The sustainability of school improvement in challenging contexts : case study of public schools in Antofagasta, Chile
This master thesis examines the factors that determine the sustainability of improvement made by schools in challenging contexts. The study focuses on nine public schools in Antofagasta, Chile. These schools have undertaken an improvement program during a given time span. As a result, the schools have achieved different outcomes despite having similar internal and external situations. Thus, the study will help us to understand in what ways the schools have improved and what is needed to assure the sustainability of their improvement achieved. First, the study analyses the improvement process of the schools. Further, it determines which schools have the conditions to sustain their improvement in the long run. The study utilizes quantitative and qualitative data analyzed through a thematic analysis methodology. For the analysis, the study includes a theoretical framework containing the structural, organizational and contextual factors needed to achieve sustainability of improvement in schools in challenging contexts. The analysis shows that seven of the nine schools achieved improvement and that only five of the seven schools have the characteristics to sustain their improvement. The analysis shows that the factors needed to sustain the improvement in schools in challenging context are: leadership, school culture, school autonomy, teachers’ professional development, and ownership of the educational policy. ...
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