A Study on Globalisation and School Effectiveness

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Education has been directly affected by the integration of world economics, societies and cultures through political media and communications technology. The result of globalisation has created an interdependency of societies. There is a greater need for all world economies to have a unity of purpose in the maintenance of a comparable educational framework. There is a universal aim to ensure primary education for all children and the closing of the gender gap in illiteracy. Today, 55% of women and 30% of men are illiterate. For the economies that have implemented strategies over the last few decades to ensure access to education for their nationals, their focus has moved from access to education, into the realm of raising the educational standards within primary and second level schools and ensuring that a higher rate of their population attends third level.

For a government to sustain economic growth and to meet the challenges of the 21st century whilst operating within a recessionary climate, it is vital that standards of achievement are raised. Governments need to ensure that they are getting the maximum return on their investment in terms of social and economic return.

The watchdogs of such educational reforms that carry out international surveys on student achievement rates such as PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA and publish their findings of "by country and comparable league tables" have a direct political impact on governments. It is imperative that governments ensure that they are meeting international benchmark standards and are closing the achievement gap between student groups (girls and boys, students from both low and high SES backgrounds, and students from ethnic minorities) Earl, Watson & Katz (2003)

Therefore, it is imperative that governments are seen to address school failure for the following reasons:

Philosophical/ethical - to promote fairness and improve the quality of life and opportunities for all groups, as well as encourage positive attitudes to learning and promote self-esteem and self-efficacy;

Polictical - to promote social cohesion and inclusion and empower young people as active and informed citizens to participate in a successful democracy;

Economic - to promote future prosperity for individuals and families, prevent the waste of talent, reduce crime and avoid the social and economic burden on Government.

(Sammons, 2007)

There is a need therefore to ensure that the stage on which student performance is achieved operates effectively. This stage we know to be our schools. School effectiveness research (SER) was developed nearly 30 years ago to ascertain the degree to which schools fulfil their aims.

SER accepts that the SES background of a student has a direct effect on their performance. In a survey carried out by the Equalities Review (2007) they identified that:

students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those experiencing a range of social disadvantages such as low income, parents lacking qualifications, unemployed or low SES work, poor housing etc) are more likely to experience educational failure or under-achievement.

Sammons (2007) divided the factors associated with low attainment broader categories as:

Individual characteristics (age, birth weight, gender), family socio-economic characteristics (family structure, parents' qualification levels, health, socio-economic status, in or out of work, and income level), community and societal characteristics (neighbourhood context, cultural expectations, social structural divisions especially in relation to social class) and educational experiences related to pre-school, school and peer characteristics (including access, quantity and quality of provision).

Sammons establishes the connection between a families cultural capital and how prevalent the home environment is conducive, especially in the early years of a child, as a indicator of further educational attainment.

However, SER researchers believe that schools make a considerable contribution. SER endeavours to explain what those factors are and why they vary between schools and countries (Kelly, 2001, p.1).

SER research commenced with the work of Coleman et al (1966) and Jencks et al (1971) where they concluded in their research findings that "schools make no difference". Today, however, researchers in this area would very much disagree with their findings and have proved that schools have a direct effect on a child's development. These researchers have shown that schools who "add value" display common similarities, furthermore they feel that the primary function of educational policies is to ensure a uniformity in delivery of the schools curriculum. Government policies such as No Child Left Behind in the US and Every Child Matters in the UK show that governments are committed to using SER as a mechanism for school improvement. In their International Handbook of School Effectiveness Research, Reynolds, Teddlie, Creemers, Scheerns and Townsend (2001) outlined that there are three main areas covered by school effectiveness research (SER):

School Effects Research - studies of the scientific properties of school effects evolving from input-output studies to current research utilizing multilevel models.

Effective Schools Research - research concerned with the processes of effective schooling, evolving from case studies of outlier schools through to contemporary studies merging qualitative and quantitative methods in the simultaneous study of classrooms and schools;

School Improvement Research - examining the processes whereby schools can be changed utilizing increasingly sophisticated models that have gone beyond simple applications of school effectiveness knowledge to sophisticated "multiple level" models. (Reynolds, Teddlie, Creemers, Scheerens, Townsend, 2006. p. 3)

Taking an overview of the evolutions of school effectiveness research over the last two decades Reynolds, Teddlie, Creemers, Scheerens, Townsend (2001) have documented and shown a visual representation of four overlapping stages that SER has been through in the USA:

Stage 1, from the mid-1960s and up until the early 1970s, involved the initial input-output paradigm, which focused upon the potential impact of school human and physical resources upon outcomes;

Figure 1.1a. Stages 1 in the evolution of SER in the USA.

Stage Model

Stage 1

Output

InputInput - Output Economic Studies 1A

* Type 1A Studies (1O Studies)

Stage 2, from the early to the late 1970s, saw the beginning of what were commonly called the "effective schools" studies, which added a wide range of school processes for study and additionally looked at a much wider range of school outcomes that the input-output studies in Stage 1.

Figure 1.1b. Stages 2 in the evolution of SER in the USA.

Stage Model

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 2: (2A) (2A)

Addition of Processes Values;

Focus on Product as well as Output 1B

Type 2A Studies (Process-Product) 1A

Type 1A-1B Studies (IPO Studies)

Stage 3, from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, saw the focus of SER shift schools towards the attempted incorporation of the effective schools 'correlates' into school through the generation of various school improvement programmes;

Figure 1.1c. Stages 3 in the evolution of SER in the USA.

Stage Model

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 3: (2A) (2A)

Introduction of School Improvement

Studies 1B

1A

Type 3A Studies

School Improvement Studies

Stage 4, from the late 1980s to the present day has involved the introduction of context factors and of more sophisticated methodologies, which have had an enhancing effect upon the quality of all three strands of SER (school effects research, effective schools research, school improvement research).

Figure 1.1d. Stages 4 in the evolution of SER in the USA.

Stage Model

Context

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 4: (2A) (2A)

Introduction of Context Variables

1B

1A

Type 1C-1A-1B Studies (CIPO)

School Improvement StudiesType 2B-2A Studies (CIPP)

Type 2B-2A-3A Studies (CIPPI)

To understand the evolution of SER we must look at the Four Stages in greater detail.

Figure 1.1 Stages in the evolution of SER in the USA.

Stage Model

Stage 1

Output

InputInput - Output Economic Studies 1A

* Type 1A Studies (1O Studies)

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 2: (2A) (2A)

Addition of Processes Values;

Focus on Product as well as Output 1B

Type 2A Studies (Process-Product) 1A

Type 1A-1B Studies (IPO Studies)

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 3: (2A) (2A)

Introduction of School Improvement

Studies 1B

1A

Type 3A Studies

School Improvement Studies

Context

Product

Output

Process

InputStage 4: (2A) (2A)

Introduction of Context Variables

1B

1A

Type 1C-1A-1B Studies (CIPO)

School Improvement StudiesType 2B-2A Studies (CIPP)

Type 2B-2A-3A Studies (CIPPI)

Stage 1: The Input-Output Paradigm

Stage 1 of SER was based on economical drivers. Students were measured by the amount spent on each student and on the students socio-economic status (SES) to ascertain school outputs. In the research of Coleman et al, in 1966, he found that "student's achievement was based more on a students SES than the different variables from school-based resources."

The foundation stone of SER was from Coleman's et al, (1966) research called "Educational Opportunity Study". This study was carried out to ascertain the "effects that schools had on a child's achievement". The outcome of their research was negative and they found that 'schools bring little influence to bear on a child's achievement that is independent of his background and general social context' (p.325).

To better understand this study we must establish what Coleman used as "factors". He determined that resources that were available in schools were "factors". Coleman outlined these factors to be "per pupil expenditure, school facilities, number of books in the library". Coleman believed that there was a connection between these "factors" and a student's academic achievement. Coleman (1966) stated "that 5-9 per cent of the total variance in individual achievement was directly attributed to these school factors".

As with all research, Coleman's research was both supported and disputed. In 1972, Mayeske reviewed Coleman's research and identified that "37 per cent of the variance was between schools and that weighted equally between student background variables and school variables". The association between these two variables between school and family background became the starting block of 'school effects' research. This research was further supported by Hauser, R., et al (1976) when they identified that

after the SES background of the student population was weighted that schools were only responsible for 1-2 per cent of the total variance in student achievement.

Other researchers in the SER field felt that the findings of the above research was limited with it's over dependence on economic and sociological factors, and that they omitted the consideration of other variables such as a "schools psychological climate".

Stage 2: The Introduction of Process Variables into SER

Stage 2 of the SER model was developed by the late 1970s. Researcher who started to appear at this time were Brookover, Beady, Flood, Schweitzer, and Wisenbaker (1979), Edmonds and Frederiksen (1978), Rutter, Maughan, Mortimore, Ouston, and Smith (1979). These authors carried out their research on schools who were operating within the lower SES backgrounds but were performing brilliantly. Figure 1.1b shows the introduction of process variables for example, library resources. This research brought in elements whereby attitudinal and behavioural indicators were measured. At the beginning of the Stage 2 this research was carried out in urban, low-SES; elementary schools. The concept behind this was because the researchers wanted to show that indeed schools make all the difference and to dismiss the idea that school make no difference. It was at this time where researchers such as Weber (1971) moved away from the initial concepts of Coleman and Jencks whose focus was on "historical school resource characteristics" and started to look at school processes such as such as strong leadership, high expectations, school climate and student monitoring.

It was at this time that advances in methodology allowed for the association between input variables such as "the teacher" at classroom level to be directly associated with the output variable of "the student".

Using these new advances in methodological analysis the research of Summers and Wolfe (1977), Murnane (1975) showed that characteristics of the classroom had a direct effect on student achievement. The findings where great, this research showed that there was a 25% gain in student achievement based on school level and teacher inputs. Their research was able to show that this increase was a direct result of the school and teacher attended by the student.

Later research of Murnane (1981) stated that:

The primary resources that are consistently related to student achievement are teachers and other students. Other resources affect student achievement primarily through their input on the attitudes and behaviours of teachers and students.

(Murnane, 1981, p. 83)

It was during this time that social psychological scales were developed. These scales allowed educational processes to be measured in both the school and the classroom.

This advancement made it possible to measure the attitudes of the student, teacher and principal attitudes towards schooling. This corrected the misrepresentation of data carried out in earlier "school effects" research. Previous to this variance was considered as a direct association to the family background rather than to the educational processes being carried out in the schools.

By the end of the 1970s the research of Brookover et al (1978, 1979) expanded on the research carried out by McDill, Rysby and colleagues who had found a "relationship between climate and achievement".

These school climate measures included items form four general sources (Brookover et al., 1979; Brookover and Schneiger, 1975; Miller 1983):

Student sense of academic futility, which evolved from the Coleman et al (1966) variable measuring student sense of control and the internal/external locus of control concept of Rotter (1966);

Academic self-concept, which had evolved in a series of studies conducted by Brookover and his colleagues from the more general concept of self-esteem (Coopersmith, 1967; Rosenberg, 1965);

Teacher expectation, which had evolved form the concept of the self fulfilling prophecy in the classroom (Cooper and Good, 1982; Rosenthal and Jacobsen, 1968) which had in turn evolved form Rosenthals work on experimental bias effects (Rosentahal, 1968, 1976; Rosenthal and Fode, 1963);

Academic or school climate, which had roots going back to the work of McDill and Rigsby (1973) on concepts such as academic emulation and academically oriented status systems and extensive work on organisational climate (eg. Halpin and Croft, 1963; Dreeban, 1973; Hoy et al., 1991).

(Teddie, Reynolds p.10)

By the late 1970s Brookover et al. (1978, 1979) developed 14 social psychological climate scales. The subsequent studies that followed investigated the relationship among school level climate variables, school level measures of student SES, school racial composition, and mean school achievement.

During this time, the research carried out by Brimer et al., (1978) and Madaus et al., (1979) found that "the choice of test can have a dramatic effect on results concerning the extent to which school characteristics affect student achievement".

According to the Madaus Study, there was an estimated 40 per cent variance between class variance in student level performance on curriculum specific tests (eg. history and geography) than on standardised measures.

Madaus et al (1979) found that the characteristics of standardised tests make them less sensitive than curriculum specific tests to the detection of differences due to the quality of schools (Teddie and Reynolds, 2001, p.10). These standardised tests 'cover material that the school teaches more incidentally' (Coleman et al, 1966, p.294). Madaus and his colleague states that 'conclusions about the direct instructional effects of schools should not have to rely on evidence relating to skills taught incidentally' (Madaus, 1979, p.209).

Stage 3: The Equity Emphasis and the Emergence of School Improvement Studies

At this stage a new era in the SER movement was taking place. Edmonds (1979, 1979a, 1979b) basing his research on his own work and that of fellow colleagues (Lezotte and Bancroft, 1985; Weber 1971) brought about the movement to establish "effective schools for the urban poor". This was a new way of moving the direction of SER in that rather than studying an effective school they decided to create an effective school for those living in poorer urban areas.

It was during this time that the five factor model was created:

Strong instructional leadership from the principal

A pervasive and broadly understood instructional focus

A safe and orderly school learning environment or "climate"

High expectations for achievement from all students

And the use of student achievement test data for evaluating programme and school success.

(Teddie and Reynolds, 2001, p. 10)

As the diagram Figure 1.1a Type 3A shows the introduction of school improvement studies, this form of research remained for many years in the USA. The problem with this form of research was that the feedback made by the educational community was predicable. However, by the mid 1980s sampling and analysis strategies had become more developed.

During the "effective schools" era the school context factors were not researched a great deal. The reason for this was because researchers such as Edmonds based much of their research in low SES areas and not across SES contexts this led to great criticism of the SER during this time.

Stage 4: The Introduction of Context Factors and Other Methodological Advances: Towards Normal Science

Stage 4 of SER carried out by authors such as (Hallinger and Murphy, 1986, Teddlie et al, 1985, 1990) who moved from the above concept of making schools more effective for those in poorer urban areas to a more equity based research aimed at making schools more effective for all students from all SES backgrounds.

Looking back at the four stages of SER, Figure 1.1a-1.1d we must look at the development of each stage of SER. The inclusion of context had an effect on the types of research designs being utilised in all three of the major strands of SER:

Within the input-output strand of SER, the introduction of context variables led to another linkage (1c) in the causal loop (1x-1a-1b output) depicted in Figure 1.1b studies in this tradition may treat context variables as covariates and add them to the expanding mathematical equations that characterises their analyses (Creemers and Scheerens, 1994; Scheerans, 1992).

Within the process-product strand of SER, the introduction of context variables led to the 2b link depicted in figure 1.1b and generated Type 2b-2a studies. These studies are often described in the literature as contextually sensitive studies of school effectiveness processes. This type of research design typically utilizes the case study approach to examine the processes ongoing in schools that vary both by effectiveness status and at least on context variable (e.g. Teddlie and Stringfield, 1993).

Within the school improvement strand of SER the introduction of context variables led more sophisticated types of studies described as Type 2b-2a-3a in figure 1.1d. These studies allow for multiple approaches to school change, depending on the particular context of the school (eg. Chrispeels, 1992; Stoll and Fink, 1992).

(Reynolds, Teddlie, Cremmers, Scheerens, Townsend 2001, p. 12)

It was at this stage of SER that the use of multi-level mathematical models were used over the three strands of SER. Researchers such as Alexander: K et al, 1981; Burstein, 1980a; 1980b introduced the use of levels of aggregation as an issued for educational research. Computer technology too saw advancements in the design of computer programmes which further enabled multilevel modelling.

Researchers such as Crone and Teddlie, 1995; Stringfield et al, 1985 developed behavioural indicates of teaching effectiveness (eg. Classroom management, teacher instructional style, student time on task) to school effectiveness. They were able to show using multivariate analysis of variance that effective teaching was more likely to take place in an effective school.

This form of analysis was taken further by researchers such as Rosenholtz (1988, 1989) who developed social and psychological indices to give greater understanding into the educational processes that go on within schools and classrooms. Rosenholtz scales allowed teachers to assess seven different dimensions of the social organisation of their school.

Research has gone even further by the inclusion of social and psychological indices to give a better insight into educational processes within the school and classroom. Studies by researchers such Rosenholtz (1988, 1989) who developed scales which assess seven different dimensions of the social organisation of schools for use by teachers. Research introduction second order factor analysis to tackle the issues that arise from multicollinearity among school climate and family background of students.

Looking then to the three main areas covered by school effectiveness research (SER). As discussed previously there are three main areas covered by school effectiveness research (SER):

School Effects Research

Effective Schools Research

School Improvement Research

School Effects Research

The term "school effects" is used to explain what we know of a schools ability to effect the outcome (student achievement) of the students who actively participate in that school (Good and Brophy, 1986). Unlike the other two strands of school effectiveness research, Effective Schools Research, which concentrates on the processes connected with effective schools and School Improvement Research, which concentrates on the processes associated with school change.

School effects can be broken into six categories of definition which have been compiled by (Teddlie, Reynolds and Sammons 2001 p. 65) from several sources:

School effects as the absolute effects of schooling, using naturally occurring 'control' groups of students who receive no schooling;

School effects as the adjusted average achievement of all students in a school.

School effects as the impact of schooling on the average achievement of all students in a school, adjusted for family background and/or prior achievement.

School effects as measuring the extent of "between schools" variation in the total variation of their students' individual test scores.

School effects as measuring the unique effect of each school (in a system) of their student's outcomes.

School effects as measuring the impact of schools on student performance over time.

It has been found that effect sizes account for a greater amount in developing countries which greater emphasis on resources, teachers and materials. Some researchers feel that school effects contribute little to student achievement levels compared to a student family background. These researchers fail to recognise that the individual characteristics such as gender or a family SES account for only a small proportion (average 3-8%) of the variance in student achievement. On the other hand, schools on average account for around 5-18% of achievement differences between students after control for initial differences. START

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