Abstract ICSE 2017
The plan for Systematic Quality Work at preschools trough the lens of School improvement.
This study focus on elucidating and understanding what improvement is in focus and why, in the head of preschools plan for systematic quality work.
The preschool in Sweden is since 2010 a part of the education system with goals to reach. In the revised curriculum (2011) for the preschool in Sweden, new goals have been formulated, a new section on evaluation and development are described, and responsibilities for the head of the preschool are formulated. The head of the preschool has a responsibility to systematically and continuously plan, follow up, evaluate and develop education (2010: 800) at the school level.
The focus, in preschool research, is often on quality assurance and quality measurement and also if quality is subjective or objective (Sheridan, 2009). Very seldom the focus is in the burgeoning field of school improvement. Therefore, it is of interest to study the preschool and their systematic quality work in the light of school improvement. From research we know that improvement requires a committed leader (Harris, 2002; Harris & Muijs, 2005) and we know that leadership is a key to improvement. The leader must clearly point out the directions and lead the instructional work for improvement (Leithwood & Day, 2007). Therefor it is of interest to study the head of preschools plan for there systematical quality work.
School improvement in this study is defined as a systematic, sustained and supported effort with the purpose to improve the learning and other internal conditions of the school, with the ultimate aim of accomplishing educational goals more effectively (Björkman, 2008; Harris, 2000; Stoll, 1999).
The methodology to analyze the material is a qualitative content analysis (Graneheim & Lundman, 2004). The collected data consists of written papers, a plan for systematical quality work, of the head of the preschools. The material will be interpreted within a framework of research in the area of school improvement and in contrast to the concept of quality in preschool activity.
Results and conclusions
There are some preliminary tendencies, but it is still research in progress. I hope to give a more complete picture in the paper at the conference.
Educational importance of this study
This paper could contribute to valuable knowledge in the field of Preschool improvement. Research in the area of systematic quality work, leadership, management within
the preschool are limited (Lager, 2015) and research with preschool quality improvement in focus in the burgeoning field of school improvement are partial.
Connection to the conference theme
The connection in this paper is to the conference theme of System and School Improvement.
Björkman, C. (2008). Internal capacities for school improvement: Principals’ views in Swedish secondary schools (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå Universitet, Umeå.
Graneheim, U.H., & Lundman, B. (2004). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24(issue), 105–112.
Harris, A. (2000). What works in school improvement? Lessons from the field and future directions. Educational Research, 41(1), pp.1-11.
Harris, A. (red.) (2002). Effective leadership for school improvement. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
Harris, A. & Muijs, D. (2005). Improving schools through teacher leadership. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Lager, K. (2015). I spänningsfältet mellan kontroll och utveckling: en policystudie av systematiskt kvalitetsarbete i kommunen, förskolan och fritidshemmet. Diss.Göteborgs universitet, 2015.
Leithwood, K., & Day, C. (2007). Starting with what we know. In C. Day & K. Leithwood (Eds.). Successful Principal Leadership in Times of Change. An internatio- nal Perspective (pp. 1-15). Dordrecht: Springer.
SFS 2010:800. Skollag. Stockholm: Utbildningsdepartementet
Stoll, L. (1999). Developing schools capacity for lasting improvement. Improving Schools, 2(3), 32– 39.
ICSEI, International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, 2017