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Exploring the conception of quality education. An ethnographic inquiry in a secondary school.

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This study explores the conception of quality education in a secondary school in Mauritius. It seeks to know how a secondary school community makes meaning of the notion of Quality Education and how the notion of quality education is enacted and experienced in a secondary school. The theoretical framework for Quality Education (Tikly & Barrett, 2011) was used to provide the necessary analytical tools, based on the two primary educational lenses, the Human Capital and the Humanist theories, to deepen insight and expand the perspective on quality education. In addition, the framework also provides adequate space to study the phenomenon of quality education under the influence of the three environments: home, school and policy. The research methodology used in the study was an Ethnographic inquiry. It was chosen as it allows the researcher to access the social reality of the people in the school site, PWSS ( Creswell, 2012). Also, I chose to enter the research site with an insider researcher's perspective, so that I could bring out more insights into the school's psychological, social, and cultural dimensions of the phenomenon, Quality Education. Data was produced through interviews, participant observations, the review of documents, qualitative questionnaires, and Focus Group Discussions so as to unravel how the participants make meaning of Quality Education through their school experiences. A purposive sampling technique was used based on Creswell's (2013) and Merriam (2009) arguments. The selected learner participants were from three different categories of learners, Grade 9. Grade 10 and grade 12, In the same way, six teachers, both male and female, were selected based on their teaching experience at PWSS - with at least three years of experience at the school. Also, two parents were chosen based on their availability and the school's rector. The research came up with the following findings: (i) quality education is a fluid concept that changes according to the agenda of the person using or viewing it (ii) high academic achievement, holistic development, discipline and values, 21st-century skills, cared pedagogy approach, quality teachers were among the outcomes of quality education, (iii) all provisions enacted for quality education forms an integral part of quality education, (iv) Distributed leadership as the most wanted type of leadership in a venture for Quality Education (v) Policies that favour inclusion and equity are referred as Quality policies for Quality Education and (vi) Quality Education is expressed as pride, reputation, and excellence.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.