Development of evaluation criteria regarding inclusive education by school inspections (PhD-Thesis)


In my research I am interested in the sense-making process of school inspections while developing evaluation criteria. Therefore, I analyze the development process of evaluation criteria by school inspections in Germany.

There are two developments in the educational sector, which are relevant in regard to my research: The implementation of inclusive education and the creation of school inspections in Germany.

  1. In 2009, Germany signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, Germany has to implement an inclusive education system. As there is no shared understanding about inclusive education in Germany (Moser 2012), school inspections have to develop their own understanding of inclusive education.
  2. Since 2005/06 school inspections were established to evaluate schools on a regular basis. The evaluation is intended to support school improvement and serves as a monitoring tool for the school administration. School inspections represent normative concepts of what a “good” school is. In this, they use standardized evaluation criteria. When developing evaluation criteria school inspections take into consideration educational policies, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

My research seeks to answer the following question: Which factors had an impact on school inspectors’ sense-making process for policy guidelines relating inclusive education? In regard to the state of research: There is almost no research about the development of evaluation criteria used by the school inspections in Germany. The research on school inspections focuses on the procedures and effects of evaluation. The sense-making approach (Weick 1985; Spillane et al. 2002) allows me to analyze the implementation process of policy guidelines in regard to inclusive education and to focus on the school inspectors’ sense-making process. As there is no research about the development of evaluation criteria of school inspections, there is no information about impact factors.