Futures of area-based initiatives in German education: results from a quantitative Delphi survey
European Journal of Futures Research
AbstractTo support schools, improve learning outcomes, create innovative learning opportunities, and reduce social disadvantage, many countries have introduced policies to mandate or incentivize educational networks in the last decade. This study focuses on Germany, where around 80% of municipalities established area-based initiative (ABI) structures following a broad range of ABIs. However, research has revealed a gap between intentions and implementation: There is a strong bias toward
... bias toward governance structures, while educational aims have not been achieved.To provide a foundation for purposeful development, a Delphi study has been conducted. Based on a sample of 180 nationwide ABI experts, data was collected in two steps using an online questionnaire on preferred and probable developments in crucial ABI fields. Statistical analyses offer insights into the relation between desirability and expectation and the degree of consensus or divergence among experts. The study shows that after 10 years of experience, the discrepancy between intentions and implementation is expected to remain. Further, it reveals tendencies on the level of governance and thereby contributes to identifying the scope of ABIs. The study concludes that, for future development, it is necessary to define ABIs' contributions to their initial aims and to reassess their legitimacy.