Building a Communitarian Policy of Educative Accountability Using a Critical-Pragmatist Epistemology.Report as inadecuate

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The Tasmania Department of Education and the Arts commissioned policy research in February 1992 to identify forms of accountability preferred by stakeholders. This paper describes the policy-research project that sought to clarify the accountability processes and the criteria for collecting data and improving the quality of learning, teaching, and leadership in Tasmania. The research process was based on a critical-pragmatist epistemology. Its outcomes informed the design of a new 3-year, school-review process that seeks to integrate local governance, school planning, action-research evaluation, external reviews, and systemic performance assessment. Underlying the recommended policy is a touchstone set of processes and criteria that comprise a theory of mutual and educative accountability. The theory coheres with liberal, democratic, and limited forms of community government; educative leadership; and ideally, communitarian rather than collegial forms of professionalism. The challenge was to assemble the forms of educative accountability preferred by the immediate stakeholders, develop a state education-accountability policy that promised to "prove" and "improve" public education, and advance accountability policymaking in schools. All policy preferences articulated by school-community and stakeholder groups were included in the Accountability Policy Questionnaire, which was used to measure the level of support within each stakeholder group for each policy proposal. Seven tables are included. (Contains 34 references.) (LMI)

Descriptors: Accountability, Action Research, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Criteria, Foreign Countries, Governance, Policy Formation, Research, School Based Management

Author: Macpherson, Reynold


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