The sustainability of educational innovations

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Longitudinal studies of innovation processes and the sustainability of these innovations are very scarce; as a result, we do not have validated theories of what it takes to innovate successfully and sustainably in education. Four studies were undertaken to learn more about the sustainability of educational innovations.
First, a systematic review of empirical literature was conducted to provide a definition of sustainability and to give an overview of the factors influencing the sustainability of innovations. Based on this review’s findings, three other studies were conducted.
The second study was on measuring the degree of sustainability of a specific intervention, the data-use intervention. A distinction between the method and underlying goals of the intervention was made. The outcomes of this study led to four school sustainability profiles, namely: 1) The intervention is not sustainable, 2) The intervention is sustainable on its method, 3) The intervention is sustainable on its underlying goal and 4) The intervention is sustainable on both its method and its underlying goal.
Subsequently, the (combination of) factors which explain the differences in this sustainability were researched. Support from a school leader, including facilitation of teachers, as well as the individual attitudes of teachers towards the innovation may influence sustainability of educational innovation.
Finally, research was conducted on the use of a tool we developed to support schools in sustaining their educational innovations, the Sustainability Meter (TSM). The tool facilitates a dialogue based on reflection from divers perspectives on the sustainable implementation of innovations through self-evaluation. The conceptual and instrumental use was researched as well as the user satisfaction. Participants in all groups perceived TSM as a valuable support for high-quality dialogue (user satisfaction), and gained a better understanding of their own or each other’s perspectives and backgrounds with regard to the (sustainability of the) innovation (conceptual use). Three types of instrumental use could be distinguished in the findings: initial solutions, short-term measures and longer term measures. This research provides some indications that the tool might lead to more sustainable educational innovations.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Schildkamp, Kim, Supervisor
  • Visscher, Adrie J., Supervisor
  • Poortman, Cindy L., Co-Supervisor
Award date7 Jun 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-6116-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-6117-4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024


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