Where does the term best practices come from?

Best Practice Strategies (Wiki Page)

This wiki page was created by Birgit Hartinger (0303206, A297).


Success and quality are becoming more and more important in times of globalization and international competition. Hubert Bratl, Ernst Miglbauer and Michaela Trippl assume that EU integration has triggered a boom in best practice projects and that this is driven by the desire to learn quickly and efficiently from the examples that are considered to be particularly successful and to improve one's own performance improve in order to survive in international competition (see Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.4).

PISA study, school rankings, etc. indicate that there is also a search for the best in competition in the field of education. For this reason, the originally business best practice approach is also used here.

This leads to the following question: What is best practice and how can best practice strategies be used in educational science?

In order to answer this question, the next chapter describes what best practice is. Finally, it is explained how best practice strategies can be used and what limits they have and what mistakes can be made. Finally, a concrete example of best practice is presented.

What is "Best Practice"?

In order to get an insight into what best practice is, this chapter describes what is meant by the term "best practice" and which criteria a successful company should meet so that the experience can be transferred to other organizations or organizational areas. To round off the introduction, the origins of best practice in the USA should also be briefly discussed.

The term best practice is freely translated as best practice, best method, best procedure and comes from Anglo-American business administration. Best practice means that a company has proven and inexpensive technologies, techniques and management procedures that make it a model company. In order to be able to speak of best practice, a measurement procedure is necessary, such as benchmarking (see practice-oriented learning strategies), in which several comparable companies exchange information in order to find out who or the best in this group (see Wikipedia).

Existing experiences of successful organizations (often also competitors) are systematized, different solutions are compared and evaluated on the basis of operational goals. On this basis, it is determined which designs and procedures best contribute to the achievement of the goals. No theoretical concepts are required, but demonstrably successful practice (cf. Olev Lexicon).

With the orientation towards best practice, the weaker companies want to compare their own services, products, projects, technologies and techniques with those of the others, evaluate them and, if necessary, improve them by setting new goals. In order to ensure complete success, however, it is an imperative to transfer the structure of the processes that exist in the best practice company in full. Changes made half-heartedly often fail because of this (see Wikipedia).

It should be noted critically here that it is questionable whether successful companies actually disclose the existing structure or their "secret of success".

Best practice criteria

Criteria that the observed example can be transferred to other organizations / organizational areas should be:

• sustainably successful (i.e. over a longer period of time),

• measurable results,

• innovative,

• recognized positive effects,

• repeatable, if necessary with minor changes,

• in a sufficiently large area of ​​application,

• not due to (regional or other) peculiarities.

There is a risk of application errors if the conditions that led to success are not recognized or observed (see Best Practice Errors). The criteria mentioned are therefore important in order to avoid jumping to conclusions from comparisons.

Source: Online administrative dictionary: [1]

Good practice

It can be helpful to refrain from looking for the best solution and to be satisfied with good practice. This means implementing selective measures that significantly improve the company's success in sub-areas and renouncing radical restructuring and striving for top performance at all costs.

More information at: [2]

The origins of best practice in the United States

Denise McKeon, educational scientist at the "George Washington University", assumes that the term "best practice" is an original idea from the professions of medicine and law. Terms such as “good practice” and “best practice” are used here every day to describe solid, respectable, state-of-the-art work (cf. McKeon 1998, p.493).

The concept of “best practice” in the USA is historically tied to the field of agriculture. At the beginning of the 20th century, science-based information was first distributed to farmers in the United States to help them improve their production. An academic from this field of science was appointed to spread the news in the region. In addition, the research results should be published in a form useful to farmers. All participants in the research / transfer process should work together to produce and disseminate useful knowledge so that it can be adopted by farmers (cf. McKeon 1998, p.494f).

After a brief introduction to what is meant by best practice, in the next chapter different best practice-oriented learning strategies are presented from a political statement in order to show what possibilities there are to use best practice and in the following chapter to move on to the second part of my question, how Best practice strategies are used in educational science.

Best practice-oriented learning strategies

This chapter describes different best practice-oriented learning strategies as well as their possibilities and limits. Errors that can be made in best practice projects are also shown here.

First, we briefly explain what is meant by best practice learning.

"Best practice learning is to be understood as a special form of learning or learning strategy that can most easily be described as imitation learning from excellent examples." (Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.8)

So it is not about the generation of new knowledge, but about taking over the experience and knowledge of successful companies and using them for themselves.

There are three types of best practice-oriented learning strategies:

Data and information learning (success reports, databases, ...)

The simplest and least expensive best practice strategies rely on brochures, reports, excursions, databases, etc. This mainly results in a large amount of data, but only little useful and stimulating information. Although this can generate attention and interest, more demanding learning processes can hardly be triggered by the weak information content and under no circumstances can they be guided (see Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.64f.)

Knowledge learning (expert interviews, project documentation, ...)

Best practice strategies based on expert surveys and project reports are suitable for relatively simple measures such as the introduction of new machines. Although relevant information can be obtained from expert reports and documentation, it is more difficult to derive the relevant knowledge for the new design of one's own practice. Best practice strategies at this level can indeed stimulate efficient learning, but are associated with a great learning risk because accompanying communication processes are dispensed with. More complex learning requirements that involve changing processes, strategies, attitudes, etc. are hardly possible without accompanying learning communication processes (see Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.66f.).

Communication learning (benchmarking)

The benchmarking method is the most developed and most widely used best practice method. Benchmarking is a company's striving to improve its performance. It is based on the systematic analysis and evaluation of one's own performance in comparison to others, whereby one is oriented towards the respective best performance.

A particular strength of benchmarking is that it is result-oriented and demands the measurability of the changes that have been made. One problem with this is that it does not pay enough attention to the independent life of companies or departments (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.72f.).

There are different benchmarking methods. Bratl, Miglbauer and Trippl mainly refer to the ABIC method:

“An organization identifies a process as a weak point that needs to be improved. That is why she is planning a benchmarking project. In the first phase, your own process is precisely analyzed. After it is known what is to be compared, possible partners for the benchmarking are sought. Once the partners have been identified, the overall status of the organizations is first compared using key figures. This allows general statements to be made about the performance level of the benchmarking partners, which is helpful when identifying improvement measures. In process benchmarking itself, all participants in the benchmarking project examine their respective process. The processes are discussed together with the partners and each organization identifies the appropriate improvement measures for itself. In order to achieve sustainable success from the results of the benchmarking, it is necessary to plan the implementation of the improvement measures thoroughly before starting the implementation. A benchmarking project according to the ABIC methodology described takes a total of three to five months. " (Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.71)

The possibilities of different best practice learning strategies:

Source: Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.74.

At the Efficiency learning the system is primarily concerned with handling its operations more efficiently. To implement these learning steps, a system observes and communicates its operational work and tries to make it more efficient and to eliminate errors. Chains of action, work processes, etc. should be improved and made more efficient.

At the Effectiveness learning a system observes its internal interplay and its problem-solving patterns. To do this, a system must be able to step out of itself reflexively. It is more about the effectiveness of the system, i.e. the question of whether the right things are being done and whether the problems can be solved appropriately with current strategies and action patterns. This gives the system the opportunity to also think about radical learning steps and, under certain circumstances, to implement them as well as to change rules, interpretation patterns and strategies.

Another qualitative leap can be achieved through the Learn learn be carried out when the actors in the system succeed in observing and problematizing the way they learn. There are special hidden opportunities in changing and improving learning processes. It improves, so to speak, the starting points for learning in the organization and relates above all to the well-established internal learning process and the interaction of the functional system areas. Learning to learn problematizes the intelligence and creativity of the system and has great opportunities to open up new degrees of freedom and development spaces for the system (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.44f.).

According to Bratl, Miglbauer and Trippl, best practice strategies are of great importance when learning systems, because very often it is only about the adoption of tried and tested techniques and strategies from someone else in your own company and are used appropriately for tasks that are not too complex can. Best practice methods are particularly useful when workflows and processes are to be designed more efficiently. However, there are also limits to the best practice strategies practiced so far and these are only reached when more complex learning challenges are involved. Reasons for failing complex learning challenges are that, on the one hand, the reasons for the successful development cannot be named and, on the other hand, highly complex development strategies can no longer be planned and adequately controlled in the long term. Solution strategies can therefore no longer simply be adopted, but require a strategically coordinated development (see possibilities of different best practice learning strategies). According to Bratl, Miglbauer and Trippl, best practice methods can be improved by concentrating on imitation learning and system-oriented further development, for example by optimizing learning communication between the system partners and raising the system level (see Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.91ff. ).

Best practice mistake

The first big and most common mistake in best practice strategies is to trust experts and documentation too much. Half-knowledge appears to be a dangerous matter in best practice projects. The second big mistake is that the imitators act too hastily and want more than can be achieved with best practice strategies, for example if they want to be better than the best practice example. Managers also often have a wrong idea of ​​what the success of the others is based on or the experts of the best practice company are often themselves not aware of what the secret of success is (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p. 68).

William Edwards Deming, the "father of Total Quality Management" (http://www.olev.de/q/deming-nzz.pdf), warns against careless adoption of foreign recipes. He points out that these are always complex systems and that you can therefore only adopt foreign methods if you have fully understood your own processes and the foreign system.

From this follows his 14th management rule:

Only adopt the methods and procedures of others when all the basics and requirements are known and understood!

Exemplary behavior alone does not teach anything if the theory behind it is not known and understood, because what is not understood cannot be changed.

source: Online administrative lexicon: http://www.olev.de/b/b-p-haben.htm#Deming

Here, too, it should be noted again whether exemplary companies are actually ready to disclose all the basics and requirements of their secret of success.

After different best practice-oriented learning strategies as well as their possibilities and limits have been presented in this chapter and the presentation of these has contributed to answering the first part of the question, the next chapter deals with how best practice strategies can be used in educational science to improve the to answer the second part of the question.

Best practice in educational science

Best practice models can also be used in the field of education. The following chapter describes the use of dissemination models in the field of education and the use of best practice in schools.

Dissemination models

Dissemination models such as the dissemination model from agriculture (see chapter "The origins of best practice in the USA") can, according to McKeon, also be used well in the field of education. The National Diffusion Network (NDN) of the American Department of Education reflects this model in many areas. Information on curricula and programs developed and tested was disseminated. But the NDN failed because it did not have enough resources. Nevertheless, it was possible to learn some important lessons from the experience of the NDN, for example that best practice can improve the connection between research and practice or provides an insight into the role “user networks” play in best practice (cf. McKeon 1998, p. 496f.).

McKeon assumes that even the best best practice models don't always work equally well in every area. Walberg and Greenberg (1998) emphasize that a rigorous independent evaluation is necessary to classify a best practice model as such. Best practice models can help increase teacher professionalism and research less than the bitter pill. McKeon also emphasizes the problem when teachers (note) adapt the innovations instead of adopting them (cf. McKeon 1998, pp.498f.).

Likewise, best practice can improve collaboration between researchers and practitioners. The dissemination function (the way in which the knowledge reaches those who need it) also plays an important role. A study has shown that simply providing information does not lead to a change in practice.The role of research is therefore to provide not only the what, but also the how of best practice. A help in this process is a network between researchers and practitioners so that knowledge can move from “top down” or “bottom up” and in a circulating way (cf. McKeon 1998, p.499f.).

Best practice in school

Urs Moser has dealt with how the best practice approach can be implemented in schools. He assumes that teachers who regularly evaluate their teaching and have their quality verified externally and are also willing to reflect on their teaching and, if necessary, improve it, inevitably approach good teaching.

According to Moser, best practice is an approach to quality development that, in the classic case, includes five steps:

1) A benchmark is determined (e.g. school performance, school climate,)

2) The performance is measured and assessed

3) Successful practice is analyzed

4) Improvements are discussed

5) Concrete measures are implemented.

The prerequisite for this evaluation process is the willingness to be transparent, the willingness to find out more about the effects of daily activities in the classroom and the willingness to orientate oneself towards the best (cf. Moser 2003, p.1f.).

According to Moser, lessons are successful when the students perform as well as possible. To determine successful teaching, the performance of the pupils of 61 classes in the third grade of primary school in six German-speaking cantons was tested. The learning requirements such as intelligence, social background and knowledge of the language of instruction were also taken into account. Using a computational method, the results of classes with good learning prerequisites were reduced and the results of classes with unfavorable learning prerequisites were increased. The results were discussed with all 61 teachers, and finally in more depth with the 15 teachers whose classes performed the best (ibid., P.2).

Moser names four characteristics for good teaching:

1) time

Teachers in good-performing classes emphasize the importance of regular practice and consolidation of the learning content. The need for regular, varied and insightful practice is confirmed by all teachers, but there is often a lack of time.

2) clarity

In order to respond individually to the needs of the children in the event of large differences in performance, teachers in successful classes always choose an open design of the lessons in which the students work independently. However, this only works if the students know what to do. Careful preparation is important for this. Lessons should only be organized in an open manner when the children have learned to work in a concentrated manner without much guidance and support. The teacher then has the opportunity to devote himself to weaker students during this time. They also find support from classmates, who can help relieve the teacher through their knowledge advantage.

3) classroom language

According to Moser, the consistent use of Standard German in lessons leads to more clarity and, moreover, to better language awareness. Teachers in successful classes also speak Standard German in class because they do not want the dialect to additionally hinder the learning of foreign-language children.

4) regulate

An undisturbed learning atmosphere also plays an essential role in successful teaching, but this is also associated with hard work on the part of the teacher. The lessons of the best classes are characterized by a relatively strict management, clear boundaries and carefully introduced rules (ibid., P.3f.).

Moser then discussed with the teachers what makes a good teacher stand out. The successful teachers show a differentiated understanding of modern teaching concepts without succumbing to educational illusions. Overall, they prefer a combination of tried and tested teaching principles and a new learning culture.

In the discussion, one's own actions were also repeatedly discussed. Teaching methods and framework conditions, on the other hand, were discussed with a certain distance.

“Just as the application of a method does not automatically lead to learning success, difficult framework conditions are not a priori an obstacle to successful teaching and correspondingly good performance. What is important is how teachers deal with it, which can hardly be asked or observed directly. With the help of the discussion about best practice, however, it was possible to track down one characteristic of successful teachers: They have an active, optimistic, confident and self-efficacy approach to their profession, which helps them to see decidedly positive sides even in difficult situations . " (Moser 2003, p.5).

Thus, the learning success of the students also depends largely on the personality of the teacher. In my opinion, the features mentioned are important and correct for good teaching, but good teaching also has a lot to do with how lively and interesting it is made, whether the teacher succeeds in getting the students excited about the topic, which inevitably leads to good ones Achievements leads.

Finally, Moser tries to answer the question of what the best practice approach brings to school. Participation in the best practice project triggered different emotions in the teachers - depending on how their own class was performing - and above all shows that there is a lack of quality systems and opportunities to receive feedback on the work done. At least, according to Moser, the causes of poor school performance must be researched, measures for improvement initiated and the effectiveness of the measures monitored.

Teaching staff justify poor performance with the following arguments: “Schools pursue multiple goals that should be equally taken into account in evaluations; the learning requirements can never be balanced one hundred percent, which is why fair comparisons remain a pipe dream; School achievement tests lead to poor teaching because the teachers base their teaching on the tests; undesirable side effects such as stress, bad work atmosphere and anxiety become rampant as a result of performance tests; higher levels of comprehension cannot be recorded using performance tests, which is why they are neglected in lessons. " (Moser 2003, p.6).

Moser admits that there is a small spark of truth in all arguments and that quality assurance must not be limited to simply measurable performance, because in the educational field performance is more than what can be measured. However, a comparison of the measurable should not be dispensed with because, according to Moser, there is no reason why a teacher should not be informed about a performance deficit in his class. Because every child has a right to education and this should also be linked to a right to quality (cf. Moser 2003, ibid.).

“With the search for best practice, this happens automatically: measure, compare, analyze, improve, control. The present description of best practice provides a basis for reflecting on one's own teaching, which can already be used by every teacher today. '' (Moser 2003, p.7).

If performance in the educational field is more than what can be measured, it is questionable whether the best practice approach actually makes sense, or whether one should not use the term "best practice" and speak of evaluation instead.

After this chapter has shown how best practice strategies can be used in the field of educational science, the next chapter describes a concrete example of best practice in order to establish a media pedagogical reference.

Best Practice Example: The "Web Places" project

In the following chapter a concrete best practice example is presented, which should enable problem-oriented learning in a computer-aided learning environment. The example comes from a practical report by Heinz Mandl, Katja Kruppa and Riikka Pyysalo. In this, international projects are presented that are theoretically (pedagogically) founded, structured according to the approach of problem-oriented learning and scientifically accompanied and evaluated.

One example of best practice selected from this report is the Web-Places project, which was developed to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged students. “At-risk students” are pupils who have the potential to attend school successfully, but are in danger of failing at school for social reasons.

"The aim of the project is to impart the learners with higher cognitive skills that are required for problem-solving, critical thinking and for guiding their own learning." (Wheeler et al. 1999, quoted from Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.35).

Pedagogical concept and didactic design

Lessons that are mainly based on traditional teaching methods, such as frontal teaching, are particularly uninteresting for disadvantaged students and mean that the opportunities to acquire applicable knowledge are limited, which in turn can lead to a reduction in motivation and the chances of success (cf. . Means / Chelmer / Knapp 1991, quoted from Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.35).

Another problem is the problem of lazy knowledge.

"The problem is well known, but the 'at risk' students often have particular difficulties in recognizing the application value of the knowledge to be learned. An important educational goal of the project was therefore to provide the learners with meaningful learning experiences. " (Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.36).

The new technologies should create a learning environment that interests the learners and also offers better opportunities for cooperation. At the same time, it is seen as an opportunity to improve the chances of success on the job market through the acquired computer skills (cf. Wheeler et al. 1999, quoted from Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, ibid.).

Web Places is a web-based learning environment with an intranet / internet server. With the help of a pre-structured mask, the students can enter the content of the project and publish it on a homepage. The learning environment also includes a discussion forum which is also open to the public (cf. Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, ibid.).

The experimental project took place outside of class in the computer room at San Houston High School in San Antonio, Texas, and participation was voluntary. The project lasted six months, the students between the ages of 15 and 17 invested around 2-5 hours a week and it was supervised by a teacher and experts involved.

The aim of the project was for the students to cooperate and as independently as possible to produce a joint project and to present it on a homepage. The project should be stimulating and interesting, the content should be creative but also useful for the school.

Against the background of these conditions, the students were allowed to choose the specific topic of the project themselves. They decided on the problem: "Media coverage of their own school and its effects on the attitudes and behavior of students". The following topics were selected from this problem: "Treatment of homosexual schoolchildren; pregnancy and care for the children of schoolgirls; general year-end exams and school uniforms".

The first task of the students was to research various multimedia materials such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet as well as reports in film and television, with the support of the project management. The collected materials were entered into the learning environment database. The materials were then worked on, with the pupils having to shed light on the pros and cons of the individual topics. The learners were allowed to work independently, the project management offered support in the form of information and examples. The theses drawn up by the students, which should be underpinned by the materials found, were presented on a homepage at the end (cf. Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.37f).


Goals and method:

The project was then evaluated to find out whether the concept of the Web Places learning environment can be used with "at risk" students and to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the learning environment. Before and after the project, information about the students involved was collected through a structured interview, a questionnaire about computer skills and a standardized self-esteem test. In addition, the work process was analyzed in order to gain information about the difficulties and strengths and weaknesses of the learning environment (cf. Wheeler et al. 1999, quoted from Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.38f.).


In general, the project was rated very positively by the students. At first they had difficulties understanding the tasks, so they needed more guidance and help from the project management team. A library visit was then carried out with a learning unit on literature research. They also had difficulty analyzing the data they had collected, which made them need additional help. The students felt that they benefited from the project in that their teamwork and research skills, as well as their time management, had improved. Attitudes towards school also changed. In addition, they acquired knowledge in the subject area dealt with as well as skills in dealing with new technology (cf. Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.39ff.).


The evaluation revealed that it would be necessary to embed the project in the curriculum, because this would give the students a fixed number of hours and the teachers more time to supervise the project. Because with the help of the teaching staff, the difficulties of the students could be largely eliminated. The often inadequate key qualifications of the “at risk” students should be better taken into account in future project planning and should be expressly conveyed and practiced as part of the project. In addition, links to relevant information sources and search engines could be built into the learning environment in order to make the students' work easier (cf. Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, p.41f.).

In order to create effective learning environments, according to Kruppa, Mandl and Pyysalo, as many projects as possible should be critically examined, the results evaluated and, finally, the projects disseminated. The evaluation should provide information for the further development of the learning environment as well as problems in the design of the learning.

By dealing with various best practice projects, they developed the following theses for the further development of problem-oriented computer-supported learning environments, which, according to Kruppa, Mandl and Pyysalo, require further analysis:

1) Not all learners benefit equally from self-directed learning on complex problems

Especially weaker students find it difficult to learn effectively and independently and for this reason they are often not very involved, even though they are sometimes relatively motivated. You have difficulties understanding the tasks and controlling your own work. For this reason, this should be given more consideration in the future, so that a learning culture can emerge that promotes learning for everyone.

2) “Traditional” teaching methods continue to play an important role in effective learning

The “Web Places” project in particular has shown that many students cannot work on complex problems without guidance. If basic competencies (text comprehension, research skills) are trained under supervision, these learners can benefit more from self-directed problem-oriented learning.

3) the possibilities of the new information and communication technologies should not be overestimated

Constructivist learning can be supported through the use of new media, but the endeavors of the projects sometimes seem too optimistic, for example to make the thinking of the learners visible through certain software (cf. Kruppa / Mandl / Pyysalo 2001, pp. 43-46) .

With their report, Kruppa, Mandl and Pyysalo would like to contribute to an international discussion. An exchange of information about projects that have proven to be successful should, in their opinion, take place much more frequently among the teaching staff. This would be an effective way of disseminating information about innovative ways of working.

Projects of this kind could, in my opinion, add variety to the classroom and the students could benefit immensely from the new learning experience through which they acquire applicable knowledge. A successfully completed project can fill the students with pride and satisfaction, which in turn increases motivation at the school and thus increases performance.


In the last chapter, the question of what best practice is and how best practice strategies can be used in the field of education should be taken up again.

Best Practice comes from Anglo-American business administration and means best practice, best method, best procedure. A best practice company has proven and inexpensive technologies, techniques and management procedures that make it a model company. In order to be able to speak of best practice, a measurement method is necessary, such as benchmarking, in which several comparable companies exchange information in order to find out who or the best of this group (see Wikipedia).

No theoretical concepts are required, but demonstrably successful practice (cf. Olev lexicon).

The weaker companies want to compare their own services, products, projects, technologies and techniques with those of others, evaluate them and, if necessary, improve them by setting new goals. In order to ensure complete success, however, it is an imperative to transfer the structure of the processes that exist in the best practice company in full. Changes made half-heartedly often fail because of this (see Wikipedia).

Bratl, Miglbauer and Trippl differentiate between three types of best practice-oriented learning strategies:

Data and information learning (success reports, databases, ...) are the simplest and least expensive best practice strategies. This mainly results in a large number of data, but only little useful and stimulating information (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.64f.).

Knowledge learning (expert interviews, project documentation, ...) are best practice strategies that are suitable for relatively simple measures. Best practice strategies at this level can indeed stimulate efficient learning, but are associated with a great learning risk because accompanying communication processes are dispensed with (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, p.66f.).

Communication learning (benchmarking) represents the most developed and most widely used best practice method and is based on the systematic analysis and evaluation of one's own performance in comparison to others, whereby one is oriented towards the respective best performances (cf. Bratl / Miglbauer / Trippl 2002, P.72f.).

Each of these best practice strategies has its possibilities and limits.

Best practice strategies can also be used in educational science. According to McKeon, they are helpful in disseminating information about developed and tested curricula and programs. Best practice can also improve the connection between research and practice. A network of researchers and practitioners is helpful in this process, so that the knowledge can move in a circulating manner.

According to Moser, lessons can also be improved through best practice strategies. Moser assumes that teachers who regularly evaluate their lessons and have their quality verified from outside and are also willing to reflect on their lessons and, if necessary, improve them, inevitably approach good lessons. Moser names four characteristics for good teaching: time, clarity, language of instruction and rules.

In times of globalization and competition, it makes sense - also in the field of education - to think about quality. However, I would like to comment critically that, for example, benchmarking as a proven best practice strategy is a technically oriented process that requires measurable key figures. It is therefore questionable whether these strategies can actually be transferred to the field of educational science, since good practice (e.g. good teaching) cannot be measured, but can only be based on the performance of the students. It is questionable whether the term “best practice” does not satisfy a need for superlatives. In my opinion, it is also expedient to forego the term “best practice” in the field of educational science and instead focus on evaluation. The evaluation can also include those areas that cannot be assessed using key figures. In addition, educational responsibility is not guaranteed with these strategies.


Bratl, Hubert and Miglbauer, Ernst and Trippl, Michaela (2002): Best Practice of Best Practice. Simple learning opportunity or well-intentioned transfer of information without any particular effect? Pp. 63-93. Online resource: http://www.austria.gv.at/2004/4/15/bratl_miglbauer_trippl.pdf [03/10/2006]

Kruppa, Katja and Mandl, Heinz and Pyysalo, Riikka (2001): Problem-oriented learning in computer-supported learning environments: international best-practice examples (practical report no. 25). Munich: Ludwig Maximilians University, Chair for Empirical Pedagogy and Educational Psychology. Pp. 35-46.

McKeon, Denise (1998): Best Practice - Hype or Hope? In: TESOL Quarterly. A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages ​​Vol. 32/3 Autumn 1998, p493-501.

Moser, Urs (2003): Successful teaching: no coincidence. Media conference “Best Practice in Schools”, Avenir Suisse in Oberlunkofen. Online resource: http://www.edk.ch/xd/2003/158.pdf [03/19/2006]

Online administrative dictionary. Online resource: http://www.olev.de/b/best-practice.htm [04/11/2006]

Wikipedia. Online resource: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_practice [04/11/2006]