NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ804766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1365-4802
Putting the Self Back into Self-Evaluation
MacBeath, John
Improving Schools, v7 n1 p87-91 2004
Self-evaluation is a concept replete with paradox and ambiguity. It suggests a spontaneous impulse but connotes a political mandate. It posits an individual act of self-reflection but is a meaningless notion without some social reference point. Its application may be personal, social or institutional, its purpose summative or formative. It may be interpreted as either a product or a process. In the so-called "postmodern society" nothing is more characteristic than its ambivalence--hierarchy and community, compliance and reciprocity, conformity and variety, ownership and delivery, stability and change, trust and contract, tactical improvement and capacity-building. Self-evaluation as schools have come to know it in the last half decade sits uncomfortably within this Janus-facing hypercomplexity. In 2004 it is hard to find schools in which self-evaluation is an organic growth from the grass roots of classroom practice or derived from what is most valued by teachers. Most typically it has been adopted from the top down--from local authority schemes, from the OFSTED framework or "designer" packages. Rather than expressing the uniqueness and diversity of the individual school, self-evaluation, such as much else in the national psyche, has come to assume a common formula with pre-determined criteria and protocols. It is a reflection of a policy-maker's mindset. It is not only in the UK that politicians have succumbed to the quick fix, embraced templates and packages, and fallen in love with effectiveness indicators and competences checklists. The lexicon of "delivery" is indicative of a new world view--teachers as intermediary between producers (government) and consumers (pupils) and self-evaluation as little more than inspection delegated to schools themselves. This article answers the following question: What are the assumptions and what is the inherent problematic in this model of self-inspection? (Contains 1 note.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom