Rethinking side effects of accountability in education: Insights from a multiple methods study in four German school systems

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Abstract

Based on a research project comprising data from an interview study and a survey with teachers and school principals in four German federal states (Bundesländer), this paper questions the claim that the side effects of accountability in education are bound to high-stakes contexts, and also provides evidence of side effects occurring in no- and low-stakes contexts. The findings suggest that side effects cannot be fully explained by certain implementation features of accountability regimes (e.g. high stakes), but should rather be understood as a result of implementation features as well as systematic effects of accountability in education.

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How to Cite
Thiel, C., Schweizer, S., & Bellmann, J. (2017). Rethinking side effects of accountability in education: Insights from a multiple methods study in four German school systems. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 93. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2662
Section
Global Perspectives on High-Stakes Teacher Accountability Policies
Author Biographies

Corrie Thiel, University of Muenster

Corrie Thiel is research associate at the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Muenster. In 2017, she completed her doctoral thesis Between data and cases. Theoretical and empirical analyses of the relation between accountability and professionality in education. Her research interests include professionality in education, accountability and methodologies in educational research.   

Sebastian Schweizer, University of Muenster

Sebastian Schweizer is research associate at the Institute of Educational Science at the University of Muenster. He currently works on his dissertation in which he studies figurations of competition and positioning practices of schools in the school system. He is interested in questions of competition and choice in education, the economization of education, accountability in education as well as of practice theory and discourse analysis. 

Johannes Bellmann, University of Muenster

Johannes Bellmann is professor at the Institute of Educational Science at University of Muenster. His research interests include educational theory, historical perspectives in educational theory and educational policy. He was coordinator of the project “Unintended Effects of Accountability in the School System” on which the article is based.