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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

Start of project "GemeinsamGanztag"

Auftakt GemeinsamGanztag

11.10.2019 – “GemeinsamGANZTAG”, a regional network for language education in all-day school and a project of the RAG-Stiftung and the IfS in cooperation with the Ministry of Education NRW, has started on October 11. In this project, researchers from TU Dortmund University, Ruhr University Bochum, University Duisburg-Essen and University of Wuppertal work together with all-day schools in Bochum, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen and Herne in order to find solutions how to support children with a socially disadvantaged background regarding self-regulated and cooperative learning and regarding language competence. The work of these networks has started with the new school year and will continue in regular workshops. Research results of this project will be published in 2021.

 

Why do more and more high-school graduates pass their A-levels with an A-grade?

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07.10.2019 – Statistics show that the number of high-school graduates in Germany who passed their exams last year with an A-grade is significantly higher than ten years before. Nele McElvany, director of the IFS, talked to Spiegel and WAZ about possible reasons for that rise.

Photo: ©istock.com/CherriesJD

 

4th IFS Education Dialogue: Shaping all-day schools successfully

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19.09.2019 – How is it possible to shape all-day schooling successfully? The 4th IFS Education Dialogue takes this topic into focus with the key issues “individual educational promotion”, “personal development and promotion of social skills” and “development of organization and profession in the context of all-day schools”. The exchange of participants from research and practice is of special interest to this format. The aim is to combine the knowledge of research with practical experience in order to develop sustainable concepts for the future. The IFS Education Dialogue takes place on September 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m in “Campus Treff” (Vogelpothsweg 120).

 

“Variation: Noise or Norm?” – IFS at paEpsy 2019 in Leipzig

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13.09.2019 – The IFS took part in the paEpsy conference and its theme “Variation: Noise or Norm?”. Members of the IFS contributed two symposiums outlining “Gathering erudite language – approaches and challenges” and “Determinants of school motivation” as well as one discussion to “Characteristics and Development of Reading Competence – Different Perspectives within the Context of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)“.

 

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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