Support for Improvement
INDIRE has been dealing with school improvement even before its direct involvement in the National Evaluation System, formalised by Law 10/2011.
With the project called PQM – National Plan for Quality and Merit, the Ministry entrusted INDIRE with supporting improvement in about 300 schools aiming to boost students’ results in Italian and Mathematics.
In the following years, the Institute was given the task of supporting improvement in two experimental projects that gradually paved the way to the new National Evaluation System (NES), described and regulated by Presidential Decree 80/2013. These projects were VSQ (Evaluation for the development of the quality of the Schools) and VALeS (Evaluation and school development). Both of these national experimentations, promoted by the MIUR, involved INDIRE, the National Institute for the Evaluation of the Education and Training System, and the inspectorate of the MIUR, paving the way to the National Evaluation System.
INDIRE’s road map for quality improvement focuses on two key aspects:
INDIRE’s mission, pursued throughout decades of work with schools, can be summed up as the promotion of school innovation, through both a top-down approach, by spreading and encouraging the application of reforms in the education system, and a bottom-up approach, collecting and making available good educational practices and quality materials produced by the schools.
Over the years, thanks to the work of its researchers, the Institute has brought together a huge amount of resources (data banks, learning objects, training modules) and expertise (trainers, tutors, specialist consultants). These resources cover the contents of the core subjects, as well as certain aspects that cut across innovation processes, such as teaching workshops, a new conception of the learning environment, a mature reflection on the role of technologies, and new methods for class teaching.
2) Methods and Tools
INDIRE takes as reference the Total Quality Management (TQM) models and adopts a dynamic approach, inspired by the DASI model (Dynamic Approach to School Improvement). As a result, INDIRE’s improvement concept focuses on the mutual impact of the implemented actions in the framework of a permanently ongoing improvement process, starting from the headmaster and involving the entire system. The school, as a whole, needs to adopt a data-driven approach, where the production of quali-quantitative data, from planning to assessment, is a central feature of improvement and triggers off effective innovation processes.
The key tool to support the improvement process is the Improvement Plan: INDIRE provides its own Improvement Plan model and suitable tools to accompany its implementation (adopted by 5000 school institutes throughout the AY 2015-2016).
In addition, INDIRE, capitalising on the experience gained from national experimentations, provides schools with lists of consultants, expert in methods and improvement processes (there are 151 for the first and second education cycle), who can be chosen by establishments to support improvement actions. These experts were selected and trained for the project VALeS to support schools in the planning and implementation of the improvement actions. (in the AY 2015-2016 there were 160 schools that chose to be supported by a consultant for improvement, in person or online).
INDIRE’s line of research in this field has been developed starting from the idea that an improvement action must affect the school structural organisation as a whole (time, space and teaching) to have an effective impact on the school system and learning results.
This galvanises innovation processes, steering schools towards the use of tools and technologies such as FabLab, 3D printers, and Coding, to adopt new methods such as the Flipped Classroom, TEAL, and Scenario-based Teaching, the training and updating of teachers, the development and spread of teaching workshop models.
In continuity and synergy with the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in the sector of education and training, the Institute supports schools in its position as the National Erasmus+ Agency and as a member of European Schoolnet, and it also collaborates in promoting School-work Alternation.
– Access to the online services of the Improvement Area (Online Improvement Plan Tool and Training Environment for Internal Evaluation Units): http://miglioramento.indire.it