"'School Autonomy with Accountability' as a Global Policy Model: Cross-National Insights into School Reform"
Professor Antoni Verger, Universitat Atutonoma de Barcelona
Monday, February 12, 12:0-1:o0 pm
281 Grace Dodge Hall
Contemporary educational reform has increasingly allowed schools greater discretion in pedagogical decisions and resource allocation, while also introducing advanced policy instruments for external assessment and monitoring. The concept of School Autonomy with Accountability (SAWA) encapsulates this reform approach, promoting increased autonomy and accountability within schools simultaneously. This presentation will examine the construction and diffusion of SAWA as a global policy model, and the model's instrumentation across different educational settings, highlighting the strategic role of national institutions in this process. Furthermore, it will explore how teachers and other school actors interpret and engage with SAWA policies, often resulting in a disconnect between regulatory aims and practical application. Both instrumentation and sense-making processes intervene critically in how SAWA is enacted and its implications for school organization and educational practices.
This research contributes a cross-national analysis of the mechanisms and conditions that shape divergent paths of school reform. Employing a mixed-methods approach, this research integrates questionnaire data from teachers and school leaders in urban schools in Norway, Chile, and Spain with semi-structured interviews conducted with key informants, including teachers and school leaders in the same countries.
Antoni Verger serves as a Professor of Sociology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and holds a research fellowship at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA). His academic work primarily explores educational reform processes through comparative and global policy studies lenses. His research has increasingly focused on topics such as privatization, school autonomy, and accountability reforms in education. These areas form the core of his academic specializations. In the field of academic publishing, Verger contributes as the lead editor for both the Journal of Education Policy and the World Yearbook of Education, playing a role in shaping discussions in educational policy studies. Additionally, he is involved in directing the Joint Master’s Degree ‘Education Policies for Global Development’ (GLOBED), a program recognized by the Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union.