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Quatre séminaires et un colloque international à l'INRP dans le cadre de la recherche « De la culture commune au socle commun ».

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School assessment and support in Europe: variety and hybridization mechanisms

by admin last modified 2009-05-22 09:37

Xavier Dumay abstract for the international seminar "What are the strategic challenges behind the implementation of accountability in education policies?".

Xavier Dumay
GIRSEF, Université Catholique de Louvain

The education policies of European school systems have known tremendous changes for some twenty years now. There are a few common points in these changes – the growing importance of school systems outcomes and their effectiveness but also a new balance between central and local authorities. It has led to a stronger supervision of local authorities in traditionally decentralised systems and to growing autonomy in traditionally centralised countries. As part of this new balance, local authorities are expected to promote change and improve school systems along benchmarks, especially outcome targets or central prescriptions.

Emphasising these common points should not obliterate what is probably the most remarkable feature of European school systems and policies – variety. In this paper, we will seek to capture the variety of policies and accountability criteria in this European space and show to what extent the history of national school systems is a key factor in the hybridization of international policy orientations.

The paper is structured as followed: after describing the main converging points in the implementation of European education policies and the role of European political institutions in this harmonization process, we will focus on Sweden and England to show how the political transformations visible at European (and global) scale are hybridized by political, cultural, and epistemological traditions specific to these two countries.

Finally, we suggest a comparison of the school assessment and support process in these two school systems along three lines. The first addresses the theory of regulation and change that underlies the school assessment and support mechanisms. The second refers to the nature and meaning of power struggles and redistribution between central and local authorities. The third tackles the evolution of cognitive matrixes that have guided the emergence and transformation of accountability policies.
Education et sociétés
Numéro 21
Former des élites dans un monde incertain
Coordonné par Yves Dutercq
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Association internationale des sociologues de langue françaiseComité de recherche n °7 Éducation, Formation, Socialisation
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