The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Screening Tools and School Self-Evaluation: Use of Questionnaires on Skills and Behavior at School in a Protocol of Self-Assessment

Floriana Battaglia, University of Pisa (Italy)

Lucio Bontempelli, University of Pisa (Italy)

Abstract

One of the essential elements of a self-assessment of any school is the collection and analysis of data on early school leaving and the formulation of objectives and strategies to reduce this problem.

The INVALSI surveys provide schools with an objective picture of the performance of the students. However, the performance data do not allow for the evaluation of other factors that are important for success in school as well.

Typically, for example, the motivational factors, which are essential in the long term, are poorly correlated with performance. Similarly, at the time of the INVALSI survey, the students might have good cognitive abilities still not fully developed as skills.

Several researches have attempted to identify factors that are predictive of academic success in the short and long term. Significantly, what best predicts the success or failure of students, even in the long term, are the perceptions that teachers have about their students.

Probably, teachers tend to develop, in their work, a sensitivity toward the complex of factors which contribute to successful integration of the student in his/her school path. Therefore, we suggest to integrate performance data with those derived from perceptions that teachers have of their students in the daily work in the classroom. In this way, it is possible the early identification of students at risk of drop-out in order to intervene effectively. Furthermore, the enhancement of the perceptions of teachers promotes greater compliance and more active involvement in the process of self-evaluation.

In this paper we present an experience of self-assessment of a Comprehensive School of the Province of Pisa. In the protocol of self-assessment, objective tests based on the perception that teachers have of their students have been added to the performance data. It has been developed a reactive that we are going to validate. This novel reactive allows for an early identification of students, of lower secondary school (age 11-14 years ), at risk of leaving school prematurely. The test consists of 8 questions, with dichotomous response, it has been included in the protocol of self-assessment as a screening tool, in order to give guidance on the actions of recovery and monitor the results.

We also used the Strenghts and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Italian version, for children attending kindergarten (age 3-6 years) and primary school (ages 6-11 years), to monitor, with the help of teachers' perceptions, behavioral and relational factors that may be important.

In this paper, the results achieved and expected are analized. It is also discussed the impact on the prospective school organization, the collaboration between schools, university and the National Research Council (that has made possible the development of this innovative self-assessment protocol).

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