Norina Müller M.A.

Working Title: School and/or/for society? A critical stocktaking and socio-theoretical further development of (inclusive) school development theory
Supervision: Franziska Felder, Robert Schneider-Reisinger
Time period: October 2021 - September 2025


Schools as educational institutions are under constant pressure to change in the face of diverse societal demands (social, economic, political). Dealing with heterogeneity in the context of school inclusion is one of the most important challenges for educational practice and research in the 21st century (Lütje-Klose et al. 2017). Although schools are thus undisputedly involved in social discourses and conditions, the dominant international (inclusive) school development theories (Evans et al. 2012, Rolff 2016) focus primarily on the meso level of individual schools - the societal, i.e. social, historical, economic and political framework conditions of school development are not further addressed.
Berkemeyer (2016) remarks in this regard that "school development research has constituted itself too uncritically in relation to the connection between school, politics and society and in this respect also in a theoretically truncated way and in this respect possibly [does] not quite adequately cover its subject matter, if not necessarily in the wrong way" (p. 201). (S. 201). Comparable statements can be made for the literature on inclusive school development, insofar as it ostensibly undertakes an 'inclusive adaptation' of general development models instead of developing its own theory for understanding inclusive school development processes.
Starting from this diagnosis, the work aims on the one hand at a critical stocktaking of existing theoretical approaches to (inclusive) school development, and on the other hand at further development of an inclusive school development theory. Relevant here are not only broadening inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives on the field of 'school in society', but also epistemological questions on the analysis of existing development models, e.g. regarding the disciplinary situatedness of their theoretical references as well as the relationship between theory and practice of school development. The research interest is realized by means of a hybrid systematic literature review methodology (Xiao & Watson 2019).