Rhineland-Palatinate Project “Successful implementation of political reform-strategies within the public (vocational) school-system in Rhineland-Palatinate”

Time span:

Study I: 01/2007-12/2007

Study II: 01/2008-03/2009


Research funds of the Johannes-Gutenberg University, Mainz

Pilot study (Study I – quantitative study):

The main goal of this pilot study is to assess empirically sound results to the questions:

  • How do people who are active in the educational sector perceive the legally-administrative decreed reform initiatives and how do they react to them?
  • Which impact does their attitude pattern have on the already carried out and perceived processes and structures?

Follow-up study (Study II – qualitative study):

The main goal of this follow-up study lies firstly in the collection, modeling and description of empirically sound data on mentioned structural and organizational conditions in the individual schools and secondly in gaining early explanations thereof. The follow-up study thus aims to answer the following questions:

  • Which similarities and differences exist between the reform-controlling organizational typology and the successful implementations of reforms?
  • How do the individual schools ultimately deal with the results of the first project phase? Which differences can be empirically identified between schools with different organizational typologies?

Experiment design

Pilot study (Study I – quantitative study):

The following approach is planned for the evaluation:

  • (1) Explorative analysis on every level of the evaluation (analysis of missing data, factor and reliability analyses, average and variance analyses, regression and correlation analyses, cluster analyses);
  • (2) Analysis of relations between the evaluation levels as well as differentiations within school structures and the attitude patterns of people who are active in the educational sector; this will be accomplished using structural equation models, research in the field of non-linear correlations and possibly multilevel modeling.

Follow-up study (Study II – qualitative study):

To answer the questions that were devised to be answered with the follow-up study, specific methods of empirical quality research will be used:

  • Participatory observation in the feedback sessions of the first project phase (together with the people organizing the project and the people from the educational sector at the participating schools) and
  • Moderated group discussions within the organizational group at the respective schools


Pilot study (Study I – quantitative study):

  • With the help of conformational factor analysis (using Mplus), it was possible to confirm the theoretical framework. Based on the reliability analysis, a total of 30 reliable charts were constructed, most of them with a Cronbach Alpha of over 0.8; 17 of which show the perception of school structures and processes, 13 the attitude of people who are active in the educational sector towards the implementation of reforms in the individual schools.
  • Using averaging analyses, the significant differences regarding the documented constructs between as well as within the schools could be identified and measured in terms of effectiveness.
  • The question regarding attitude patterns of people active in the educational sector was concluded in the context of the cluster analysis. In relation to the school establishment, three groups can be distinguished from another: (1) Promoters, (2) Indecisive people and (3) Opponents.

Follow-up study (Study II – qualitative study):

A phase of reflection was the key element of the moderated group discussion; during this phase, the discussion focused especially on the following subject areas:

  • 1. Reflection on the evaluation of the current state: During the group discussion, the participants intensely reflected upon the different constructs chosen from the questionnaire on the one hand and the school-internal correlation of cause and effect on the other. In all group discussions it was made clear that the statistically determined results from the evaluation validly represented the current state at the individual schools (including the ascertained differences between for example the different educational programs).
  • 2. Reflection on the evaluation of the future state – planning of the phase of action: During the group discussions, the participants also dealt with the subject of which future state regarding the school and classes should be achieved. The participants hereby usually focused on two areas which should be changed or rather improved. The group discussed and collected sub-goals and methods in order to achieve their main goals (for example improving the transparency at the school). The results were then gathered on a meta-plan wall.

It is noticeable that most schools focused on similarly themed constructs from the evaluation but viewed them differently from one another. It was possible to determine different types of organization and management.

Project director: Prof. Dr. Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia

Project Work: Dipl.-Hdl. Aline Kadach Johannes

Gutenberg-University Mainz

Chair of Business Education

Jakob-Welder-Weg 9

D-55009 Mainz

Phone: +49 (0)6131 39 22009

Fax: +49 (0)6131 39 22095