School effectiveness is a difficult construct to explain because of the many variables present in a given educational system. Even two schools with similar demographic profiles may have very different levels of success as measured by student outcomes, exit examinations, and graduation rates. What makes one school succeed while another with a similar profile is less than successful has been studied in developed countries. However, these same questions about school effectiveness exist in the developing world as well, yet little research has been undertaken to explain the reasons for school success or failure. This study utilized a mixed method constructivist approach to account for educational differences in two demographically similar schools in the Soroti Diocese of Uganda. Participant schools were selected through examination of quantitative and qualitative indicators of school success. Once selected, the key shareholders in each school (parents, staff, and students) were surveyed using the appropriate More Effective Schools (MES) surveys. Follow-up interviews were conducted with each group. The data from the MES surveys indicated that all seven correlates of Effective Schools were present at a statistically significant level in both study schools. However, further analysis of individual questions on the MES surveys, combined with the qualitative interview data, revealed significant differences between the two schools. Most of these differences focused on three key areas: instructional leadership, a clear school mission, and home-school relationships. Further research could include individual analysis of each of these three correlates. The comprehensive picture of each school provided by the study data allowed for specific recommendations for improvement at each study school, a primary goal of this research. The study also demonstrated the importance of a multi-faceted, mixed methodology approach to school effectiveness research; in short, multiple perspectives are necessary to adequately provide an explanation of what actually happens within the confines of a school.
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Catholic education, Effective schools, High and low-performing schools, Low-performing, Soroti Catholic Diocese, Uganda|
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