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Welcome on the pages of the Center for Research on education and School Development!

The Center for Research on Education and School Development (IFS) at the TU Dortmund University is committed to all areas of education research – from the description, explanation, and improvement of the organization and management of schools and the school system, to the analysis of educational processes and educational outcomes of students of different age groups in different contexts. Not limited to students, the research takes into account parents, teachers, school administration, and institutional frameworks. A special focus is research into the reform and development processes of schools and the school system, as well as the necessary conditions for these processes and their outcomes. 

The research areas of the IFS are characterised by different focal points within educational and school research:

Research Area

Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany, acting director of the IFS, leads the working group Empirical Educational Research- teaching and learning in the school setting with a research focus on the description, explanation, and improvement of educational processes and success in terms of skills acquisition and educational participation across diverse backgrounds and age groups.

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Research Area

Professor Dr. Heinz Günter Holtappels leads the working group School Development and Effectiveness, doing research into school reform and development processes, as well as research on the quality and effectiveness of educational organization and design in schools. Empirical research on preconditions, success factors, and the effects of school development processes is as much a focus as the identification of relevant influences on the quality of educational design, student learning and skills acquisition.

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Research Area

Current research in our lab focuses on three complementary research areas: (1) research on the teaching profession; (2) research on educational trajectories and on educational and occupational choices; and (3) research on the interplay between teacher and student characteristics and possible consequences for the instructional process.

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Research Area

The working group examines opportunities and challenges relating to cultural diversity in schools. One major focus is on the individual learning conditions of children and adolescents with an immigrant background for their school adaptation. We also study how the school context affects students' school adaptation.

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Former research area

Educational Research and Quality Assurance

Team Prof. Dr. Heinz Wilfried Bos


NEWS

Encouraging and supporting: New research findings regarding potentials of all-day schools

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05.12.2019 – The importance of all-day schools as reliable childcare for families is widely acknowledged. But how can all-day activities support students in their development? The long-term and by several research institutions conducted study on the development of all-day schools (StEG) addressed this question in a number of subprojects. The results show that all-day schooling under certain conditions and by targeted supportive measures has the potential to support children and adolescents individually.

 

PISA: Primary schools lay the groundwork for reading competencies

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03.12.2019 – Reading is a necessary qualification for educational success and social participation. For that reason, the focus of the PISA study 2018 has been reading competencies. Although the results of German pupils are above average, there is a significant gap regarding the top group. Thus, Nele McElvany points out that it is important to lay a foundation in primary school in order to achieve good results in higher classes. In primary schools, pupils learn to read before they can use their reading competencies in secondary schools to learn. In the first years, reading processes have to be automatized so that later on, children are able to focus on the content and not on the decoding of words and letters.

 

Dr. Isa Steinmann receives Rudolf Chaudoire Award 2019

Isa Steinmann_RCP 2019

29.11.2019 – Dr. Isa Steinmann has been awarded with the Rudolf Chaudoire-Prize as an excellent researcher. In a festive awards ceremony, Prof. Ursula Gather, rector of TU Dortmund University, and Dr .Gert Fischer, board member of the Rudolf Chaudoire-Foundation, paid tribute to her and the second prize winner, Dr. Christina Zindel from the Faculty of Mathematics. The award supports her research stay at the Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo (CEMO) with 5.000 EUR. During her current stay in Norway, Isa Steinmann investigates the effects of school leadership and school resources on learning outcomes in international cooperation with Scandinavian scientists.

 

Short clip: Doing research on teaching competencies at the IFS

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21.11.2019 – In its new clip, the IFS zooms in on its research area education and teacher competencies. How should a good reading or math lesson look like? Which dimensions of quality in education matter to the development of pupils? What kind of competencies does a teacher need in order to offer qualitative lessons? The IFS answers questions like that both with innovative techniques like developing a virtual classroom and with conventional methods like surveys and video analyses.

 

Current research results

Globalised student achievement? A longitudinal and cross-country analysis of convergence in mathematics performance

Stefan Johansson & Rolf Strietholt (2019): Globalised student achievement? A longitudinal and cross-country analysis of convergence in mathematics performance, Comparative Education, DOI: 10.1080/03050068.2019.1657711

Critics of international assessments hypothesize that PISA, TIMSS and other comparative studies lead to a harmonization of education worldwide. In this article, this hypothesis is tested empirically. The results show cultural and regional differences in student performance profiles. Such differences are stable. Evidence for an international convergence of student performance could not be found. 

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New journal article in Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie published

Igler, J., Ohle-Peters, A. & McElvany, N. (2019). Mit den Augen eines Grundschulkindes. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1024/1010-0652/a000243

Students’ ratings are commonly used to assess instructional quality, but studies often show high variances within classes. The newly published study investigates this variance and analyses possible predictors such as students’ cognitive, motivational or emotional prerequisites.

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Article published in School Effectiveness and School Improvement

Schmid, C., Trendtel, M., Bruneforth, M., & Hartig, J. (2019). Effectiveness of a governmental action to improve Austrian primary schools – results of multilevel analyses based on repeated cycles of educational standards assessments. School Effectiveness and School Improvement. doi.org/10.1080/09243453.2019.1620294

In 2005, the Austrian government committed all schools to develop school policies supporting the learning of their students. The purpose of the present article is to find evidence for the effectiveness of this governmental action. Analyses are based on data collected by the educational standard assessments including 267 primary schools (2010). Results show that the implementation of schools’ support strategies significantly moderated the increase in mathematical achievement between 2010 and 2013, but not in reading achievement between 2010 and 2015.

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Article in Zeitschrift für Pädagogik

Steinmann, I. & Strietholt, R. (2019). Effekte nachmittäglicher Bildungsangebote auf sprachliche Kompetenzentwicklungen. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 65(2), 285–306. https://doi.org/10.3262/ZP1902285

In the newly published article, the effects of learning-promoting afternoon programs on language-related achievement and educational inequality measures are examined longitudinally on the basis of ninth-graders. The results provide no evidence that in 2003, it could be assumed that afternoon activities would influence the level of academic achievement or social educational inequalities in German or English.

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Article in Learning and Individual Differences

Schwabe, F., Korthals, R., Schils, T. (2019) Positive social relationships with peers and teachers as moderators of the Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect. Learning and Individual Differences. doi 10.1016/j.lindif.2018.12.006

Students' academic self-concepts (ASCs) are largely formed relative to the ability of their reference group. The Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect (BFLPE), according to which equally able students have lower ASCs in high-achieving classrooms than in low-achieving ones, is extremely robust. Social relationships are known to be important for self-perception. This study aims at analyzing social relationships as potential moderators of the BFLPE, focusing on two core partners in classrooms: peers and teachers.

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Article in Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaften was published

Sander, A., Ohle-Peters, A., Hardy, I. & McElvany, N. (2018). Die Effektivität schriftlicher und kombiniert auditiv-schriftlicher Wortschatzfördermaßnahmen bei Kindern mit nichtdeutscher Herkunftssprache. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 21(5), 951–971. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11618-018-0815-1

The article investigates the potential of implicit language promotion, presented in written and combined auditory-written formats. Three experimental groups of 4th graders in elementary schools have been compared. The first group read the intervention texts two times in German, second group read texts in Turkish and afterwards in German and third group listened to texts in Turkish first and read them in German afterwards. Results do not support advantages for the combined auditory-written form including the heritage language.

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Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung (IFS)
TU Dortmund
Campus Nord (CDI Gebäude)
Vogelpothsweg 78
44227 Dortmund

Tel. +49 (0) 231 / 755-7955
Fax +49 (0) 231 / 755-5517

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