Evaluation And Monitoring Of Innovation In School: A Case Study

Ragazzi, Serena and Crescentini, Alberto and Castelli, Luciana (2012) Evaluation And Monitoring Of Innovation In School: A Case Study. In: Book of abstract 3rd International Conference on Education & Educational Psychology, 10-13 October 2012, Istanbul.

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Problem Statement: Since 2010, a project concerning social and emotional learning was introduced in Ticino’s (the Italian speaking part of Switzerland) primary schools. On one side, an actual and recurrent issue in the international debate (e.g. Luppescu, 1998), is that lots of innovation projects in school are not coordinated or evaluated. On the other side, the need to get clear and well defined information, with regard to the final results and the progress of projects, drives to design systems of evaluation aiming at scientifically-soundly informations.. Purpose of Study: The purpose of the study is to evaluate and monitor a project of innovation that involves students and teachers of Ticino’s primary school. Research Methods: Research design refers to the framework of mixed methodologies (Tashakkori e Teddlie, 2010). Different instruments were used for getting information from students and teachers. Among teachers, data were collected through diaries, focus groups, questionnaires, observations in the classrooms and interviews. Among students, data were collected through questionnaires, observations in the classrooms and evaluations of teachers. Concerning students, a control-group has been implemented in order to detect effects related to the subjects natural development or to the intrinsic motivation of teachers. Findings: The project is currently at the end of the first cycle of training and intervention. We have figured out that results generally match expectations. The evaluation and monitoring system allowed researchers to carry out some adjustments to the project design, in order to prevent potential problems. Students that participated to the project, obtained significantly better scores in recognizing emotional expression. Teachers engaged in the second year of formation, have shown a growing satisfaction related to the modifications made to the process. Conclusions: Regarding the initial aims, the evaluation and monitoring system has shown to be suitable. The presence of consistent data allowed to interact with the head of the project responsible in order to stimulate rapidly those needed modifications. During several presentations we will approach some practical and methodological problems of a process with a double aim, namely evaluation and monitoring. The use of multi-methods and multi-researchers system has shown to be an unavoidable richness for an evaluation that pursues objectives of comprehension too.

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