Non-intended effects of new steering model in school system - theoretical conceptualization and development of instruments for empirical acquisition
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Abstract(Note: in addition to the here described quantitative cross-sectional study, within the study there has also been conducted a qualitative study using guided interviews. The data of the qualitative study are provided by the partner DIPF under controlled access conditions – the link is available under “Further Remarks”) In the past few years, new instruments of quality management were established in the German education system. This includes education standards, central comparison tests and forms of external school evaluation as well as an increased encouragement of competition in and between schools. The research project deals with the lesser acknowledged risks and side effects of these instruments, using the perception of teachers and principals for the coverage and evaluation of these non-intended effects. Topics: 1. Teacher Survey:I) Changes within the school or teaching framework through educational standards:Perceived changes in pedagogical freedom as a teacher with respect to educational standards, framework curricula, competence tests (e.g. VERA), centralized school leaving examinations and school inspections; perceived change in performance orientation in the class, in the meaning of enjoyment of learning in the lessons, in support of under- as well as top-performing pupils; perceived changes with regard to increased pressure, looking good compared to other schools, evaluation of the pupils performance level increasingly by non-school authorities, lower priority of the pupils long-term educational processes, increased pressure to achieve good test results and increased pressure to abandon methodical-didactic experiments in class, setting of learning objectives increasingly by non-school authorities, increasing formation of hierarchies among principal and college; adjustment of own lessons to the level of educational standards; changes in teaching quality by adjusting lessons to level of educational standards. II) Importance and implications of competence tests:Participation in competence tests; importance of the competence test feedback for promotion of under- and top-performing pupils; personal importance of the results of competence tests for the orientation in teaching practice and for reliable information on the pupils performance level; changes in the significance of: in competence tests tested and untested subjects respectively, of test content in lectures and of untested aspects of subjects; used means of preparation for competence tests (exercises from former competence test booklets, specific exercise books, exercise formats typically used in competence tests); preparation and type of assistance of pupils by teachers in connection to competence tests (e.g. practicing expected exercises, longer time allowance than intended, assistance of parents etc.); own grading of the results of competence tests and related intentions. III) Importance and implications of external evaluation / school visitations:Observations in the context of external evaluations (school inspection): feedback from school inspection necessary for reliable assessment of the quality of the schools work, orientation towards the example of schools that have already been evaluated, workload for school inspections at the expense of education, educational methods deviating from the daily routine during the school inspection, indirect request to single teachers to be absent from the school inspection; assessment of (dis)encouraging effects of the external evaluation; the schools effort for a good representation; effort at the expense of teaching-related work, change of the teachers workload aside from lessons by administration- and documentation tasks; administration- and documentation tasks at the expense of the education; participation in steering committees is expected by the school. IV) Effects of central proficiency tests on own attitude towards work and working atmosphere within the college and with the parents:Quality of collaboration with parents; effects of central proficiency tests on college: strain and competitiveness within the college, discussion of the individual performance of teachers, merely implementation of mandatory reform measures, inspection pressure by school management, present and preferred importance of new ideas of school and education development at own school; attitude as a teacher: demand for assessment of performance standards or definition of teaching objectives by teachers only; pressure to act against own pedagogical conviction; own teaching should satisfy requirements of external audit; parents’ satisfaction as a sign for the quality of own work; pride over positive feedback of school management; improvement of quality of the school’s work by standardization; pressure to organize the lessons in a fashion that does not correspond to the own concepts of quality; demand for a binding recommendation of school transition by the primary school; importance of better test results of the own class; conflict between standardization and individual educational needs of pupils; importance of evaluation of the school’s work; significance of school intern and extern evaluation measures; orientation towards external requirements in everyday school life: use of exercise formats from central proficiency tests in the lessons; making full use of freedom within administrative guidelines, rejection of new ideas of education politics when insufficiently practicable; assessment of education politics and their actions; significance of selected problems for school and lessons: inconsistent implementation of reforms by single teachers, insufficient resources of the school and influence of societal problems on school and education; personal engagement in school development processes. 2. Principal survey (identical questionnaire as teachers plus additional questions):I) Demographical characteristics of pupils and teachers, type and profile of the school: highest graduation possible at own school; number of pupils; number of full-time respectively part time teachers and of freelancers; number of school inspections; year of latest school inspection; urbanization level at school location; percentage share of pupils from prosperous families, from economically disadvantaged families, from families with other language than German (migration background); percentage share of pupils who visit the school despite an alternative closer to their residence; number of schools in the catchment area that offer the same highest graduation; frequency in the last three years of applications exceeding intake capacity; relevance of multiple factors for the admission of pupils; poor performance respectively behavioral problems as reasons for leavings of pupils; efforts for admission of top- and under-performing pupils; competition and school profile (public announcement of special achievements, special school profile, additional qualification offers, active advertisement, school’s participation at student competition or model projects). II) Effects of external requirements / educational standards on attitudes of college and of school profile:Attitude of the college towards changes (reservations, great willingness to review the own pedagogical methods; development of new ideas and concepts, needs-oriented further training, feedback of school inspections as impulse for innovation, adjustment of pedagogical concepts to student body ); frequency of: selective advertisement of teaching position, recruitment of freelancers, use of school budgets for advertisements, temporal organization of the lessons, arrangement of the contingental timetable, expansion of the range of subjects, acquisition of resources from corporations and businesses, generation of additional revenues, cooperation with other schools offering the same graduations; assessment of the school’s performance compared to other schools; frequency of conduction of several comparative tests (VERA, voluntary VERA-domain, cross-class parallel tests or other cross-school comparative tests than VERA); handling of data gained from comparative tests (school management discusses VERA results with concerned colleagues, announcement of results in the college, online publishing of VERA-data of the school) Demography: gender, age (classed); position at school (teacher, principal); number of years as teacher in total and as teacher at current school; school subjects; participation in at least one school inspection; membership in teachers’ union or teachers’ organization; type of employment contract. Additionally coded: school-ID; federal state.
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Bellmann, J., Thiel, C., Dužević, D., Schweizer, S. (2014): Nicht-intendierte Effekte neuer Steuerung im Schulsystem : theoretische Konzeptualisierung und Instrumententwicklung zur empirischen Erfassung : BMBF-Rahmenprogramm "Steuerung im Bildungssystem": Abschlussbericht: Förderzeitraum: 01.03.2011 bis 28.02.2014, mittelneutral verlängert bis 31.08.2014. [Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft]. doi: 10.2314/GBV:847260879.
Update Metadata: 2022-02-09 | Issue Number: 34 | Registration Date: 2015-08-04