Educational effectiveness research in new, emerging, and traditional contexts
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So, taking a more macro approach, it is first necessary to look at current international perspectives on educational quality and effectiveness. Although many would agree that educational quality is crucial to developing and sustaining all societies, it is much more difficult to agree on how this concept should be defined and measured. Clearly, how educational quality is defined will depend on the priorities, context, and perspectives of the persons or organisations creating the definition. Nevertheless, some consensus has been reached at the international level, illustrated by a key report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2005) examining educational quality, which emphasises in particular the central importance of student outcomes, both academic/vocational and attitudinal/affective. This approach signalled a critical shift away from the key historical focus of international development agencies on improving educational access, manifested in the UNESCO Millennium Development Goal of ‘universal primary education’, towards emphasising the importance of both quality and access of educational provision. More recently, educational quality in terms of outcomes has also been examined by researchers such as Tikly (2011) from the perspective of capabilities – in essence, the freedom of individuals to achieve particular functions (such as to learn, to work, to vote), an idea widely introduced and promoted in development economics by Sen (1999).
The Routledge International Handbook of Educational Effectiveness and Improvement
Educational Administration, Management and Leadership