Learning within sustainable educational innovation: An analysis of teachers’ perceptions and leadership practice

G.M. Fix*, M. Rikkerink, H.T.M. Ritzen, J.M. Pieters, W.A.J.M. Kuiper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Innovative initiatives in education often have problems with their sustainability. The present study focuses on three educational innovations that have proved to be sustainable over time. We used a qualitative research approach to study and identify essential features of sustainable educational innovation. Two theoretical frameworks were used to guide the study: the integrated model for sustainable innovation (IMSI) and self-determination theory (SDT). Both frameworks take a different perspective upon learning; IMSI presents learning at the individual level, the team level and the organizational level to be the heart of sustainable innovation, and SDT presents how learning can be improved. The research question focused upon how the SDT concepts of autonomy, competence and relatedness were perceived within sustainable innovation, expressed by the IMSI framework, by teachers and school leaders. Based on our findings we demonstrate that the framework of IMSI and SDT can effectively be applied as a frame of analysis to identify essential features of sustainability in educational innovations and we discuss how concepts of SDT deepen the knowledge of sustainable educational innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of educational change
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Innovation in vocational education
  • Integrated model for sustainable innovation
  • Self-determination theory
  • Sustainable educational change


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