This quality development tool is structured into seven main indicators, each of which is divided into several sub-indicators. With the aid of these detailed ‘modules’, it is possible to examine and evaluate the teaching practise and to set new targets for the quality development.
The form has many uses, and there is therefore no right or wrong way of using it. For example, it may be used to conduct a study of the School’s teaching, if all teachers, child care workers and classroom assistants are asked to fill in the form, the collated data will indicate which areas may leave room for development and improvement. It may be a good idea if the entire School works with the same focus or perhaps the responses indicate that it would make more sense for the individual teams or classes to concentrate their efforts on separate focuses.
Another way of using the form is to go into one of the main indicators (such as Main indicator D: Promoting a culture of learning) in some depth, and use your findings to evaluate your practice. The form is intended for use at all special needs schools, i.e. schools with very different mixes of pupils/pupil groups. This means that there are likely to be indicators which you will find more relevant for your School than others.
Yet another way of using the form is as a starting point for a general reflection on your School’s practice and you would then go through the form together. A separate group of professionals who know each other well could also use the form to gain a new perspective on their practice, getting inspiration from an outsider looking in, as it were. On the other hand, a new teaching team could also use the form to reflect on the sort of culture/learning environment that you would like to create for your class.
Whatever the specific scenario, you may find it useful to start by going through the form together, deciding which main indicators you find particularly relevant in relation to your current challenges and how they may support the development of your practice.
The form consists of a number of statements, such as ‘The layout and interior décor of the classroom support the needs of all the pupils’ and ‘Pupils are prepared for upcoming learning activities’.
These statements are all indicators of quality. Based on the different indicators of quality, the teaching is evaluated according to the extent to which the particular indicator characterises the learning environment under evaluation. In other words, whether the indicator 1) to a high extent, 2) to some extent, 3) to a less extent or 4) not at all characterises the particular learning environment.
In relation to the indicator ‘Pupils are prepared for upcoming learning activities’, you would be evaluating the extent to which the pupils are prepared and also when, how, in what situations and by whom the pupils are prepared. This means that there are a number of reflections on the learning environment and the teaching behind the response to an indicator. Thus, the completed form is a reflection of the characteristics of the learning environment; it is not the impressions of the individual teacher, child care worker or classroom assistant as to how they act in practice.
The function of the quality evaluation form is to create a systematic basis from which to describe, reflect on and develop practice based on the insight that the responses generate.