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An education production model was used in order to systematise school and instructional variables, based on input-process-output. Education production models as well as offer and use models represent the current state of art in school quality research. They provide a broad basis for systematising and structuring quality variables and present an important starting point for an allocation of different instruments and scales to school quality constructs. The model chosen here claims to represent school quality as comprehensively as possible and thus assure an optimal integration of instruments used in studies on school and instructional quality.

The model distinguishes background variables, process quality variables and variables targeting the assessment of learning outcomes. Process quality variables can further be differentiated according to school level processes and classroom learning arrangements. Besides the assessment of instructional quality, the latter also comprise the quality of all-day school opportunities. This model reflects idiosyncrasies of the German education system because all-day school settings are presented as a separate category. In other countries, education systems are generally organised on an all-day basis.

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