School autonomy – a cross-national perspective. Can we compare the opinion of school principals?
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Perception of school autonomy was measured by the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) 2009, allowing potential cross-national comparison. The possibility of a common, general scale for all countries participating in the study was investigated. Using multi-group confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, measurement invariance was tested for countries, such that meaningful comparisons for the concept could be made. The results show that the concept is not necessarily comparable between all countries involved in the ICCS but that secondary data analysis is generally feasible depending on the research questions posed and the methodology applied. The scientific and practical implications of this reach are discussed.
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