Guest editorial

Published date08 October 2018
Date08 October 2018
AuthorHeidi Flavian
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Guest editorial
Assessment and quality assurance in schools
I am pleased to present this special issue of Quality Assurance in Education (QAE)
focusing on Assessments and Quality Assurance in Schools. Educational leaders around
the world understand the dynamic and the ongoing changes school systems are
undergoing, and they are using assessments as basic tools to promote professionalism
and develop proper quality assurance within schools. The different views in regard to
assessments, quality assurance and their contribution to educational processes
emphasize the diversity among school systems. Nevertheless, these differences are
amenable to study, and researchers can present and share their insights in order to
allow educational leaders and policymakers to learn one from another. This special
issue integrates nine different views of this topic. The variety of views developed from
the diverse academic environments in which the researchers conducted their studies,
but more than that, from the diverse cultures they share.
While educators use tests and other forms of assessment to learn about the quality of
their studentslearning processes, there are many elements that could be assessed and
studied to scientically dene the quality of educational institutions. Moreover, in addition
to the composition, structure and functioning of these institutions, many internal and
external factors shouldbe assessed as well.
Understanding the contribution of the variety of assessments to quality assurance
processes in schools is the basis for this special issue. From that point of view, authors
were called to submit papers which presented a variety of aspects of assessments and
their contribution to the quality assurance in various school systems around the world.
The initial idea for this special issue was developed as a result of the meetings of the
Educational Improvement and Quality Assurance network, of EERA/ECER (European
Educational Research Association/European Conference on Educational Research), which took
place during the annual conferences in Dublin (2016) and in Copenhagen (2017). The main aims
of the network are to stimulate scientic research and academic discourse on the denition,
structure, implementation, assessment and impact of educational improvement and quality.
Studies related to this network may refer mainly to schools and also to other formal or non-
formal educational institutions, to supra-national or international organizations and to informal
initiatives that promote or affect education. Discussions among the network members and the
professional researchers who participated in the conferences over the years led toward the need
to publication of this special issue. Although not all the authors are members of the network,
they all share the motivation to study and to promote the quality of education in schools.
The need to study the effectiveness and quality of schools is not innovative. Ever since
education became a structured process, philosophers, psychologists and educators have dealt
with the need to improve curricula to attain better achievements. Nevertheless, Dewey (1938)
was the main educational theorist who pushed for the responsibility of society to improve
education and to maintain the quality of studentslearning processes. But, he also claimed that
changes within education can be implemented only after carefully examining the existing
system. Although Dewey did not develop a quality theory of education, his guidelines were
The guest editor would like to thank the authors of the papers in this special issue as well as the
reviewers who participated in the blind review at the penultimate stage of the editorial process.
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.26 No. 4, 2018
pp. 406-409
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-10-2018-0107

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