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Title: The dynamic journey : insights into the challenges and facilitators encountered in implementing the dynamic approach to school improvement
Author: Griaznova, Julia Alexandrovna
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 3619
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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The research study presented in this dissertation provides insight into the process of implementing the dynamic model of school improvement from the perspective of the practitioners. The Dynamic Approach to School Improvement (DASI) is a theory-based and evidence-driven model designed by Creemers and Kyriakides (2012) to improve educational practice in schools. While the dynamic model has been studied extensively through quantitative means, little is known about the practitioner perspective and experience implementing this approach. Teachers are thought to influence the extent of improvement observed by schools in the course of reform because they apply and engage with reform initiatives directly (Mendenhall, Iachini, & Anderson-Butcher, 2013). I base this study on the premise that teacher experience with DASI is essential knowledge for further development of the dynamic approach. I specifically focus this study on teacher experience with challenges and supports encountered over the life span of the reform, as these factors can influence practitioner motivation and engagement with the improvement process. This exploratory multiple-case study was undertaken in four English primary schools. Over the course of the 2015-2016 school year, I worked individually with four schools to introduce the DASI framework and support the implementation of an improvement project reflective of the schools' needs. Data collected for this study gave rise to several key findings. First, elements of the DASI framework were identified by practitioners in a number of cases to function as facilitators for improvement, suggesting that for participating schools the structure of the dynamic model was supportive of the improvement process. A second finding of this study was that that teachers identified some of the same barriers and supports as have been noted in prior school improvement research. Time, buy-in, inter-disciplinary partnerships and teacher collaboration were identified by practitioners in this study as factors that had an impact on their experience with reform (Rhodes & Houghton-Hill, 2000; Mendenhall, Iachini, & Anderson-Butcher, 2013; Ainscow, Dyson, Goldrick, & West, 2016). Additionally, the school culture appeared to have a significant influence over the reform effort as well as the development of factors into supports or barriers. The final finding of this study was that practitioner perception of reform success appeared to be influenced by the number and severity of barriers and facilitators teachers experienced in the course of reform.
Supervisor: Antoniou, Panayiotis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: dynamic approach to school improvement ; multiple case study ; school improvement ; challenges ; facilitators ; teacher perspective