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Report of the Aktionsrat Bildung – IFS sees a need for action


21.05.2019 – Today, the Aktionsrat Bildung presented its report on the topic of „Region and education. Myth urban-rural areas” which analyzes differences between rural and urban areas. As a member of the Aktionsrat Bildung, Professor Nele McElvany shows results of regional differences in schools. She supports guidances for directed strategies to maintain primary schools in the rural area. She also supports concepts and resources for dealing with demanding pupils.


23 May 2019: IFS lecture series with Hacı-Halil Uslucan


20.05.2019 – The IFS is looking forward to Professor Dr. Hacı-Halil Uslucan (Turkish Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen) who is a guest speaker for the IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area". On May 23, he gives a lecture to the topic of Islamic education in NRW: „Die Suche nach Gott in der Schule: Islamischer Religionsunterricht in NRW - Akzeptanz, Erkenntnisse und pädagogische wie politische Herausforderungen des bekenntnisorientierten Islamunterrichts“(“Looking for God in school: Islamic education in NRW – acceptance, insights and pedagogic and political challenges of the confessional oriented Islamic education”).Professor Uslucan speaks from 2:15 pm to 3:45 pm in room 022/023 in the CDI building. We welcome students and those who are generally interested in the topic.


Hotspots of German education research – IFS talks with Deutschlandfunk

Beitrag Deutschlandfunk

19.05.2019 – The series “Hotspots of German education research” in Deutschlandfunk features the IFS and outlines one aspect of its work. This research project explores why especially children with a migration background drop out of school more often, why they pass Abitur less frequently and if all this might be prevented. In the DFG-project “Stereotype threat”, the IFS carries out research if prejudices like “children with a Turkish migration background do not learn German properly” have an impact on the German vocabulary of those children and if they therefore have a negative effect on learning. First inquiries were able to demonstrate the negative effect of stereotypes concerning learning. The goal is to find ways how to prevent this effect.


IFS lecture series with Professor Viola Hartung-Beck: Data-based school development processes

190516_Viola Hartung-Beck

17.05.2019 – The IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area" featured Professor Dr. Viola Hartung-Beck, University of Applied Science and Arts Dortmund. In her lecture, she introduced the audience to data-based school development processes and revealed interesting insights into the results of qualitative longitudinal data from a secondary analysis. Thank you!


IFS lecture series with Professor Göbel: multilingual orientation in foreign language teaching


13.05.2019 – As part of the IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area", the lecture of Professor Dr. Kerstin Göbel, University Duisburg-Essen, addressed the positive coherence between language transfer support with the attainment of learning languages. She introduced the audience to the project “Franzimo” which focusses on an intercultural and multilingual orientated approach for French as a second foreign language. The goal there is to design tasks that facilitate the lexis transfer in speech reception and that simultaneously raise the awareness for teachers and learners alike to multilingualism and interculturality. Thank you!


Professorship for Empirical Educational Research with a focus on social heterogeneity appointed to Dr. Aileen Edele

Aileen Edele

09.05.2019 – Since May 2019, Professor Dr. Aileen Edele has been holding a temporary W2-professorship for Empirical Educational Research with a focus on social heterogeneity at the IFS. Her research priority deals with chances and challenges of migration related diversity in the context of school education and teaching based. She also focuses upon the importance of how individual learning conditions (e.g. multilingualism, cultural identity and foreknowledge) are relevant for the school adaptation of learners with an immigrant and refugee background. Moreover, she analyzes the effects of the learning context, such as teacher beliefs on dealing with cultural heterogeneity. The IFS is very pleased with the enhancement of its research spectrum and welcomes Aileen Edele warmly.


LEO-Study published – IFS points out relevance of reading promotion

IFS_Leo Studie

07.05.2019 – Results of the Level-One-Study (LEO, Hamburg University) show that a large amount of adults in Germany has only poor reading and writing skills. In this context, the IFS points out the essential role of reading promotion in schools for educational success and social participation. Large-scale studies such as Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) allow for identifying groups of students in need for reading promotion. Studies like this provide important information for reading and writing promotion for young learners.


Franziska Schwabe in-studio guest at Lokalzeit Ruhr (WDR)


06.05.2019 – On the topic “Reactivating Hauptschulen (lower secondary schools)” Franziska Schwabe talked about challenges and chances of this school form from the educational research perspective and commented on its potential for students with escape experiences and/or migration background.


IFS lecture series with Professor Kuhn: Dyscalculia in primary school


29.04.2019 – The IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area” featured Professor Dr. Jörg-Tobias Kuhn (TU Dortmund University), who talked about chances and possibilities of the diagnosis and intervention of dyscalculia in primary school. For this purpose, he introduced the audience to CODY-M, a math test that he developed with other colleagues. This test is computer-based and shall reliably recognize children with dyscalculia. Thank you!


All-day schooling can do more


29.04.2019 – A representative headmasters’ survey shows: all-day schooling builds a central foundation for the reconcilability of family and working life. It provides a reliable and multifaceted child care service, especially for younger children. All-day schooling also has the potential to support inclusion and integration in targeted ways and enables children from all social classes to participate. Precisely in this context there is a need for improvement – just as for school quality. Of particular difficulty is the attraction of staff, which could have implications regarding the legal claim for all-day schooling at primary school age.


Norbert Sendzik successfully defends dissertation

Norbert Sendzik

26.04.2019 – Norbert Sendzik, former research fellow in the working group of Professor Bos, successfully defended his doctoral thesis in the field of educational science with the topic „Path dependency in educational regions. Local Education Offices as ‘agents of change’”.


IFS lecture series with Professor Belke: implicit learning and teaching of grammar and spelling knowledge


26.04.2019 – As part of the IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area" Professor Dr. Eva Belke (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) gave interesting insights to the topic of transferring grammar and orthographical knowledge from a psycholinguistic point-of-view. She also introduced the audience to the “Litkey project” which focusses on the analysis of implicit learning and implicit teaching in regards to the acquisition of grammar and spelling. Thank you!


IFS lecture series with Prof. Markus Gebhardt

190418_RV Gebhardt

19.04.2019 – The IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area" recently featured Professor Dr. Markus Gebhardt (TU Dortmund). He provided insights into “Lernverlaufsdiagnostik” (learning trajectories diagnostics) and showed how its results might be a vital component to (special) educational research. In the course of this, he also introduced LeVuMi, an online learning platform that offers tests that are equally easy to handle for teachers and researchers. Thank you!


Nele McElvany is Associate Editor for Educational Assessment

Educational Assessment

15.04.2019 – Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany is new Associated Editor for the renowned journal Educational Assessment (EA). Issued by Taylor & Francis, this journal publishes original research papers on design, analysis and usage of assessments for expanding the knowledge about achievement and quality in the educational sector regarding individuals, groups or educational programs. Prof. Joan Hermann, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles) leads the five-member team of Associate Editors, which is supported by an international Editorial Board.


IFS lecture series starts successfully

190411_RV Mixed methods mit Aßmann und Serova

12.04.2019 – The IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area" made a good start with Prof. Dr. Sandra Aßmann and Dr. Katja Serova from Ruhr-Universität Bochum. They provided the audience interesting insights into “Mixed methods in der Schulentwicklungsforschung”. Thank you!


IFS at annual AERA meeting


09.04.2019 – Discussing the topic “Leveraging Education in a ‚Post-Truth‘ Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence” this year’s meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) takes place in Toronto, Canada. IFS members present current research results on i.e. students’ participation in extracurricular activities, reading interventions and teacher motivation.


Dr. Aileen Edele accepts call for professorship at the IFS


03.04.2019 – Ms Dr. Aileen Edele (until recently IQB at the Humboldt University in Berlin) has accepted the call for a professorship for Empirical Educational Research with a focus on social heterogenity at the IFS. In her empirical and quantitatively orientated research, she focuses on chances and challenges in the context of school education and teaching based on migration related diversity. She emphasizes on how individual learning preconditions, such as language competence, educational prior knowledge and cultural identity, have an impact on the educational achievement and psychosocial development of pupils. We’re happy to welcome Ms Edele at the IFS and wish her a good start!


Professor Fanny Lauermann starts at the IFS


01.04.2019 – Ms Fani Lauermann, Ph. D. Professor of Empirical Educational Research, has started at the IFS in April. In her research, she focuses on educational trajectories and determinants of teaching and school quality. Current research in her team emphasizes three complementary research areas: research on the teaching profession, research on educational trajectories and research on interdependency between teacher and student characteristics and possible consequences for lessons. Welcome to the IFS!


Visiting Researcher am National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing


28.03.2019 – During this semester break, Nele McElvany is staying at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), USA as a Visiting Researcher. Foci of her studies are Serious Educational Games as an instrument for pre- and in-service teacher training as well as the longitudinal study BELLS at two US-Highschools as part of a long term cooperation between IFS and UCLA.


Panel discussion at Leipzig Book Fair

Podium (2)

26.03.2019 – Dr. Franziska Schwabe discussed the current topic of concepts for fostering students with large deficits in reading together with (among others) Prof. D. Andreas Gold (professor for Educational Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt) and Heidemarie Brosche (representative for educational practice, middle school teacher from Augsburg) in a panel discussion at the Leipzig Book Fair. The panel discussion was organized by the Reading Foundation.


Second Training Event of the ETN OCCAM at the University of Cyprus

Aktuelle Meldung_NWT2

25.03.2019 – The European Training Network OCCAM conducted between the 12th and 22nd March the second network-wide training event successfully. The altogether 12 international early-stage researchers of the network as well as local PhD students participated in different methodological, complementary, and theoretical workshops. Further information can be found following the links below.


Guest lecture: Democratic Education and the Controversy over Controversial Issues


20.03.2019 – Most assessments test basic knowledge in math, reading, and science. Even though knowledge in these academic domains is important, active citizenship requires further knowledge about controversial issues. The question of `What should be taught as controversial? ́ has recently received considerable attention both in the philosophy of education and in the wider public. Johannes Drerup will discuss criteria – such as epistemic, behavioural, or political – to distinguish between controversial and non-controversial issues. (date/place: 26 March 2019, 14 h, CDI-Gebäude)


IFS lecture series


12.03.2019 – In the summer term 2019, the IFS lecture series, organized by team McElvany, focusses on "Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area". Experts from various universities and universities of applied sciences in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area are invited to give talks and to present results of current research projects. The interdisciplinarity of the empirical educational research is reflected in the speakers who have either a psychological, educational or didactical background. At the end of the lecture, the presentations will be discussed in plenum. We welcome all interested TU Dortmund members. In the focus of IFS lecture series is the Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area. Renowned experts are invited to give lectures. The interdisciplinarity of the empirical educational research is reflected in the referents.


PIRLS 2021 started


11.03.2019 – In March, the fifth cycle of the Progress in International Reading Study (short: PIRLS/IGLU) started. A scientific consortium led by Professor Nele McElvany carries out this study, which is funded by BMBF and KMK. The focus goal and aim of PIRLS 2021 is to examine the reading competence of fourth graders based on a national representative sample with an international comparison. Reading competence will also be assessed digitally for the first time in 2021. We are looking forward to an exciting and challenging research work!


Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bos retired


28.02.2019 – Wilfried Bos influenced the Empirical Educational Research and the IFS substantially with his interdisciplinary and international studies as well as his groundbreaking engagement in educational policy. The JERO special issue “Empirical Educational Research – A Standpoint” is devoted to his retirement and was bestowed festively at the GEBF annual meeting. The IFS says thank you and all the best Wilfried!


IFS presents recent research at the annual GEBF conference in Cologne


25.02.2019 – Under the heading of „Lehren und Lernen in Bildungsinstitutionen“ IFS-members present results on i.a. Digitalization in Schools, Teacher Characteristics and Instructional Quality in Reading, Mathematics, and Science, Participation in extracurricular All-Day Primary School activities or Methodological Challenges in Educational Assessments.


Recent Volumes of IFS conference book series published

Cover zusammen

21.02.2019 – Focussing on teacher training, recent volumes of the book series “Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research” and “IFS Education Dialogue” are published by Waxmann Publishing Co.. The role of teacher competences for successful learning processes and demands on teacher training are discussed from researchers’ and practitioners’ perspectives.


Call for Papers – Fifth Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research

Call of Paper

15.02.2019 – Under the heading “Against the Odds – (In)Equity in Education and Educational Systems” the Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research celebrates its fifth international anniversary meeting. Young researchers are invited to submit papers on the conference topic until March 22, 2019. Registration for the conference is now open.


JProf. Fani Lauermann, Ph.D. accepts call for professorship at IFS


11.02.2019 – The IFS is happy to announce that JProf. Dr. Fani Lauermann from the University of Bonn has accepted an appointment as a full professor for empirical educational research in school contexts, and will be joining the IFS in April. Her research focuses on the development of student motivation, on social and motivational factors underlying students' educational and occupational choices, and on teachers' professional competence. Fani Lauermann is an associate editor for Learning and Instruction (2018-2021) and serves as an elected coordinator of the special interest group SIG-08 Motivation and Emotion of the European Association for Learning and Instruction since 2017.


Isa Steinmann – Successful disputation


08.02.2019 – The IFS congratulates Isa Steinmann on her successful disputation today. Isa Steinmann is a research fellow in the working group of Professor Bos and is working on her doctorate in Educational Science with the topic "All-day schools in Germany: Effects on achievement levels and social educational equality".


Dan Chen successfully defends dissertation

Bild Dan Chen

08.02.2019 – Dan Chen, doctoral candidate in the working group of Professor Bos, successfully defended her doctoral thesis in the field of educational sciences. Her doctoral thesis dealt with “The Relationship between School Leadership and Student Mathematics Achievement. A comparative Study between Germany and Chinese Taipei”.Congratulations!


IFS represented at ICSEI 2019 in Stavanger (Norway)

Aktuelle Meldung

22.01.2019 – At ICSEI 2019 in Stavanger, Norway Prof. Dr. Heinz Günter Holtappels, Lisa Brücher and Karin Lossen organized in cooperation with international partners two successful symposia on ‘Innovative policies and improvement strategies for schools in trouble’ as well as ‘School Effectiveness through extended learning’ and presented papers of their research projects PeSs - Developing Potential – Strengthening Schools and StEG-Reading. Norbert Sendzik presented the paper "Path dependencies in system leadership reform".


Blog Post on Differences in Reading between Girls and Boys


09.01.2019 – A post on the gender gap in reading titled „Girls read differently – and so do boys“ was published on the scientific blog BOLD authored by Franziska Schwabe. The post focusses the question, if society needs to worry about boys’ reading competence. A brief overview of empirical research is provided. Photo: iStock


Karin Lossen – Doctoral thesis successfully defended

Karin Lossen

21.12.2018 – Karin Lossen, research fellow in the working group of Professor Holtappels successfully defended her doctoral thesis in the field of educational sciences today. Her doctoral thesis dealt with “School Quality in All-day Schools – Quality of Design and Results”.


Ramona Lorenz on public radio ( Deutschlandfunk)


01.12.2018 – The forthcoming DigitalPact will provide capital spending s for digitisation in schools. As guest in the program “Campus & Karriere” on Deutschlandfunk, PD Dr. Ramona Lorenz discusses the question of whether schools are ready for digitisation and what significance digital media have in classroom teaching. Photo: iStock


3rd Dortmund Science Conference focuses on the scientific competence field Research on Schools and Education

Dritte Dortmunder Wissenschaftskonferenz_Roland Gorecki03

26.11.2018 – The manifold activities within the scope of the scientific competence field Research on Schools and Education were presented by IFS’s managing director Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany at the 3rd Dortmund Science Conference. Insight was provided by three short talks on central main topics of the research done on schools and education as well as a poster exhibition on current educational projects. The panel members included representatives from science, i.e. Prof Dr. Heinz Günter Holtappels, and practice, and they discussed the possible implementation of scientific findings into everyday school life. Furthermore, at this year’s Dortmund Science Conference the evaluation results of the Dortmund Master Plan Science were presented by Prof Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Prenzel, chairman of the external board of experts. Photo: Roland Gorecki


Nele McElvany invited to expert discussion on literacy and basic education in NRW


22.11.2018 – Following the invitation of the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia, Mr. Klaus Kaiser, MdL, Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany is taking part in an experts’ discussion on "Literacy and Basic Education in NRW" today by giving a lecture on the topic. ("Literacy and Basic Education - The Role and Potential of the Family"). The exchange of ideas is taking place in the context of the Decade of Literacy and Basic Education of the Federal Government the Federal States, and it is intended to serve as an initial positioning in NRW from which possible further steps and activities can be derived. Photo: iStock


The third Dortmund Science Conference – The scientific competence field Research on Schools and Education will be presented

Aktuelle Meldung

19.11.2018 – The scientific competence field (WKF) Research on Schools and Education, represented by IFS, will present itself at this year’s 3rd Dortmund Science Conference. Following a key-note by Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany central main topics of the scientific competence field will be presented, such as “Reading: Competency and Advancement”, “Disparities in perspectives in personal histories” and “Context conditions of the organization School”. The presentation of the evaluation results of the Dortmund Master Plan Science by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Prenzel will frame the event. All interested parties are welcome!


Anja-Kristin Jungermann successfully defended her doctoral thesis

Bild Jungrman

25.10.2018 – Anja-Kristin Jungermann, project manager at the Centre for Integration at Stiftung Mercator and former research fellow in the team of Professor Bos, successfully defended her doctoral thesis dealing with “Impact-oriented governance of educational landscapes – A theory of change model considering the socio-ecological context”. Congratulations!


1st Consortium Meeting of PIRLS 2021


11.10.2018 – The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2021 (PIRLS/IGLU) uses representative data to examine the reading skills of pupils at the end of the fourth primary school year in Germany. Due to the international focus of the project, school performance in Germany can be compared with that in other countries and regions of the world. To prepare the study, the kick-off meeting of the scientific consortium, consisting of Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany as National Research Coordinator and Prof. Dr. Andreas Frey (Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.), Prof. Dr. Frank Goldhammer (DIPF Frankfurt), Prof. Dr. Anita Schilcher (University of Regensburg) and Prof. Dr. Tobias Stubbe (Georg-August-University Göttingen), took place on 11 October 2018. The IFS is looking forward to the cooperation


Alan Koenig, PhD (CRESST/UCLA) visits IFS


10.10.2018 – Alan Koenig, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA in the USA, is visiting again the IFS. The successful cooperation, especially in the area of Serious Educational Games in an academic context and in the project Teach-SEG of AG McElvany, will be continued. We are looking forward to an exciting exchange, welcome!


What is the best way for children to learn spelling?


21.09.2018 – Nele McElvany was asked for a statement on a spelling project by Tobias Kuhl and Una Röhr-Sendlmeier, which highlighted the spelling learning method "primer approach" as effective in comparison to reading by a writing approach. McElvany emphasized, among other things, that in addition to a suitable didactic method there should also be sufficient time available for learning spelling in children's everyday lives. The discussion about the different methods was taken up in various media, such as SpiegelOnline, the FAZ or ZDF. Photo: iStock.


IFS represented at 51st Congress of DGPs


21.09.2018 – As every year, IFS-members took part in this year’s 51st Congress of German Society of Psychology (DGPs) in Frankfurt and presented their research within scientific talks or symposia. The overall congress topic was “Psychology shapes”.


Wilfried Bos awarded with Honorary Membership of Network 9 of EERA


13.09.2018 – At the European Conference on Educational Research 2018, Wilfried Bos was awarded with the Honorary Membership of Network 9 of the European Educational Research Association (EERA) for his longstanding service as Link convenor of this network. Monica Rosén of the University of Gothenburg delivered the laudation . The honorary membership, which had been confirmed officially in March 2018 by EERA Council, can now officially be recognized and celebrated by network members at the conference in Bolzano. Wilfried Bos chaired Network 9, focussing on the topics assessment, evaluation, testing and measurement, as Link convenor from 2008 until 2017.


Paul Fabian – Doctoral thesis successfully defended


11.09.2018 – Paul Fabian, research fellow in the team of Prof. Bos and project manager of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) – Stage 4 “From Lower to Upper Secondary School”, successfully defended his doctoral thesis in the field of educational sciences today. His thesis deals with “Consolidation of performance, increase of performance – or something completely different? Effects of grade repetition on performance development”. Congratulations!


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Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung (IFS)
TU Dortmund
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