The introduction of self-evaluation to a primary school.
Morris, David J
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
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The stimulus for this research was the introduction of the process of self evaluation into a Primary School. This included the initial choice of an outline model to be used to begin the process of self evaluation, and decisions on how, where and when issues such as monitoring target setting and review would fit into the school year. The term "self-evaluation" in the Primary School is one that has worried and confused many teachers and schools mainly due to a lack of understanding of whrat it brings. To some teachers it is seen as just another way of 'checking up' on the way they complete their jobs, because of the inherent need for lesson monitoring, monitoring of class and school results throughout the year. This brings to minds the controversial issue in teaching of "payment by results", which ís always an issue that causes resistance and bad feeling. To other professionals, the process of self-evaluation is seen as a way out of the cycle of external inspections and a move towards a truer representation of what schools can achieve- This is due to the feeling that the school is not only seen at its best for a week, prepared for in advance, but is seen for all of its achievements throughout the whole year by those who know the children, teachers and school and are in touch of how the school needs to improve. Initial research took the form of an investigation into the background and history of self-evaluation in schools and some of the best ways it could be used in a Primary school in particular. Interviews were held with teachers from eight schools in different areas of the country to ascertain what they already knew, what was being done in their schools, and whether the process was seen to be succeeding in giving information the school could use in order to improve. Information from these interviews, along with researching the schools needs and linking them to the best model of self evaluation led to the formation of a new, more personal scheme which could be used- Some of the findings changes brought on by this research have been in the area of assessment recording and monitoring- The structure of the focused assessment weeks was changed to include all years and the results then want towards illustrating the progress or lack of progress of all children in the school; Self-evaluation by children was introduced on a weekly basis; The intoduction of Performance Management has altered the monitoring arrrangements a little. Each member of staff has now set targets for themselves in conjunction with a 'Team læader'. These targets are linked to the School Improvement Plan and include Pupil Progress, Contínuing Professional Development and Whole School development; The monitoring of staff has continued, but additional monitoring is now carried out by 'Team Leaders' to prove achievement of staff targets. It was also found that it assisted children's self-evaluation if the objectives of the lesson were clearly stated at the beginning of the lesson and kept in view throughout the whole lesson to be referred back to.
MA Education Thesis
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