School improvement is at the centre of educational reform and is perceived by many as a key to social and economic advance. It contributes to determining the personal fulfilment and career paths of individual students and consequently engages the interest of parents and community members. It is an ever-present commitment of teachers and managers in schools. Policy makers and politicians at international, national and local levels devote much time and effort to their search for better schools.
School improvement has also attracted the attention of researchers and scholars in many countries. They have been drawn from various disciplines and fields within the educational studies community, including psychology, sociology, history, evaluation, and studies in curriculum and assessment. There is now an established body of findings from studies conducted in many contexts. This book brings together leading experts drawn from many countries and several continents, reflecting diverse approaches to educational policy and practice, evaluation and research. Variations between countries and between local communities within countries are highlighted. The possibilities and difficulties inherent in transferring evidence from one educational system, at a number of levels, to another are clearly discussed. What emerges from the cross-national and cross-cultural evidence are several significant threads, currently under active investigation, including: school structure and management, classroom organisation, school leadership, teacher training and staff development, curriculum and assessment, community involvement, lifelong learning and special provision for students with special educational needs.
"School Improvement: International Perspectives" is written for national educational policy makers, teachers and student teachers, governing bodies and parents from various levels of schooling, and university researchers and scholars.