Short CV/Education and training

  • 1984 – 1986
    Training as a primary-school teacher in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland (1st - 6th year)

  • 1987 – 1993
    Employment as a primary-school teacher in the lower level in Dürnten, Switzerland (1st - 3rd year)

  • 1993 – 1997
    Studied educational science (educational psychology and social pedagogy), applied psychology and high-school didactics at the University of Zurich

  • 1997
    Master's course (Lizenziat) at the Philosophical Faculty, University of Zurich; Lizenziat thesis on the topic of "Adolescents' memories of their own primary-school teachers. A qualitative and quantitative content analysis"

  • 1997 – 2005
    Teaching psychoanalysis à la S. Freud with Dr Anton M. Fischer, psychoanalyst, Zurich

  • 1997 – 2005
    Lecturer and adjunct instructor at the Pedagogical Institute, University of Zurich (under Prof. H. Fend)

  • 1998 – 2001
    Lecturer of educational science at various teacher training institutions in Switzerland

  • 2001
    PhD from the Philosophical Faculty, University of Zurich, (Cross-disciplinary competencies. Theoretical foundations and empirical trials of an indicator system. Peter Lang 2001; together with Dr Urs Grob)

  • 2000 – 2005
    Director of the FS&S – research section on school quality & school development, University of Zurich

  • Since 2003
    Executive committee member of the Swiss Society for Educational Research (SGBF); since 2009 president

  • 2005
    Offer of a W1 professorship in empirical education research in the school context at the German Institute of International Pedagogical Research (DIPF), Frankfurt, Germany, and at Frankfurt University, Department of Pedagogy, Institute of General Education Research - accepted

  • 2005
    Offer of a W3 professorship in school pedagogy with emphases on school development and empirical school and instructional research at the Pedagogical University of Freiburg, Germany - accepted

  • 2006 – 2008
    Director of the Institute of Educational Research I, Pedagogical University of Freiburg, Germany

  • 2007
    Offer of a W3 professorship in pedagogy, with particular emphasis on school development research, at the University of Hamburg - declined

  • 2008
    Offer of a full professorship in pedagogy with an emphasis on the theory and empirical study of school educational processes at the University of Zurich - accepted

  • Since 2009
    Full professor of pedagogy with an emphasis on the theory and empirical study of school educational processes at the University of Zurich

  • 2009 – 2012
    Member of German Research Foundation (DFG) review board 109 "pedagogy" for the field of "research on general and subject-specific teaching, learning and qualifications"

  • Since 2010
    University councillor at Heidelberg University of Education

Selected publications

  • Altrichter, H., Maag Merki, K. (eds.): Handbuch Neue Steuerung im Schulsystem. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010.

  • Maag Merki, K. (ed): Lernort Gymnasium. Individuelle Entwicklungsverläufe und Schulerfahrungen. Bern: Haupt Verlag 2006.

  • Leutwyler, B., Maag Merki, K.: School effects on students' self-regulated learning. A multivariate analysis of the relationship between individual perceptions of school processes and cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational dimensions of self-regulated learning. In: Journal for Educational Research Online 1(1), 2009. pp. 197-223 (peer reviewed).

  • Maag Merki, K.: Lernkompetenzen als Bildungsstandards – eine Diskussion der Um-setzungsmöglichkeiten. In: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 7(4), 2004. pp. 539-552 (peer reviewed).

  • Klieme, E., Maag Merki, K.: Introduction of Educational Standards in German-speaking countries. In: J. Hartig, E. Klieme, D. Leutner eds.), Assessment of competencies in educational contexts. Göttingen: Hogrefe 2008. pp. 305-314.

  • Maag Merki, K.: Risikosubstanzenkonsum und somatische Beschwerden. Ergebnisse einer Längsschnittstudie bei Schülerinnen und Schülern der gymnasialen Oberstufe. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 52(6), 2006. pp. 855-875 (peer reviewed).

  • Maag Merki, K.: Maturitätsprofile als differenzielle Lernkontexte. Eine empirische Analyse des Zusammenhanges zwischen institutionellen Rahmungen und Kompetenzentwicklungen der Gymnasiastinnen und Gymnasiasten. In: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Bildungswissenschaften 2, 2007. pp. 181-208 (peer reviewed).

  • Maag Merki, K.: Kompetenz. In: S. Andresen et al. (eds.), Handwörterbuch Erziehungswissenschaft. Weinheim, Basel: Beltz 2009. pp. 492-506.

  • Maag Merki, K. et al.: Die Effekte der Einführung zentraler Abiturprüfungen auf die Unterrichtsgestaltung in Leistungskursen in der gymnasialen Oberstufe. In: Unterrichtswissenschaft 34(2), 2010. pp. 173-192 (peer reviewed).

  • Maag Merki, K., Klieme, E., Holmeier, M.: Unterrichtsgestaltung unter den Bedingungen zentraler Abiturprüfungen. Eine Analyse auf Schulebene mittels Latent Class Analysen. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 54(6), 2008. pp. 791-809 (peer reviewed).

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • The implementation of new control structures in the school system, illustrated by the example of centralised Abitur (A-level) examinations. An analysis of the effects, taking multiple indicators into account (German Research Foundation (DFG) research project: 2007 – 2009 / 2011 – 2012)

    Full information

  • SOLEVA, a scientific evaluation of the Self-Organised Learning (SOL) project at Zurich middle schools - new ways of teaching and learning, 2009 – 2012

  • PZiS – Professional collaboration in schools. A study analysing the cooperative internships at schools in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, 2009 – 2011

    Full information

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Member of German Research Foundation (DFG) review board 109 "pedagogy" for the field of "research on general and subject-specific teaching, learning and qualifications"

  • President of the Swiss Society for Educational Research (SGBF)

  • Swiss Society for Teacher Training (SGL)

  • German Pedagogical Society (DGfE)

  • Working Group on Empirical Pedagogical Research (AEPF)

  • European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)

  • Working Group on School Governance (ASG)

  • ICSEI: International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement

  • International Project for the Study of Educational Accountability Systems

  • Member of the expert jury for the CORECHED Prize in Educational Research (Swiss Coordination Conference on Educational Research)

  • University councillor, Heidelberg University of Education

Additional qualifications

Peer review activities:

  • Zeitschrift für Pädagogik (Journal of Pedagogy)

  • Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung (Swiss Journal of Educational Research)

  • Leadership and Policy in Schools

  • Journal of Curriculum Studies

  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)

  • Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW)

  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

  • German Research Foundation (DFG)

  • BASPO Federal Sport Agency (Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport VBS), Switzerland

  • Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Austria

Scientific advisor to:

  • The journal Die Deutsche Schule (The German School)

  • Centre for the promotion of scientific guidance and exploration of school development processes (ZUSE) in Hamburg, Germany

  • The "Study on developing all-day schools" (StEG)


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