Impact of Educational Policy and Governance on School Improvement

The central task of educational authorities is to find and implement suitable governance and regulation models through which the desired outcomes of the particular national school system under study can be achieved in a goal-directed, effective, and efficient manner. At the same time, it is important to adapt school systems to existing societal demands and new ones (e.g. distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization, inclusion) through reforms. In order to achieve these adaptation processes, the educational reforms must be implemented at the individual schools through school improvement processes.

While undertaking our research projects, we look for answers to the following research questions pertaining to the impact of “Educational policy and governance on school improvement”:

  • What do educational reforms and governance models look like – and how can they be assessed both theoretically and empirically?
  • Do educational reforms and governance models fulfil the intentions that are linked to their implementation– and what are their side-effects?
  • What effects do educational reforms have on improvement processes within schools?
  • What role do school improvement processes within schools play regarding the implementation of educational reforms?


Projects (link)


Wurster, S., Feldhoff, T. & Gärtner, H. (2016). Führen verschiedene Inspektionskonzepte zu unterschiedlicher Akzeptanz und Verwendung der Ergebnisse durch Schulleitungen und Lehrkräfte?. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 19(3), 557-575. doi: 10.1007/s11618-016-0693-3.

Wurster, S. (2019). Evaluationsgestützte Schul- und Unterrichtsentwicklung. In M. Harring, M. Gläser-Zikuda & C. Rohlfs (Hrsg.), Handbuch Schulpädagogik (S. 765-775). Münster: Waxmann.