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School Effectiveness and Improvement

Key information

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Module description

School effectiveness and improvement research has become very popular in recent years but has also become increasingly criticised for being a socially and politically decontextualised body of literature which provides support for inequitable educational reforms. This module is intended to provide a critical appraisal of this literature by looking at its methodological and theoretical problems, whether school effectiveness and school improvement claims are justified and the relationship between this literature and recent education policy in the UK and elsewhere. While this is emphatically not a module on 'fixing' underperforming schools, the school effectiveness and improvement literature provides a fascinating example of the way educational research is never neutral but is coloured by the political, ideological and methodological concerns of its time.

Assessment details

1 x 6,000 word assignment (100%)

Educational aims & objectives

1. To enable participants to develop a critical understanding of the assumptions behind school effectiveness and school improvement research.
2. To enable participants to develop a critical understanding of school effectiveness and improvement research findings, arguments and critiques.
3. To enable participants to develop a critical understanding of recent education policy intended to improve the effectiveness of schools as a case study of government policy for school improvement. Participants should use this to reflect on the effectiveness of centrally directed school improvement and make critical comparisons with similar initiatives with which they are familiar.
4. To enable participants to critically evaluate initiatives intended to improve effectiveness in their own institutions

Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.