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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

Concept and Design Developments in School Improvement Research

Longitudinal, Multilevel and Mixed Methods and Their Relevance for Educational Accountability

  • Contributes to further development of school improvement and accountability by bridging qualitative and quantitative research

  • Presents innovative methodological approaches that go beyond self-ratings of the actors

  • Provides sophisticated analyses of strengths and limitations of the methodological approaches discussed

Part of the book series: Accountability and Educational Improvement (ACED)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction

    • Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg, Tobias Feldhoff, Katharina Maag Merki, Falk Radisch
    Pages 1-7Open Access
  3. New Ways of Dealing with Lacking Measurement Invariance

    • Markus Sauerwein, Désirée Theis
    Pages 63-82Open Access
  4. Learning in Collaboration: Exploring Processes and Outcomes

    • Bénédicte Vanblaere, Geert Devos
    Pages 197-218Open Access
  5. Recurrence Quantification Analysis as a Methodological Innovation for School Improvement Research

    • Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg, Maarten Wijnants, Peter J. C. Sleegers, Tobias Feldhoff
    Pages 219-255Open Access
  6. Regulation Activities of Teachers in Secondary Schools: Development of a Theoretical Framework and Exploratory Analyses in Four Secondary Schools Based on Time Sampling Data

    • Katharina Maag Merki, Urs Grob, Beat Rechsteiner, Andrea Wullschleger, Nathanael Schori, Ariane Rickenbacher
    Pages 257-301Open Access
  7. Concept and Design Developments in School Improvement Research: General Discussion and Outlook for Further Research

    • Tobias Feldhoff, Katharina Maag Merki, Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg, Falk Radisch
    Pages 303-312Open Access

About this book

This open access book discusses challenges in school improvement research and different methodological approaches that have the potential to foster school improvement research. Research on school improvement and accountability analysis places high demands on a study’s design and method. The potential of combining the depth of case studies with the breath of quantitative measures and analyses in a mixed-methods design seems very promising. Consequently, the focus of the book lies on innovative methodological approaches.

The book chapters address design, measurement, and analysis developments as well as theoretical and conceptual developments. The relevance of the research presented in the chapters for educational accountability is discussed in the book’s discussion chapter.

More specifically, authors present one specific innovative methodological approach and clarify that approach with a concrete example in the context of school improvement, based on empirical data when possible. In this way, this book helps researchers designing complex useful studies.


  • Structure of educational systems
  • Accountability and evaluation systems
  • School improvement research
  • Methodological approaches in school improvement
  • Research in accountability
  • Mixed-methods design
  • Longitudinal methodology
  • Conceptualizations of school improvement
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Public Administration, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

    Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg

  • Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz, Germany

    Tobias Feldhoff

  • University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

    Katharina Maag Merki

  • Institut für Schulpädagogik und Bildung, Universität Rostock, Rostock, Germany

    Falk Radisch

About the editors

Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg currently works at the Department of Public Administration of the Nijmegen School of Management at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.He worked as a post-doc at the Department of Educational Research and the Centre for School Effectiveness and School Improvement of the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany, to which he is still affiliated. His work concentrates on theoretical and methodological developments regarding the longitudinal and reciprocal relations between professional learning activities, psychological states, workplace conditions, leadership, and governance. Additional to his interest in enhancing school change capacity, he is developing dynamic conceptualizations and operationalizations of workplace and organizational learning, for which he explores the application of dynamic systems modelling techniques.

Tobias Feldhoff is full professor for education science. He is head of theCenter for School Improvement and School Effectiveness Research and chair of the Center for Research on School, Education and Higher Education (ZSBH)at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He is also co-coordinator of the Special Interest Group Educational Effectiveness and Improvementof the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). His research topics are school improvement, school effectiveness, educational governance and the link between them. One focus of his work is to develop designs and find methods to better understand school improvement processes, their dynamics and effects. He is also interested in an organisation-theoretical foundation of school improvement.

Katharina Maag Merki is a full professor of educational science at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Maag Merki’s main research interests include research on school improvement, educational effectiveness, and self-regulated learning. She has over 20 years of experience in conducting complex interdisciplinary longitudinal analyses. Her research has been distinguished by several national and international grants. Her paper on ‘Conducting intervention studies on school improvement’, published in the Journal of Educational Administration, was selected by the journal’s editorial team as a Highly Commended Paper of 2014. At the moment, she is conducting a four year multi-method longitudinal study to investigate mechanisms and effects of school improvement capacity on student learning in 60 primary schools in Switzerland. She is member of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Prof.Dr. Falk Radisch is an expert in research methods for educational research, especially school effectiveness, school improvement and all day schooling. He has huge experience in planning, implementing and analyzing large scale and longitudinal studies. For his research he has been using data sets from large scale assessments like PISA, PIRLS, and TIMSS, as well as implementing large scale and longitudinal studies in different areas of school-based research. He has been working on methodological problems of school-based research, especially for longitudinal, hierarchical and nonlinear methods for school effectiveness and school improvement research.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Concept and Design Developments in School Improvement Research

  • Book Subtitle: Longitudinal, Multilevel and Mixed Methods and Their Relevance for Educational Accountability

  • Editors: Arnoud Oude Groote Beverborg, Tobias Feldhoff, Katharina Maag Merki, Falk Radisch

  • Series Title: Accountability and Educational Improvement

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-69344-2Published: 16 June 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-69347-3Published: 16 June 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-69345-9Published: 15 June 2021

  • Series ISSN: 2509-3320

  • Series E-ISSN: 2509-3339

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VIII, 312

  • Number of Illustrations: 27 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Assessment and Testing, Research Methods in Education, Organization and Leadership

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)