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Improving educational effectiveness of primary schools
Start date: Dec 1, 2013,

Both Europe 2020 and ET 2020 aim to improve student progression to higher levels of learning and schooling. In other words, student learning gains in school must be higher. This can be accomplished if schools knew 1) what their own contribution to student learning was, net of other factors (e.g. student SES); 2) what pedagogical and organizational approaches they use were effective or ineffective, and 3) how they could change them in practice. Unfortunately, many schools do not receive proper assessment of their performance, as it is rather data- and capacity-demanding; they are confused about what the most effective practices are, as research is rather fragmented; and they do not get proper training for improvement of the relevant teaching and schooling factors.Our project addresses these issues in the following way. First, for 156 schools, it uses resources from several countries to measure net student learning gains (value-added) in mathematics and natural sciences over a four year period in ISCED 2; this will simultaneously provide schools with individual school performance feedback (SPF) reports and refine the utilized SPF system. Second, the project uses comprehensive, dynamic model of educational effectiveness to guide data collection and multilevel analyses in order to identify effective generic teacher and school practices; this will result in the effectiveness handbook with practical advice for schools, while also building consensus within the fragmented research field. Third, the project provides intense, year-long professional development of school staff in 80 schools in Belgium, Cyprus and Serbia that aims to improve those identified effective variables.It is envisaged that this project will impact school staff in over 200 schools (especially those in professional development), policy makers, as well as researchers who will be able to improve their systems and models to make them applicable in a variety of educational settings throughout Europe.
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