Ms. Diedrich, Hamburg has been pursuing a data-supported school development strategy at the state level for 20 years. What is the most important thing?
Diedrich: You need staying power and a lot of patience. If something doesn’t bring the desired return right away, don’t throw it in the trash right away. Success often becomes apparent only years later.
An overall view of the quality of education is also important: at the structural level, we regularly describe the social indicator, that is, the socio-economic composition of the student body. At the system level, we create one every three years Education reportand we do this comprehensively for six different grapes each year Learning assessmentswhich, for example, enabled us to quantify the learning deficit early in the Corona pandemic.
In addition, we have regular settings for how we will handle the results of educational monitoring and how we will react to the results.
Diagnostic tool compatibility and results
Can you give an example here?
Diedrich: We have been pursuing a data-driven strategy in language support for the longest time. Hamburg has had the concept for 15 years Linguistic promotion Accumulated, starting with the four-and-a-half-year-olds. If the need for language support is identified early on, children should go to school earlier and attend a pre-school class in primary school in order to receive targeted language support. Here there is a close intertwining of diagnostic tool and outcome. Annual monitoring allows conclusions to be drawn about the effectiveness of language support at school, but we can also use the data to show, for example, that a longer visit to a daycare center reduces the likelihood of needing language support.
Mr. Klein, during a pandemic, your organization has schools, for example evaluation tools provided so that they can see how successful distance learning is. How can schools work with this?
young: Schools have specific questions and we provide tools that schools can use to work with them. These tools, which deal specifically with issues of teaching quality, are available to schools via our assessment portal. For example, we have one Digital School ToolTo enable schools to assess their level of digital sophistication. Schools can use this tool again and again – not only in times of pandemics, but also in regular classes – to understand their digital development process.
School development concepts backed by data cannot be copied
To what extent can concepts developed in one federal state be adopted in other federal states?
Diedrich: Of course you are in exchange and think about what you can learn from each other. But all countries operate under completely different framework conditions, so exporting concepts is not such a trivial thing.
Is there an exchange of concepts and tools between quality institutes and agencies in the federal states?
Diedrich: This exchange is very intense. IBBW Baden-Württemberg, quality and support agency QUA-LiS In North Rhine-Westphalia and IfBQ in Hamburg, for example, they have a three-way network in which we visit each other once a year as “critical friends” and provide feedback as part of the peer review process.
Then there is the Education Monitoring Network, where all institutions in countries involved in education monitoring meet and exchange ideas. The external evaluation and school inspection organizations have been coming together in the KODEX Network for nearly ten years.
young: There are also bi-monthly digital meetings of heads of state institutes, where data usage questions play an important role. We have also created a network in which country institutes exchange information on diagnostic tools and strategies.
Consider the different dimensions of learning
Find such close networks around data-driven school development Also at the school level?
young: The workshop is a good example of the fact that an exchange outside of an individual school is of great value. The following applies: Copying is permitted. But it is also important: copying is not a good strategy, but understanding is the crucial principle.
In Baden-Württemberg, schools meet regularly in small groups under the supervision and organization of the School Inspection Department to discuss questions and concepts based on the data we provide.
Diedrich: I think communication at the school level is more challenging than it seems. It’s not enough just to go to another school and then already know how it works. This process needs a good structure and a high level of professionalism. For schools to be able to do something like this without outside support and coordination, they need a lot of experience.
Does a data-supported school development strategy also have risks? For example, narrowing the understanding of education, focusing too much on outcomes and ignoring other aspects?
Diedrich: I regret that this is often played against each other. It is important to consider the different dimensions of learning. Basic skills are a central foundation of being able to learn at all. But children also need skills in self-learning, self-regulation, and in the area of emotional stimulation. And they also need citizenship, meaning the ability to participate in a democratic society. All these aspects must be imparted in schools.
young: Our view is currently very narrow on the technical data. Everything we report in educational monitoring is relevant. But not everything related to education currently has its place in Education Monitor.