|Case Study Research - A Model of Best Practice at Loreto Day School, Sealdah, Calcutta - Occasional paper No.1 (DFID, 1998, 36 p.)|
The implications of the study for education policy and practice in general have been referred to in the executive summary. These relate to the following issues, namely that:
· education has both a moral and a technical dimension, therefore making it important for policy to address itself both to technical aspects of education, and the less tangible moral and human aspects such as quality and equality;
· devolution of authority within schools leads to 'ownership' and facilitates change;
· planning and action which is responsive to local needs is more likely to succeed;
· fixed ideas about the structure and purpose of schooling inhibit change;
· flexibility and human agency are possible under sound leadership and with reasonably well-trained teachers;
· resources can be stretched.
In addition, the research has sought to construct a model of best practice based on the realities of a particular school. This model proposes five characteristics which are key to best practice in a school, namely:
· a shared vision;
· the exercise of freedom and responsibility;
· a balance between change and stability;
· a sense of wonder;
· meaningful and challenging goals.
Insofar as the theoretical propositions of the model may be refined and tested, it would be useful for DFIDI Education Projects Office, British Council Division, to identify other examples of best practice in both rural and urban settings of India, and to conduct a follow-up study which seeks to apply and adapt the findings of this study accordingly. A second way of refining and testing the model would be to return to Loreto Day School, Sealdah, and workshop aspects of the paper with validating groups within the school. This would deepen the case study analysis within its particular context, and add rigour to the findings by refining them. In addition, for Loreto Sealdah, it would represent a useful exercise in staff development, and a 'return' for their willingness to participate in the research.
In the longer term, a model of best practice may be used to inform project and policy developments with which DFIDI EPO are involved, and thereby to influence the direction of policy and practice.