Rethinking school effectiveness and improvement: A question of paradigms
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Wrigley, T. (2012) Rethinking school effectiveness and improvement: A question of paradigms. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 24(1), 31-47.
The purpose of this article is to contribute to progressive school change by developing a more systematic critique of school effectiveness (SE) and school improvement (SI) as paradigms. Diverse examples of paradigms and paradigm change in non-educational fields are used to create a model of paradigms for application to SE and SI, and to explore the implications of their hegemony, their rootedness in a neoliberal policy environment, and their limitations as theories and methodologies of school evaluation and change. The article seeks to identify reasons for the inadequacy of orthodox SI in helping schools face contemporary challenges, including schools serving populations burdened by poverty, and finally identifies some alternative approaches to educational change. The article draws examples from an English context, but with international resonances.