How to evaluate the effectiveness of educational institutions? Considerations from the 16th MSSES International Scientific and Practical Conference

By Elmina Kazimzade, Center for Innovations in Education – Azerbaijan

Do teachers’ competitions/awards impact teaching and learning quality at school level? Does a teacher-winner become innovative leader in classroom/school/region?

These were the provocative and thoughtful questions raised at the XVI International Scientific and Practical Conference “Tendencies of Education Development”, organised by NEPC member Moscow School for Social and Economic Sciences.

This year topic was “How to evaluate the effectiveness of educational institutions: kindergartens, schools and universities” and these inquiries reflected the main challenges existing in area of awards schemes for teaching excellence as a mechanism of teacher professional development and support.  

Many countries shifted from traditional award model when teachers receive the prize in recognition of past achievements to project-centric oriented awards (Russia, Saint Petersburg, TeachBurg Project, Azerbaijan MOE Grant competition on Development and Innovations in Education).  Innovative practices, community and team building projects versus individual teacher’s award became the actual trend in awarding schemes applied in education.  Another form of Teachers’ award is the teaching fellowship model that provides support to awards winners to meet together, to share ideas, to make exchange visits (Rybakov-Foundation Project, Russia).

This scheme is considered by many philanthropy agencies who re-conceptualized the philosophy of charity as catalyser for sustainable development rather a short-term aid. The following issues  revealed by panellists can be crucial in the future discussions:  how to support non-winners who continue to work  at school?  In what extend demo-lesson should be used as a relevant criteria for effective teachers’ evaluation? What and how should be evaluated for teacher leadership recognition? Diversity, open talks, professional environment and opportunity to share critical views were key elements of this learning event.

The conference diversity was comprised of participants presented by national and international policy makers from Great Britain, Finland, Estonia and Eurasia, researchers and practitioners, private foundations members and civic actors.

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