AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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Other TitlesThe 'To Be With You' initiative.
AbstractAbstract This study examines the "TBWY" reform program, its design and efficacy. The program was carried out in an Israeli high school with the aim of improving equality of opportunity, narrowing educational achievement gaps (Friedlander & Leon-Elmakias, 2006), improving the climate for study and increasing the number of those eligible for the matriculation (Bagrut) examinations which, since 2006, had been decreasing. The reform program covered two types of class groups: "homogeneous learning groups” and “guided groups”. The homogeneous learning groups were based on the students' proven learning skills, thereby reducing the differences in the students' achievements. In this way, it was possible to focus on teaching methods suitable for the learning group in a uniform and focused way. The second group is a "guided group" made up of between 15 and 17 students. The "guided group" placed students with different peers to their ‘”learning group” according to matters of common interest among the students, their hobbies, common areas of study, youth movements, extramural activities, groups and students' requests to be together. Each group has a teacher/guide who has undergone extensive training as a group coordinator. The "guided group" involves a twice-weekly round-table meeting. In addition to these meetings, the group coordinator met with each student to build an annual program of work and a process for monitoring the student's achievements in all of the areas mentioned. This study included quantitative and qualitative constructivist methods focused on comparative research with students and teachers during two periods – before the reform program in 2006 and after it, in October 2009. Several criteria were examined: teachers’ perceptions of instruction strategies in homogeneous learning groups and resulting changes – gaps (Nahum, 2009) in educational achievements among the students, changes in the percentages of eligibility for matriculation certificates, school climate, a change in the students' feelings and the extent of teachers' feelings of responsibility for the failure and success of the students. Findings indicated a relationship between teachers' acceptance of responsibility for the students' success or failure and positive changes in teachers’ perceptions of student’s abilities, the feelings of students, a reduction in achievement gaps, and improved climate of the school. Furthermore, there was an increase in the number of students eligible for matriculation with an increase, in their grades from before the implementation of the program, until the present academic year, 2015. This research contributes to a deeper understanding of the factors that enable greater scholastic achievement, together with an improved climate in an educational institution within the Israeli context. The research contributes to the understanding of the relationship between philosophical and psychological theories and their application in practice within the education system. The results of the research illustrate that a correct implementation of theories can create a change by reducing gaps in students' attainment by improving the school climate, by increasing the extent of the teachers' responsibility vis-à-vis students' success and increasing the number of students who are eligible for a matriculation certificate.
CitationNahum, Y. (2017) 'Blueprint for school improvement', University of Derby, EdD Thesis.
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