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Title: The 'assurance' of quality in education : attitudes and perceptions
Authors: Micallef Grimaud, Jacqueline (2008)
Keywords: Education
Vocational education
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Micallef Grimaud, J. (2008). The 'assurance' of quality in education : attitudes and perceptions (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: The intention of this study was to research the attitudes towards, as well as the perceptions and awareness of, the necessity for the assurance of quality within an educational setting. The key debates surrounding quality education evidence the different definitions with which the term 'quality education' has been endowed through time and across countries. There appears to be a positive movement worldwide towards the delivery of quality education, not only as a fulfilment of a basic human right, but also to expand individual capacities and choices. National policy statements continue to emphasise the role of education as a catalyst for the strengthening of human societies through the advancement of national and universal values. It is commonly accepted that quality assurance is "the means by which an institution can guarantee, with confidence and certainty, that the standards and quality of its educational provision are being maintained and enhanced" (ESIB QA Handbook, 2003). The ESIB QA Handbook recommends that the ultimate ideal situation would be the instilling of a culture for and of quality in the heart and mind of each and every individual who forms part of the institution wherein quality assurance is fundamentally embedded. This culture enables the institution to develop quality assurance implicitly in the day-to-day work of the institution thus moving away from periodic assessment to ingrained quality assurance. This hegemonic discourse reflects specific interests and ideologies supported by contemporary scholars of educational thought. This research investigated the readiness of the individuals involved to embrace the inculcation of a quality culture and their receptiveness of the quality assurance measures that this entails with positive results. The analysis of the data gave some surprising results where lecturers possessing both academic and professional qualifications were involved. These participants had the highest degree of awareness and perception for assuring quality in vocational education and training. The results indicate a better understanding of the term 'quality education' by those participants in possession of both qualifications, where they strongly believe that MCAST needs to improve quality assurance measures in order to provide a level of education worthy of being defined as 'quality education'. The developments taking place in Malta were compared to countries such as Germany, Finland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, where quality assurance systems in education are established processes which have been tried and tested and have proved effective, contributing to the reputation for success in the education field of these countries. The cultural and philosophical differences are counter-balanced by the similar trends taking place in the education sectors of these countries, where the labour market, legislation, the application of quality management, client/learner orientation and transparency toward the public and politics are concerned.
Description: M.ED.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2008

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