School-based self-evaluation in Greece: a challenge for primary schools

Argyro, Kokoretsi-Stavrinides (2010) School-based self-evaluation in Greece: a challenge for primary schools. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

This thesis explores whether and to what extent a particular school self-evaluation (SSE) programme, aimed at school accountability and school improvement, can be accommodated into the Greek reality. The research employs an ethnographic case study in one primary school in Athens and involves collaborative action research (CAR) with an external collaborator for the programme initiation and implementation. The school was scrutinised by a number of methods such as participant observation and teachers' interviews. The pupils', parents' and teachers' questionnaires as well as focus groups used by CAR offered a valuable source of information, thus combining triangulation in data gathering. The research reveals that the SSE cannot give visible and direct outcomes in reference to school accountability and improvement purposes. Individual teachers' attempts cannot support the cyclical process of SSE - improvement - evaluation, which needs a co-operative and innovative culture. The individualistic and non innovative school culture seems to be the most influential factor. The study, however, indicates that the process of the SSE implementation can promote invisibly and indirectly the programme purposes. It can affect the participants and particularly the teachers, who seem to develop individual answerability and professional responsibility. This, in turn, can prepare the school for external accountability. Simultaneously, the process, 'by doing' and critical reflection, seems to act as a 'learning process' for teachers' personal and professional development. The process can reflect upon the teachers' classes and the school as an organisation, even the school culture, since new patterns seem to challenge the established ways and practices of school operation, including school values. External collaboration appears to be a powerful tool in the process. The researcher collaborator can undertake the role of the leader initiating the innovation as well as that of the manager inspiring commitment, developing the feeling of ownership and providing approaches and tools. Balancing power relationships within the school reveals as a particularly sensitive task for her/him to accomplish. Such a complicated role raises questions about the persons who can undertake it; consultants from educational authorities or researchers from higher education and, perhaps, experienced teachers from other schools can be proposed. In any case, external collaborators should be trusted persons, equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills, clearly familiar with the school context and relieved from appraisal responsibilities. The external collaborator's responsibilities are expected to be delegated to the school. Thus, the role of the Head and teachers should be upgraded. This seems to have political implications while the need for teachers' and heads' professional development reveals as decisive. A prerequisite seems to be the establishment of a national policy, which will establish a framework for teachers' professional development and provide a kind of balanced autonomy to schools legitimating, thus, innovations. Within this context, SSE aimed at school accountability and improvement should be seen as a long-term project.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: school self-evaluation (SSE); school accountability; school improvement; primary school; Athens; Greece; collaborative action research (CAR)
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 370 Education
Department: School of Social Sciences and Professions
School of Social Professions (to June 2021)
Depositing User: Chiara Repetto
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 09 May 2022 10:12


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