Trust, accountability and capacity: Three building blocks of education system reform

Ehren, Melanie and Baxter, Jacqueline (2020). Trust, accountability and capacity: Three building blocks of education system reform. In: Ehren, Melanie and Baxter, Jacqueline eds. Trust, Accountability and Capacity in Education System Reform. Global Perspectives in Comparative Education. London: Routledge, pp. 1–29.

URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.432...

Abstract

This introductory chapter draws on Bronfenbrenner's theory of human development to describe education systems as a set of concentric circles of an individual's microsystem (focusing on teacher learning and effectiveness), his/her mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and chronosystem. We describe trust, capacity and accountability on each of these levels and how they interact to improve learning outcomes. On the microlevel, trust and accountability are situated in a set of interpersonal relations where questions are asked about whether you can trust someone while holding them accountable at the same time and how such relations contribute to high-quality teaching and learning. On the mesosystem, we look at organisational conditions of trust (e.g. social capital, collective trust), accountability (school systems of evaluation and monitoring) and school effectiveness conditions and how these are related to improve learning outcomes. On the macro and exosystem, our interest is in social and institutional structures of trust, accountability and capacity where we for example explain how accountability systems can promote trust and build capacity through a liaison function whereby they align expectations across education systems and created a shared value orientation.

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