Evaluation of schools providing compulsory education in Europe
Metadatos de publicación
Improving the quality of education is a constant concern of national policy-makers. Evaluation of the education offered pupils is one of the means by which this aim may be achieved. Such evaluation may assume several forms depending on the components subject to investigation, whether they be the processes activated by teachers, the tasks assumed by schools, local authority school management and administration, the functioning of the education system as a whole, or the performance of pupils who may be examined by individual teachers or schools, a local education authority or a national body.... All such aspects might be the focus of a comparative study. However, the present study concentrates solely on approaches to the evaluation of schools providing compulsory education. The decision to proceed in this way reflects the terms of the Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council (12 February 2001) on European Cooperation in Quality Evaluation in School Education. It is clear from the Recommendation that improvements in quality evaluation in education ultimately hinge on developments at school level. The Recommendation emphasises the interrelation between external and internal evaluation, and calls on the Member States to ‘encourage school self-evaluation as a method of creating learning and improving schools, within a balanced framework of school self-evaluation and any external evaluations’ (page 60/53 of the Recommendation). The present introduction is in two parts. The first establishes the general framework for this comparative investigation by indicating the focus of the study (schools as entities), along with its analytical unit (the approach to evaluation), its methodology, scope, overall structure and content. The second part contains diagrams that provide a general outline of evaluation systems. These diagrams will enable readers who so wish to understand how the evaluation of schools is situated in relation to a country’s entire system of educational evaluation. The diagrams may vary considerably from one country to the next both from the perspective of the evaluators and in terms of the components evaluated (whether pupils, teachers, schools, local educational providers or the education system overall).The second part of the introduction will also provide some insight into the position of each of the different countries vis-à-vis the study as a whole.