عنوان مقاله [English]
Ensuring a quality education system is the main pioneer in socio-economic, cultural, and political developments in each society. Analysis of factors shaping growth and development in advanced societies means that all these countries are benefiting effective and efficient education. Given the undeniable importance of education and its relationship with development types in human societies as well as the nature of education goals, each society has particular attention and sensitivity to schools and how to manage them; therefore, school activities and performance are directly and indirectly monitored, evaluated, and judged. Considering their sensitivity as well as significance of education quality and its impact on children’s future, parents are eager to send their children to schools having good and effective performance according to their research. This tendency goes so far that they accept costs and difficulties of commutes and transports to use certain school services. Despite the importance of effective schools as thriving environments with value-creating processes facilitating grounds to achieve strategic goals in each country; enough studies have not been conducted hitherto to identify metrics to assess such schools in Iran. This study was to explain the concept of effective schools, identify their indicators, investigate perceptions and living experiences of a group of successful executives and thematic experts, and then analyze convergence or divergence of opinions to propose measurable indicators of effective primary schools and ways to improve their quality. The present study was based on a qualitative research approach using descriptive phenomenology. Criterion sampling method was also used to select the participants. Data collection was also fulfilled through semi-structured interviews via exploratory approach. To guide the interviews in an organized and effortless manner, a protocol was set. The interviews were performed in three forms; face-to-face, written, and social networking i.e. Telegram and then recorded. In order to observe research ethics and to fulfill initial obligations to ensure anonymity, findings from interviews were classified without participants’ names and encoded. The interviews varied from 40 to 90 minutes. The face-to-face interviews were conducted during the day, set according to interviewees’ preferences. After collecting the forms for data analysis, they were immediately reviewed after each interview to adjust and complete them and also encode them. Within the data analysis, seven-step Colaizzi’s method was employed. Moreover, three methods of external audit, review of results by informants, and long-term immersion were utilized to make the findings much credible. In-depth analysis of opinions by experts, administrators, and university teachers about factors associated with school effectiveness resulted in identification of 6 factors i.e. individual factors, school interactions, educational factors, managerial factors, environmental factors, culture and school climate; 16 criteria, and 111 indicators. Based on interviewees’ perspectives, individual factors were comprised of 4 criteria of administrator’s characteristics, teacher’s characteristics, student’s characteristics, and parents’ characteristics; school interactions encompassed 2 criteria of parent-school and society-school interactions; educational factors were made up of 4 criteria of teaching quality and teacher education, educational content and curriculum, students’ performance evaluation, and students’ tasks; managerial factors had 2 criteria of educational and executive leadership; environmental factors contained 2 criteria including school architecture and physical properties and aesthetic principles of school space; and culture and school climate had 2 criteria including culture and education and school climate. According to participants’ opinions, an effective school could pay much attention to upbringing along with in-depth and sustainable education and also teach students to live better in the future and have individual and social skills. These schools also aim to make favorable changes in students in the form of ethical, theological, scientific, political, cultural, and economic objectives. So, an effective school can lead students towards these goals and also help them to get the least amount of expected results. What are emphasized in effective schools as performance indicators are not scores and one-dimensional goals, but there should be attempts to get the maximum from the minimum facilities. Tools and educational facilities, parents, and teachers should be also used to improve education in students and to grant the highest quality to students in cognitive and metacognitive domains through adopting right financial policies. As metacognition and skill training are raised, parents and teachers can be similarly engaged in decision-making in the general policy of school annual planning. Almost all the participants pointed out the constructive and effective role of interactions between administrators, teachers, parents, and students; teachers’ involvement in decision-making, extensive relationships between schools and parents, as well as effective society-school interactions. Teachers also emphasized that creating an effective school needed avoiding focus on students’ scores but concentrating on students’ actual learning via frequent evaluations. In order to improve the quality of existing primary schools, it was proposed to consider plurality (different cultures, ethnicities, languages, religions, and geographies) in the development of objectives and contents of textbooks. Educational content should be task-oriented, skill-centered, based on students’ needs, innovative, and also on the basis of characteristics as well as cognitive, psychological, and physical structure in students and according to the time assigned. Moreover, it is of double importance to develop a reward system for effective schools before their formation. Instead of too much attention to assessment of school effectiveness, there should be a focus on creation and development of effective schools to improve school atmosphere, leading to effectiveness and efficiency. Overall, formation of effective schools is not consistent with common approaches of positivism in content development and increased volume of books and subjects. To pave the grounds for the establishment of effective schools, qualitative approaches to interpretation are necessary. The main recipients of research results on school effectiveness are teachers since they can have access to rich conceptual information that can make varied student-to-student and program-to-program consequences understood. So, it is recommended to pay enough attention to the constructive role and value of teachers in the domain of school effectiveness. To create effective schools, there is also a need to have lively environments to provide grounds for fostering learners with high self-esteem who interact constructively with other students and get actively involved in decision-making. Considering the comprehensiveness and fitness of the factors, indicators, and criteria identified for the status of primary schools; it seems that using them can provide grounds for developing a useful tool to measure the quality of effective primary schools, specify their status, and propose improvement strategies.