AbstractSchool effectiveness research has been blossoming for the last three decades: people do things on purpose, and wish to establish from time to time whether they have reached their objectives. The history of school effectiveness research, however, reveals that it has often been hampered by shortcomings, such as striving to understand effectiveness in terms of inadequate criteria, and approaching education narrowly in the sense of teaching or instruction, in the process overlooking the complexities of the human being and of education. Such shortcomings can, however, be eradicated by taking into consideration some of the philosophical foundations of school effectiveness. Doing so leads, inter alia, to the methodological insight that school effectiveness should be assessed by means of a research strategy commensurate with the complexity of the problem.
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