Despite the advances in educational effectiveness theory and methodology in the last 20 years, important questions and issues remain unresolved. In particular, existing theoretical frameworks of educational effectiveness are only able to describe the interrelationship among factors at the system, school, classroom, and student levels and their cross-level interdependency in a very general manner. Additionally, although a large number of studies provide empirical evidence of the impact of single factors and factor constellations on student learning, the embedding of the empirically identified results in theoretical models of educational effectiveness has to be carried out more systematically in order to develop more elaborated theories of educational effectiveness.
The aim of this book is to contribute to the advancement of educational effectiveness theory by discussing different strategies: including alternative theoretical models to understand educational in/effectiveness, extending the methodology to analyze processes and mechanisms of educational in/effectiveness, analyzing differential effects of processes and instruments on educational in/effectiveness, carrying out complex multivariate analyses considering manifest and latent variables, and combining theory and practice in real school situations. Taken together, the strategies presented in this book make it clear that the advancement of educational effectiveness theory depends on the advancement of educational effectiveness methodology, or in other words: from theory to methodology and from empirical evidence back to theory. This book was originally published as a special issue of School Effectiveness and School Improvement.
Preface: System effectiveness and improvement: the importance of theory and context Alma Harris, Donnie Adams, Michelle Suzette Jones and Vasu Muniandy
Introduction: Further development of educational effectiveness theory in a multilevel context: from theory to methodology and from empirical evidence back to theory Katharina Maag Merki, Marcus Emmerich and Monika Holmeier
1. Theories on educational effectiveness and ineffectiveness Jaap Scheerens
2. Does accountability pressure through school inspections promote school improvement? Herbert Altrichter and David Kemethofer
3. Comparability of semester and exit exam grades: long-term effect of the implementation of state-wide exit exams Katharina Maag Merki and Monika Holmeier
4. Phantom effects in school composition research: consequences of failure to control biases due to measurement error in traditional multilevel models Ioulia Televantou, Herbert W. Marsh, Leonidas Kyriakides, Benjamin Nagengast, John Fletcher and Lars-Erik Malmberg
5. Developing, testing, and using theoretical models for promoting quality in education Bert Creemers and Leonidas Kyriakides