Accountability, as a set of formal and informal practices making schools answerable to various constituencies and stakeholders, is a crucial issue for principals all over the world. It is the object of an intensive debate both in the contexts where it has a stronger tradition, as well as in the ones where it is progressively gaining more space. This book examines the cultural aspects that inform the conceptualisations and the perceptions of educational accountability in different societal contexts and the influences they have on the role of school leaders. On the basis of a comparison of the data collected through the analysis of policy documents and in-depth interviews with key informants in four different educational systems throughout the world, Barzano presents a picture of the ways accountability mechanisms vary and are made sense of in the frameworks of different cultural and societal traditions, both at the levels of policy and practice.
Giovanna Barzano is a senior manager of the Ministry of Education in Italy. She completed her PhD at the Institute of Education, University of London, where is currently a Visiting Fellow. She has also been a Visiting Fellow in the School of Education of the Deakin University in Melbourne.