MMIRA Annual conference
University of Vienna, Austria
22-25 August 2018
Teaching Managers how to do Mixed Methods Research? An empirical approach. The talk was based on my creating and teaching “Qualitative and Quantitative Methods”, a course for a 1st semester cohort of part-time MA students at a University of Applied Sciences in Austria. At three contact hours a week, the aim of the class was to introduce 38 students to “the way researchers think”, as was the aim explained to me, and to prepare them for writing their MA thesis at the end of the 4th semester. In my contribution, I gave comprehensive insight into the design, materials, collected student data as well as findings from teaching this class. I shared student feedback and their suggestions about this class. I designed this course like a research project, so consequently at the end, I discussed my findings critically. As such, my class turned out to be a research project in itself.
Cambridge University, UK
24-25 May 2018
Accountability beyond test scores: Creating indicators for the quality of schooling from education theory. Discussions about accountability in education reflect overall agreement that accountability is needed. How these accountability structures should be constructed, however, continues to be fiercely debated in the field. Critical voices charge No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and similar high-stakes approaches with exacerbating the very phenomenon they sought to eliminate: stratified, class-based education opportunity. Non-traditional non-achievement indicators are needed to move outside known test-score based limitations of previous policies and to acknowledge school as fulfilling a multitude of societal functions. My research continues this effort through its theoretical framework of schooling that incorporates traditions of Didaktik and Curriculum to coneptualize the core of schooling as teaching, yet to equally account for its context factors. Hence, the fully integrated Mixed Methods design - consisting of three consecutive research steps - identifies NCLB's goals to create indicators of schooling. They serve to collect quantitative secondary data as well as complimentary lived-experience accounts of principals. I use the historically significant case of Alabama to show how a. new indicators can provide new knowledge about policy effects, b. these indicators allow education theory to reenter accoutnability discussions, and c. education-based indicators and arguments might provide a more considered basis for current accountability considerations.
Lecture at professional training day
AST - Service for people with non-Austrian professional qualifications
19 April 2018
Comparative perspectives on education systems' dynamics - the US example. Comparing education systems starts with understanding the country's history, its development and its societal contexts. That is what the education system and its dynamics mirror and reporduce to some degree. The term system is often misleading, and it is definitely that with regard to the US because it would imply a purposeful, planning structure that does not exist. As most social institutions, those of education grow in fragmented and non-linear ways. That makes the history of a country and its characteristics so relevant to understanding schooling and education. The US education system is clearly fragmented and that manifests itself in a variety of facts: Education is still a state issue, as are licencing procedures and reporting structures. Regional differences are significant, which makes it essential to learn as much as possible about the client's state, the specific institution, the processes of licencing, etc. Even though degrees may sound identical, the actual qualification might be very different depending on the specific program. It is vital to learn about the assumptions embedded in other education systems to be able to translate them into the Austrian one to the benefit of the client.