, the performative aspects concern the routine in practice, the specific actions taken (Feldman & Pentland, 2003). According to Spillane, the ostensive and performative aspects together “incorporate the organizational routine by design and in use” (2012, p. 118). In our case, this enables a focus on data use and feedback as they are intended as well as practiced.
Dubnick, M. J. (2005). Accountability and the Promise of Performance. Public Performance & Management Review, 28(3), 376-417. Grek, S., Lawn, M., Lingard, B., & Varjo, J. (2009). North by northwest: quality assurance and evaluation processes in European education. Journal of Education Policy, 24(2), 121-133. Honig, M. I., & Venkateswaran, N. (2012). School -Central Office Relationships in Evidence Use: Understanding Evidence Use as a Systems Problem. American Journal of Education, 118(2), 199-222. Lascoumes, P., & Le Gales, P. (2007). Introduction: Understanding Public Policy through Its Instruments - From the Nature of Instruments to the Sociology of Public Policy Instrumentation. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 20(1), 1-21. Little, J. W. (2012). Understanding Data Use Practice among Teachers: The Contribution of Micro-Process Studies. American Journal of Education, 118(2), 143-166. Feldman, M. S., & Pentland, B. T. (2003). Reconceptualizing Organizational Routines as a Source of Flexibility and Change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(1), 94-118. Sherer, J. Z., & Spillane, J. P. (2011). Constancy and Change in the School Work Practice: Exploring the Role of Organizational Routines. Teachers College Record, 113(3), 611-657. Skedsmo, G. (2011). Formulation and realisation of evaluation policy: inconcistencies and problematic issues Journal of Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 23(1), 5-20. Spillane, J. P. (2012). Data in Practice: Conceptualizing the Data-Based Decision-Making Phenomena. American Journal of Education, 118(2), 113-141.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.