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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

 

An Examination of the Link between School Management and Curriculum Innovation: A Comparative Study of Public and Private Primary Schools in Greece

Marina Stefania Giannakaki.


The present study investigates the relationship between the “learning organisation” and the implementation of curriculum innovations in schools. A learning organisation is characterised by long-term goals, participatory decision-making processes, close collaboration with external stakeholders, effective mechanisms for the internal communication of knowledge and information, and the use of rewards for its members. These characteristics constitute the explanatory variables of the theoretical model of this study and are expected to promote curriculum innovation. The study also accounts for control variables that have been found in the past to influence a school’s operation.

The study follows a comparative approach and aims to compare the innovative activity of public and private schools. It draws on 197 structured interviews with primary school principals in Greece (both public and private), and applies advanced statistical methods for data analysis.

A number of important outcomes have been found. First, the most important determinants of the innovative activity of a school are the extent of its collaboration with other organisations (i.e. openess to society), as well as the implementation of development programmes for teachers and parents (i.e. communication of knowledge and information).

Contrary to expectations, the existence of long-term goals, as well as the extent of shared decision-making exerted no influence on curriculum innovation.

The study also suggests that a large part of the variation in the innovative activity of schools is explained by control factors with positive effects, the most important of which are the school infrastructure, the size of the pupil population, and the financial support received from external agencies.

The study concludes by making recommendations for further research that would shed more light on unexpected outcomes and would help explore the causal link between variables in the theoretical model.

Presenters

Marina Stefania Giannakaki  (United Kingdom)
Research Officer
National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, Bedford Group for Lifecourse and Statistical Studies
Institute of Education, University of London

Since September 2002, I've been working as a Research Officer at the Institute of Education, University of London. My main responsibility is the design of the Longitudinal Study of Teachers of Adult Literacy, ESOL, and Numeracy, although I occassionally contribute to other projects as well. Before joining the Institute of Education, I had been working as a researcher at the Athens' Institute for Education and Research (in Greece), and after that, as a primary school teacher in Athens, while, at the same time, being an external research consultant for the Economic and Social Council of Greece (I still have this role). Since January 1999, I've been undertaking Ph.D. study on a part-time basis at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. I have just completed the writing up of my thesis, and I am about to submit it.

Keywords
  • Primary school
  • School management
  • School effectiveness
  • Innovation
  • Private education
  • Comparative analysis



(30 min Conference Paper, English)