Reflecting on Carol Dweck’s Mindset got me thinking about the process of IB Programme Evaluation and some of the many conversations I’ve had with people about it over the last few years.
Although I know the IB and its representatives in the IB Educator Network aim to reassure schools that the process is one of self-evaluation and growth, I commonly hear people stressed about ‘re-accreditation’ (it’s not) and the fear of being judged from outside. It is entirely natural to feel a sense of judgment when someone evaluates your programme and curriculum (or even internally in teacher evaluations by admin or students). It is very difficult sometimes to see suggestions for improvement as personal criticism; after all, we have put a *lot* of hard work into the product. There may be strong extrinsic or external motivations for an ‘excellent’ report, but validation is not the sole purpose of evaluation. It is important to recognise that as educators we are agents of change and should apply the ‘growth mindset’ to evaluation in order to use feedback to improve; in the process modeling the actions of learning for our students and community.
It’s not ‘re-accreditation‘!
The table below is my attempt to apply fixed and growth mindsets to the process of programme evaluation. What do you recognise in your own experience? What might you seek to change? When it’s time for your school’s evaluation process how will you aim to make it a growth experience rather than a fixed judgement?
When I was DPCo in Bandung, we were careful to frame it as ‘ongoing programme evaluation‘, completing the self-study survey early in the process, then again just before submission. We tracked each department’s perceived changes in levels of implementation of the standards and practices and used the information to generate action plans. In the end, after using the evaluation as a growth process, we were happy with the report and there were no surprises. We had been able to predict and already start to set action plans for the Recommendations. Although I didn’t know the language back then, we were trying to frame the process in a ‘growth mindset’ manner. We plan to do the same for the upcoming (and first) five-year evaluation for CA, in conjunction with the new PYP Coordinator.
Thank-you for your comments.