SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES AND QUALITY EDUCATION

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CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY

INTRODUCTION

In this theoretical framework, the sub-problem of what entails quality and quality education in general (cf. par. 1.4 and 1.5) will be discussed. An exposition of international perspectives of ISO 9000 will be presented in the chapter. The African and Namibian perspectives of quality will also be covered in Chapter two. Theories of quality gurus, such as Edward W. Deming (1988), Joseph M. Juran (1979), Kaoru Ishikawa (1976), as well as modern and contemporary advocates of quality in education, such as Daniel Muijs and David Reynolds (2011), will be discussed. One of these theories that best suits the problem at hand will be chosen to form the theoretical framework for the study.

AN EXPOSITION OF THE CONCEPT OF QUALITY

 Introduction

The notion of quality although emanating from manufacturing and production industry is being gradually embraced by the education sector worldwide. However, many education stakeholders strongly believe that education is not meeting their expectations in the competitive global village (Sohel-Uz-Zaman & Anjalin, 2016). In this study, quality is regarded as focusing on services rather than products or material goods. As this thesis focuses on quality enhancement in education in teaching and learning, it is imperative that an explanation of the notion of quality be made explicit from the onset, as different scholars and schools of thought have posited several different and often contrasting definitions of ‘quality’. The next section will elaborate on what quality is.

Defining qualit

The term quality manifests itself as a multi-dimensional concept that has many meanings. In other words, there is no single universally accepted definition of quality. However, there are common inherent characteristics that can be used as indexes of quality. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 provides an international perspective of quality standards in which quality is defined as, ‘the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils a need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory’ (Cited in Hoyle, 2001:654). The ISO 9000 uses seven quality management principles to define quality. Quality management principles are defined as ‘a set of fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values that are accepted as true and can be used a basis for quality management’ (ISO, 2015:1):

  • Customer focus: (The focus is for teachers to meet and exceed learners’ needs).
  • Engagement of people: (To engage and respect teachers as individuals).
  • Leadership: (The focus is to establish unity of purpose and direction for teachers in meeting the school’s quality goals).
  • Process approach: (The focus is for teachers to understand the school system and activities for improvement)
  • Improvement: (The focus is on continuous improvement of teaching, learning and curriculum in schools).
  • Evidence-based decision making: (The focus is on the use of analysed data to inform decision-making processes).
  • Relationship management: (The focus is on guiding school principals to manage relationships among teachers).

The African Charter on Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration (2011:6) views quality as the provision of services that are ‘most effective, efficient and economical manner, consistent with the highest possible standards … to meet the evolving needs of users’. Similarly, the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN, 2012:1) perceives quality as a provision of ‘professional, efficient, effective, and economic public services’ to meet the needs of customers. The two above-stated definitions refer to quality as high standards of services that satisfy the needs of customers.
Some prominent and prolific scholars well known as the ‘quality gurus’ have also attempted to define the notion of quality from various ideological perspectives. Philip B. Crosby (1979), probably the most significant and influential writer in the commercial or industrial field in the USA and Europe, defines quality as conformance to customer requirements and not necessarily intrinsic goodness. Edward W. Deming (1988) defines quality with reference to quality management in which he advocates the use of statistical methods to reduce variability and so improve production through precision, performance and attention to customers’ requirements. Joseph M. Juran (1979), generally recognised as the most intellectually profound of the management theorists, defines quality as ‘fitness for use’ (Juran and Godfrey, 1979:113).
James (1996) identifies three quality views, which are psychological, process, and product-based. The first view of quality, which is psychologically based, is dependent mainly on the individual defining quality. This is also common in the education sector where quality is defined differently by different stakeholders. The root cause for the differences in defining quality derives from the interests that stakeholders want to achieve in education. In this particular study, the psychological view of quality is regarded as being personal and dependent on the individual defining it. However, it needs to be pointed out that, despite varied psychologically based definitions of quality education, educational institutions such as schools are expected to incorporate all the different views of quality from all the stakeholders in order to meet their needs and expectations. Teachers who use self-assessment strategies to critically identify their strengths and weaknesses intrinsically use the psychological quality view to enhance quality education in schools.
The second view of quality is process-based. This view is based on the manufacturing processes of industry in which quality is determined by a precise and measurable variable, and differences in quality thus reflect differences in the quantity of some ingredient or attribute seen to be possessed by a product (Garvin, 1988; James, 1996). In an educational context, the process-based quality view is determined by the processes and systems that educational institutions use to meet the national goals of education. In this study, a process-based quality view entails how schools are resourced with human, physical and financial resources. Schools that have well-qualified teachers and are well-resourced with physical facilities (e.g. textbooks, internet services, library, classrooms, laboratories, etc.) are thus perceived as providing quality education. Teachers who are willing to partake in innovative ways of continuous improvement such as the use of self-assessment can be regarded as using the process-based model quality view to bring about improvement in schools.
The third view of quality is product-based. Thus, finished products provide the basis for quality assurance. Quality is vested in the product and not with the individual. In an educational context, this view perceives quality as based on the output of an institution. Quality is seen from students who graduate from an educational institution in terms of employability, skills, competency, efficiency, effectiveness, independence and innovative thinking. In this study, the product-based view is regarded as the graduates’ skills and competency in the marketplace. Teachers who are involved in using self-assessment strategies determine whether they are quality products by the manner in which they contribute to the continuous improvement of quality education in schools.
In an effort to establish a common understanding of the notion of quality, Garvin (1988) categorised the above-stated views of quality into five bases, namely:

  • Transcendent; Product-based; User-based;
  • Manufacturing-based; and Value-based.
  • The aforementioned quality views, though distinct from one another, are valid and comprehensible perceptions of the complex notion of quality.
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The transcendent quality view

Garvin (1988) suggests that a transcendental view of quality is subjective and personal to one’s own experience. This definition ‘focuses on customers’ needs and highlights the importance of knowing who customers are, what their needs are and how to satisfy them’ (Elassy, 2015:252). James (1996:81) expounds on Garvin’s transcendental view of quality that ‘quality is something we cannot touch, but know instantly and can differ, over time, in relation to the same thing’. However, it is contended that a consumer who receives a service does so because the quality is reinforced positively by that service and consequent use of it. In an educational context, schools are expected to render quality education by various stakeholders. The moment when the stakeholders’ educational service needs are not satisfied, the quality view of education becomes problematic. The definition of quality as meeting customers’ needs in the education sector is questionable. For an example, how can learners in pre-primary and lower primary phases be capable of determining what their needs are and whether their needs are being met? (Green, 1994). However, teachers as the stakeholders of schools are capable of identifying their needs and ascertain the degree to which their professional needs are met through self-assessment.

The product-based quality view

Garvin’s product-based quality view contends that quality is dependent on the product and not with the customer. In an educational context, quality is seen to rest solely with the attributes of quality educational services provided by schools and not with the individual teachers. This approach provides objective measures of quality but has a disadvantage of assuming that the presence of an attribute implies quality education services (Rao et al, 1996). Thus, the quality attributes that teachers are expected to possess (e.g. high educational qualifications and vast teaching experiences) do not make teachers become effective. However, it is the teachers’ innovative skills of teamwork and collaboration that can lead teachers to become effective in realising quality education in schools.

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND ORIENTATION OF THE STUDY 
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.3 MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.5 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
1.6 RESEARCH PARADIGM, RESEARCH APPROACH, AND UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHIES OF THE STUDY
1.7 HYPOTHESES FOR THE STUDY
1.8 RESEARCH METHODS
1.9 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY TOWARDS THEORY AND PRACTICE
1.10 RELIABILITY, VALIDITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE RESEARCH
1.11 PLANNING OF THE STUDY
1.12 DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS
1.13 CHAPTER SUMMARY
CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY 
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 AN EXPOSITION OF THE CONCEPT OF QUALITY
2.3 EXPOSITION OF A FEW SELECTED QUALITY THEORIES
2.4 SUMMARY
2.5 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 3: SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES AND QUALITY EDUCATION 
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 EXPOSITION OF SELF-ASSESSMENT
3.3 EXPOSITION OF SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES
3.4 QUALITY EDUCATION IN THE NAMIBIAN CONTEXT
3.5 SELF-ASSESSMENT IN THE NAMIBIAN CONTEXT
3.6 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.3 STUDY POPULATION AND SAMPLING
4.4 INSTRUMENTATION
4.5 DATA COLLECTION PROCEDURES
4.6 DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION
4.7 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY
4.8 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION 
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 PART A: QUALITATIVE DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
5.3 PERCEPTIONS OF QUALITY AND QUALITY EDUCATION IN GENERAL
5.4 PART B: QUANTITATIVE DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
5.5 PERCEPTIONS OF QUALITY AND QUALITY EDUCATION IN GENERAL
5.6 FACTOR ANALYSIS
5.7 DISCUSSION OF ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE FACTOR ANALYSIS
5.8 PART C: TRIANGULATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
5.9 LINKS OF SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES TO QUALITY AND QUALITY EDUCATION IN GENERAL
5.10 AVAILABLE RECOURSES FOR USE OF SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES IN THE ZAMBEZI REGION
5.11 DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-ASSESSMENT STRATEGY MODELS TO ENHANCE QUALITY EDUCATION IN THE ZAMBEZI REGION
5.12 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY OF THE STUDY, CONCLUSIONS, FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH
6.3 THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
6.4 CONCLUSIONS FROM THE STUDY
6.6 LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.7 CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY TOWARDS THEORY AND PRACTICE
6.9 FINAL REMARKS
7. BIBLIOGRAPHY 
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