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Standing Scientific Commission (KMK): Systematically Examining the Impact of Educational Support Programs

May 10th, 2022

In an impulse paper, the Standing Scientific Commission of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (SWK) calls for the development of guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of support programs in the education sector.

Support programs are an important instrument for implementing political strategies. In the field of education, they commonly seek to increase the educational success of children and adolescents and reduce social inequalities. Numerous programs exist in Germany. However, their impact is often hardly examined. The Standing Scientific Commission of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (SWK) therefore recommends developing guidelines for monitoring and evaluating support programs in the education sector.

"Support programs and their evaluation are complex due to the interaction of many participants at the federal, state and local levels, as well as in the educational institutions. A first step toward developing guidelines could be an expert meeting organized by the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs together with the SWK with the participation of the federal government. The subject of the meeting should be how educational programs can be evaluated in such a way that we learn as much as possible about their effectiveness," explains Prof. Dr. Felicitas Thiel, Professor of School Education and School Development Research at Freie Universität Berlin and co-chair of SWK.

Often, instead of impact analyses with a clear definition of objectives and indicators, case studies and surveys are conducted with subjective assessments of the program's success. Other countries or policies have extensive experience, for example with so-called ex ante evaluations. Before a program is introduced, these evaluations assess whether the goals and needs match, whether the program can be implemented well, and whether the costs and benefits are proportionate.

"The effectiveness of some measures has already been well researched in the field of education, as well. In the future, this knowledge should be more strongly incorporated into the development of programs," urges Prof. Dr. Olaf Köller, scientific director of the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) and co-chair of SWK. "Continuous monitoring is crucial throughout the program's lifetime. Based on this data, the programs can subsequently be evaluated in order to derive conclusions for future measures," Olaf Köller continues.

 

Further information

On the Standing Scientific Commission of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (SWK)

The Standing Scientific Commission (SWK) is an independent scientific advisory body of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of Germany. Its members are 16 educational researchers from various disciplines. The SWK advises the Länder on education policy issues. It identifies existing challenges and makes evidence-based recommendations for solving them. In doing so, the commission takes an interdisciplinary, longer-term, and systemic perspective. The SWK involves external experts in its work and consults representatives from politics, administration, educational practice and society. The Commission is supported in its work by an administrative office.

For more information, visit www.swk-bildung.org

Contact
Ständige Wissenschaftliche Kommission der Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) Geschäftsstelle
Anna Niewerth
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