Change is an omnipresent theme in contemporary discourse on schools, teacher education and educational research. Indeed, change is an inherent trait of educational institutions, which in essence are designed to help learners develop, and thus change. However, change as a concept frequently pursues a specific agenda that mirrors how people, institutions and even entire societies are expected to evolve. Moreover, placing so much attention on the idea of change bears the risk of overlooking aspects such as persistence, stasis and invariance that are equally influential in shaping educational systems – first and foremost with regard to the continuance of educational inequality and organisational inertia at schools.

The 2023 annual conference of the Swiss Society for Research in Education (SSRE) and the Swiss Society for Teacher Education (SGL) is dedicated to examining the complexities of this many-faceted topic. A variety of disciplines and methods are considered in order to gain insight into the interplay between persistence and change at schools, in teacher education and in educational research.