With the “Europe 2020” agenda for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the European Commission sets out two important challenges to be met by the educational system
1 Share of early school leavers under 10% which means tackling the problem of early school leavers by reducing the dropout rate form an average of recently 15% to 10% in the future
2 About 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree, better educational levels help employability and progress in increasing the employment rate and reducing poverty.
Seen from a political perspective, the desired effects of these specific aims cannot be questioned as they are the foundation for common wealth, sustainability and progress in Europe. Nevertheless it leaves schools with the challenging, merely contradictable task of minimizing the number of underachievers AND maximizing the percentage of young people with higher education entrance qualifications at the same time. Change in quantities therefore calls for a comprehensive, long-term improvement of educational quality.
Therefore, the performance of the education system has to be enhanced. Many call for more and advanced CPD programmes for teachers and tutors in order to meet these political and sociocultural challenges (e. g. impact of inclusive learning culture at schools, more differentiation with regard to curricula, students’ individual needs and learning plans, integrating the growing number of refugees into the educational system etc.).
However, advanced teacher training has little effect on the desired performance of educational systems, as the meta-survey by Prof. Dr. John Hattie in 2011 proves. For the first time large-scale scientific research in the form of tens of thousands single surveys were brought together by Hattie’s team to come up with reliable data with regard to one single question: What is it that makes learning effective? Claiming that the performance of educational systems, leading towards less dropouts and to more qualitative success in educational processes, heavily depends on seeing teaching processes from a student’s point of view (“visible learning”), he put up eight mind frames he thinks to be essential in this. So if schools are to meet the Commission’s aims as having been laid out before, realizing this two-fold challenge, schools have to analyze their status quo of performance (dimension 1), study the data of the Hattie Survey in order to realize which factors really do have a positive impact on the outcome of educational processes (therefore minimizing dangers of early school leaving and underachieving) and which factors do not resulting in a critical approach towards school recent development (dimension 2), developing and planning school development according to these by designing materials, applying methods, realizing approaches/best-practice examples and evaluating them with regard to the individual needs of participating countries’ needs and the situation at local schools (dimension 3) and methods or ways of measuring change due to undertaken efforts in the system (dimension 4).
According to this main concept of the project, following steps will be undertaken by the partner schools
1. Clarifying what these implications mean for schools (collecting information from partners on the status quo of the implementation of given guidelines in the countries’ educational systems); taking account of national, regional and school-level drop-out rates of each partner country (drop-out rates country, individual partner school; percentage of school leavers with low or high qualifications; development of these figures: past, present, future; recent ways of encountering under-achievement, drop-out and need for higher education entrance qualifications; identifying specific problems and common elements
outputs: slideshare for (staff meeting/conference, school’s website), leaflets, posters (for teachers’ lounge) CREATING AWARENESS!
2. Looking at the outcomes of the Hattie-Survey; identifying motivators of maximizing the impact of learning processes; KEY QUESTION: Which factors do improve the performance of teaching and learning scenarios, which don’t?; looking at partners’ recent school development, KEY QUESTION: Does recent school development match the outcome of the Hattie Survey? Does it take account of these positive factors in order to improve the performance of educational systems? If “no” – why not?, if “yes” – to what extent!?
3. Designing materials, applying methods, realizing approaches/best-practice examples and evaluating them with regard to the individual needs of participating countries’ schools, looking at examples/”best practice examples” from participating countries to meet these guidelines. Outputs: Performance Pool – platform (materials), digital OR printed version, offering materials
4. Methods of measuring change due to undertaken effort.
Three strongest motivators : development plan, sustainability, CHANGE MANAGEMENT with controlling.