Communicating with Communities - Exploring perceptions on quality in the Zambian education system
Abstract: The aim of this study was to reach a better understanding on how quality education can be applied so that the needs, views and values of local actors are fulfilled at the same time as national principles and perspectives on education are considered. Three research questions guided our study: What patterns can be discerned among local stakeholders in three community schools in Lusaka, Zambia in their perceptions of quality education?; What are the perceptions on quality education among national education developers and decision-makers and how are these connected to the official policy stance on quality?; What patterns in perceptions on quality education can be discerned between the two levels, i.e. where do the perceptions meet and where do they part? Our data was gathered through a multiple case study of three community schools in Lusaka, a review of policy documents and interviews with representatives within the Ministry of Education. To reach our aim and analyze our data we constructed an analytical model based on our theoretical framework emphasizing a local perspective, teaching and learning processes and relevance. We conclude that these aspects were important for our aim but that communication and material aspects needed to be added to complete our model and reach our aim.
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