Kirsten SchweinbergerSara MahlerCarsten Quesel

Size Matters? – It Depends. How School Size and Politically
Granted Developmental Autonomy Influence Teachers’ Perception of the Knowledge they Gain from School Inspection


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School inspection intends to provide schools with information about their quality and thereby initiate development processes. In a mixed-methods longitudinal design using a Swiss sample, the influence of school size and schools' developmental autonomy on teachers' subjective knowledge gain after school inspection was examined. Data collection took place immediately after the inspection and one year later. The results show that an increase in knowledge between measurement points one and two can only be observed for large schools with limited autonomy, while the qualitative data suggest that both small and large schools experience the suggestions of the inspection team as restrictive rather than as helpful guidance. Where autonomy is higher, small schools report a higher knowledge gain than large schools. The qualitative data reflects differences in teachers' attitudes and expectations. Implications for school inspection and school stakeholders as well as the limitations of the study and perspectives for further research are discussed.

School Inspection, Schools' Developmental Autonomy, School Size, Knowledge Acquisition

APA citation
Schweinberger, K., Mahler, S. & Quesel C. (2019). Auf die Größe kommt es an? – Nicht immer. Einfluss von Schulgröße und politisch zugestandener schulischer Entwicklungsautonomie auf die Einschätzung der Lehrpersonen zum Wissensgewinn durch die Externe Schulevaluation. Zeitschrift für Evaluation, 18(1), 49-76.