Heinrich Mintrop

Concepts of Organizational and Design-Based School Development in the US-American Context

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Abstract

The article discusses the potential and limitations of a variety of school improvement approaches practiced in the United States in order to show the usefulness of a design-based approach. Design-based school improvement is contrasted with dynamics of strategic planning, implementation of externally developed instructional programs or organizational change designs, and accountability. The question is posed: Can we imagine a form of school improvement that goes beyond the relatively weak effects of strategic planning, avoids the narrow confines of program or design implementations, and moves the locus of control from externally imposed accountability to internal self-determination, without giving free reign to individual preferences? Such a concept of school improvement would link planning, performance transparency, and evidence-based development of organizational and instructional designs in such a way that the needs of adult and student learners would be in the center and school-internal problem solving would be articulated with external networks of partners.

Keywords
school improvement, strategic planning, accountability systems, implementation, problems of practice