International ‘benchmarking’ studies and the identification of ‘education best practice’: a focus on classroom teachers and their practices

Skourdoumbis, Andrew 2014, International ‘benchmarking’ studies and the identification of ‘education best practice’: a focus on classroom teachers and their practices, Australian educational researcher, vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 411-423, doi: 10.1007/s13384-013-0142-8.

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Title International ‘benchmarking’ studies and the identification of ‘education best practice’: a focus on classroom teachers and their practices
Author(s) Skourdoumbis, AndrewORCID iD for Skourdoumbis, Andrew
Journal name Australian educational researcher
Volume number 41
Issue number 4
Start page 411
End page 423
Total pages 13
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publication date 2014-09
ISSN 0311-6999
Keyword(s) corporate report
teacher performance
student achievement
teacher education
classroom teachers
education policy
Summary  Abstract:The disproportionate focus on classroom teachers and their instruction—teacher effectiveness—in order to confront and address under-achievement and disadvantage appears as a contemporary education policy theme in Australia. Phrases such as ‘high performing schooling systems’, ‘the best teachers’, ‘high performing countries’, ‘quality teaching’, ‘under-performing schools’, ‘the right change’, ‘operationally feasible’, ‘targeting of reforms’, ‘degrees of under-performance’, ‘educational drivers’, ‘teacher quality and improved teaching’ and ‘external standards and governance’ are constantly mentioned and given continual attention and prominence by policy-makers. The paper questions and critiques a policy-making direction that uses teacher effectiveness research to force and steer reform in education. The distinctive and narrow concern with teacher effectiveness works to the specific exclusion of breadth and scope concerning debate about broader education related issues and questions, for example, matters of student achievement, exclusion and disadvantage. This article uses a qualitative research approach informed by critical theory to examine three influential private sector reports on education and schooling: The McKinsey Report ( 2007 )—How the world’s best-performing school systems come out on top, The Nous Group ( 2011 )—Schooling Challenges and Opportunities and The Grattan Institute ( 2012 )—Catching up: Learning from the best school systems in East Asia. The article subjects the reports to close critical scrutiny and examination and finds that classroom teachers are positioned so that their specific and explicit instruction becomes the differentiating ‘variable’ in matters of student achievement and success.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s13384-013-0142-8
Field of Research 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Springer
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Created: Tue, 29 Jul 2014, 14:48:04 EST by Andrew Skourdoumbis

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