What makes a good school

Year: 1997

Author: Silins, Halia, Murray-Harvey, Rosalind

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This is the second of two studies responding to the need to identify indicators that reflect more closely the values underlying quality schooling. The accepted definition of quality schooling encompasses broader aims and goals of education than the narrow achievement outcomes usually associated with performance scores. If schools are to be supported to achieve these broader aims, school performance must include indicators of effectiveness that reflect more closely the shared meaning of quality schooling. The initial study successfully tested some of the broader aims of schooling (fostering in students positive self-concepts, adaptive approaches to learning, and positive attitudes to learning and school life) as alternative indicators against a global school performance score. This second study further validates these measures and incorporates a broader range of school performance measures such as school completion rates and subject specific achievement. Also, teachers' perceptions of school leadership and school organisation are surveyed to obtain information on the context of the schools studied. This larger scale project involving 3,700 Year 11 and 12 students and 460 of their teachers from 40 South Australian secondary schools investigates the nature and strength of the relationships between all the variables studied using path analysis.