In the ETF Yearbook 2005, the editors Peter Grootings and Sren Nielsen argue that the general assumption that policy instruments will drive the necessary reform in schools is not well supported by empirical evidence.
Teaching is not a homogeneous activity that can be driven by a small set of easily accessible policy instruments. Learning is context bound and teaching takes place in the school, which is a highly complex social institution. In spite of powerful forces for change, schools in EU partner countries appear remarkably untouched. Grootings and Nielsen argue that one reason for this might be that change has usually been something done to teachers as opposed to something done with them. Teachers in schools have generally not been able to develop a sense of ownership of change nor have they been really capable or motivated to make the reforms work.