Affective outcomes in the context of school reform

Year: 2003

Author: Leonard, Carl, Bourke, Sid, Schofield, Neville

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The late 20th Century saw the rapid rise of quality assurance in most industries and organisations, and in education quality assurance was epitomised as a concern with school effectiveness. Effectiveness measures most often took the form of standardised measures of student achievement in basic skills, and these measures remain the most salient today. While student cognitive development is an essential outcome of schooling, it is argued that interpretations of quality and effectiveness that do not include affective outcomes are inadequate as measures of desirable schooling outcomes.

The argument is supported that school effectiveness is best seen linked with school improvement, with a particular focus on methods of enhancing the school experience for students. In this, a potential future of schooling that involves a realignment of academic and affective outcomes is advocated. Student quality of life and consistent school attendance are suggested as important criteria of school effectiveness and improvement and are contextualised as such. Suggestions are made of how teachers can enhance at least these two criteria by improved mentoring and providing a focus on children's future, health, equity and access to quality education.