Schools to Adopt Self-Evaluation Model

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (right), speaks with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Maurice Smith, about his book ‘School Self-Evaluation: Towards a Model to Enhance School Leadership in Jamaica,’ which was launched on January 27 at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • A school self-evaluation model developed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Maurice Smith, is to be formally adopted within the country’s education system.
  • Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, made the announcement at the recent launch of Dr. Smith’s book in which the model is outlined.
  • The model, which has been tested in 16 upgraded and traditional high schools in Jamaica, was conceptualised by Dr. Smith following extensive research spanning at least five continents.

A school self-evaluation model developed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Maurice Smith, is to be formally adopted within the country’s education system.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, made the announcement at the recent launch of Dr. Smith’s book in which the model is outlined.

The model, which has been tested in 16 upgraded and traditional high schools in Jamaica, was conceptualised by Dr. Smith following extensive research spanning at least five continents.

“The instrument will be adopted as a formal part of the school improvement process, because, importantly, based on the feedback that I have seen from those who commented, in terms of going through the process, there is almost immediate success guaranteed,” Dr. McLean said.

She noted that Dr. Smith has presented a holistic approach towards the use of a school self-evaluation model “that can literally be used to revolutionise the education system.”

Dr. McLean informed that all education officers will be trained in the utilisation of this “robust, practical” model.

“Within the next couple of months as we move into our back-to-school conferences, we will ensure that our principals and school leaders are sensitised,” she said.

In the meantime, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, praised the work of Dr. Smith, which he described as “a solid piece that is grounded in careful research and meets every academic scrutiny.”

He further pointed out that Dr. Smith’s research highlights the importance of the collection and analysis of data as a tool for educational leadership.

“The role of the educational leader is not only to collect data, but (to possess) the analytic skills to make use of that data and this becomes not just for the person from the university or from colleges, but rather the day-to-day task of this most important factor – the principal,” the Minister said.

The book, entitled ‘School Self-Evaluation: Towards a Model to Enhance School Leadership in Jamaica’, is the conclusion of a study designed to advance a model of school self-evaluation, which would improve leadership and address the opportunity gap between upgraded and traditional high schools in Jamaica.

According to Dr. Smith, who is the former Principal Director of the National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL), the book seeks to bridge the divide between theory and practice in school leadership.

In the text, the 2010 Fulbright scholar asserts that school self-evaluation, led by the principal, is one of the most important steps in creating a culture that drives school improvement.

This, by allowing the entire school community to take ownership of school improvement through active participation and objective reflection on achievements against an established set of standards.

JIS Social