Jump label

Service navigation

Main navigation

You are here:

Main content


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


16.09.2019 – 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


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)“.


Wangqiong Ye (University of Oslo) and Laura Zieger (University College London) start research stay at IFS


11.09.2019 – The IFS welcomes Wangqiong Ye and Laura Zieger as guest researchers. Between September 2019 and February 2020 they will spend a guest research stay in the European Training Network (ETN) OCCAM (Outcomes and Causal Inference in International Comparative Assessments). They are two of 15 early-stage researchers trained within the scope of the international ETN OCCAM. Wangqiong Ye is pursuing her doctorate at University College London on "Equity and Quality in Education: A Comparative Study of 15-Year-Old Students’ Mathematics Achievement". Laura Zieger’s topic for her doctorate is "The Impact of Measurement Error in Background Data on PISA Scale Scores".


IFS participates in ECER 2019

03.09.2019 – The European Educational Research Association (EERA) organizes the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) which takes place in Hamburg from September 3 to September 6. The conference theme is „Education in an Era of Risk – the Role of Educational Research for the Future“. The IFS presents some of its newest research findings from different projects, like for example the European Training Network „Outcomes and Causal Inference in International Comparative Assessments“ (ETN OCCAM), the study concerned with the development of all-day schools and the project developing potential – strengthening schools


Latest issue of the Journal for Educational Research Online (Vol. 11, No. 2) has been published

JERO Logo blau

13.08.2019 – The latest issue of the Journal for Educational Research Online (jero) has been published recently. The articles include for example adaptive teaching in research on learning and instruction and effects of learning environment on children´s vocabulary in primary school. The journal is an international and interdisciplinary forum for research on education. It publishes original, peer-reviewed academic articles that deal with issues of international relevance in educational theory, methodology, and practice. All articles are available open access.


Nele McElvany talks to Ruhr Nachrichten


09.08.2019 – The statement of Carsten Linnemann (CDU) regarding an extended compulsory preschool and a delayed school enrollment if the child does not meet sufficient knowledge of the German language has sparked a debate throughout Germany. Nele McElvany, executive director of the IFS, talked to Ruhr Nachrichten and provided a background from the perspective of educational research. She says: “We rather have to ask ourselves: how is it possible to support the children earlier and more effectively?” One approach might be to take kindergarten more into account as especially young children are able to learn a lot of things simultaneously.


IFS at EARLI conference in Aachen


07.08.2019 – From August 12 to August 16, the Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) has invited leading researchers from all over the world to Aachen in order to discuss this year’s conference topic “Thinking Tomorrow´s Education: Learning from the past, in the present and for the future”. The IFS will present some of its newest research findings throughout the week.


Dr. Isa Steinmann receives Rudolf Chaudoire Award 2019

Isa Steinmann

25.07.2019 – Dr. Isa Steinmann reiceives one of two of this year's Rudolf Chaudoire Awards of the TU Dortmund University. The award supports her research stay at the Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo (CEMO) in Norway with 5.000 EUR. During her stay abroad in the winter semester 2019/2020, Isa Steinmann will investigate the effects of school leadership and school resources on learning outcomes in international cooperation with Scandinavian scientists.


IFS at 26th annual SSSR meeting in Toronto


22.07.2019 – The IFS took part in the 26th annual SSSR meeting with a talk about the importance of reading motivation and self-concept for the gender gap in reading digitally. According to the session „Tell me something good: Current and ongoing effects of positive literacy environments“, Franziska Schwabe presented a recent study with fourth graders that showed that small gender differences exist for reading digitally and that intrinsic reading motivation is an important mediator in the context of reading digitally.


5. Dortmund Symposium: discussion on systemic and individual factors contributing to educational (in)equity

5.Dortmund Symposium

12.07.2019 – To the five-year anniversary of Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research, leading researchers in Europe discussed which individual and systemic advantages and disadvantages affect the educational success of pupils. The factors range from the socioeconomic environment or migration background to the choice of school, missing individualization during the lessons and transition to secondary school. The experts agreed that there is still a lot of research to do for a better understanding of the mechanism underlying the educational success. Thank you for your contributions and the inspiring discussions!


Meeting of the national PIRLS 2021 consortium - Germany


09.07.2019 – The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is conducted in 2021. Nevertheless, preparation starts already. Therefore, Professor Nele McElvany has invited the national PIRLS consortium with Professor Anita Schilcher (Universität Regensburg), Professor Andreas Frey (Goethe University Frankfurt), Professor Frank Goldhammer (Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education) and Professor Tobias Stubbe (University of Göttingen) in order to adjust the background questionnaire for pupils, teachers and school directors. This survey is crucial to the study as it ascertains important information about the qualification of reading literacy of primary school children.


Closing of IFS lecture series with Professor Birgit Leyendecker


05.07.2019 – At the close of the IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area” Professor Dr. Birgit Leyendecker, Ruhr University Bochum, presented results of the Seika project. It addresses language acquisition and educational processes in daycare centers’ everyday life. Thank you very much!


Kelly Howe, Ph.D.visits IFS


03.07.2019 – This week, we warmly welcome Kelly Howe, Ph.D. at IFS. Dr. Howe is Associate Professor of Theatre at Loyola Univeristy Chicago and is a specialist on “Theatre of the Oppressed”. On Thursday, July 4th (10:30-11:15, R. 022/023), Dr. Howe will give a talk on „Theatre of the Oppressed: Gathering Organizers and Activists—In Person and On Paper—in Neoliberal Times”.


IFS lecture series with Professor Nikol Rummel: Empirical cognition of the productive failure approach


28.06.2019 – The IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area" featured Professor Dr. Nikol Rummel (Educational Science, Ruhr University Bochum). In her lecture, she provided details about the productive failure approach. Therefore, she presented results from different studies that focused, as an example, on time and kind of instruction. Thank you!


IFS at IRC in Copenhagen


27.06.2019 – At the 8th IEA International Research Conference (IRC) the IFS presents results on effects of early tracking on performance and inequalities in achievement, the i meaning of instructional quality for reading competence and performance profiles at the end of primary education. The aim of the IRC is to provide an international forum for researchers working with IEA data to discuss critical educational issues.


IFS discusses the topic of reading literacy in Wuppertal


24.06.2019 – The recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) shows that almost 20 percent of pupils in grade four in Germany are not able to read properly. That is an urgent need for action, as Dr. Franziska Schwabe outlined with other experts at a panel discussion. After all, language is not only a precondition for school education and the future career, but for social participation. Therefore, it is not sufficient to decipher the letters in a text, but it is crucial to understand its meaning. As every school subject is affected, the German lesson is not the only one to teach these skills.
Photo: ©istock.com/Tashi-Delek


Aileen Edele presents findings on competence assessment in refugee students

Vortrag Leistungsdiagnostik

12.06.2019 – Together with Dr. Stefan Schipolowski, Professor Dr. Aileen Edele presented findings on the competence assessment in refugee students at the Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB). They reported the development of scales to assess reasoning abilities and knowledge in science and technology and showed first findings based on data of the IAB-BAMF-SOEP Refugee Survey. The project aim is to generate reliable information on refugee’s prior knowledge in domains relevant for school development.


PIRLS 2021: National Research Coordinators Meeting


03.06.2019 – Currently, national research coordinators from over 40 countries are meeting in Rome to finalize field test items for PIRLS 2021. Nele McElvany participates as national research coordinator for PIRLS in Germany. The meeting is organized by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The IFS wishes a successful meeting!


IFS lecture series with Professor Insa Melle: Chemistry classes with Universal Design for Learning

RV Melle

03.06.2019 – As part of the lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area”, Dr. Insa Melle, professor for chemistry didactics, delineated how the concept of “Universal Design for Learning” may help structure chemistry classes. In that context, she provided first insights into the way UDL might reduce learning barriers by planning and designing lessons that consider individual learning needs from the start. Thank you!


IFS lecture series with Hacı-Halil Uslucan – Islamic education in NRW


03.06.2019 – For the IFS lecture series “Empirical Educational Research in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area” Professor Dr. Hacı-Halil Uslucan, University Duisburg-Essen, introduced the audience into the subject of Islamic education in NRW. As an example, he presented results of a survey he conducted in NRW. In order to get a comprehensive overview, he interviewed pupils, parents and teachers. One finding in this survey was that all interviewees appreciate the confessional oriented Islamic education. Thank you for presenting this interesting topic!


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.


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.


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!


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!


Yearbook of School Development Volume 20 has been published


11.09.2018 – The 20th volume of the Yearbook of School Development has been published recently. The Yearbook of School Development is published bythe Center of Research on Education and School Development and it has been informing about major developments in school and the educational system bi-yearly since 1980. The present volume aims at describing the current state of empirical research regarding heterogeneity in school and teaching. Thus a scientifically sound reference book is provided for all those who are concerned with questions, analysis and organization of the educational system in school, school administration, science and politics.


Scientific Field of Competence School and Educational Research positively evaluated


10.09.2018 – Within the framework of the Master Plan Science of the City of Dortmund the Scientific Field of Competence (SFC) School and Educational Research at the Center for Research on Education and School Development has been positively evaluated by an expert group under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Prenzel. Today the results of the evaluation have been presented at a press conference. According to the evaluation the SFC School and Educational Research is well established, research questions and projects are both scientifically and socially of outstanding importance. The research programme is target-oriented and displays an excellent strategic structure. The research of the SFC is very visible nationwide, the radiance for an institution of the given size deserves the highest recognition. Moreover the SFC successfully cooperates with all relevant institutions in the field of empirical educational research in Germany and is acknowledged as a competent and reliable partner. For the continuation of the successful work and the expansion of activities a balanced ratio of third-party funds to main funds is to be reached and additional resources will be needed.


Wilfried Bos in Deutschlandfunk – What do school performance studies bring?

Aktuelle Meldung

25.08.2018 – A broadcast on German radio addresses the question of benefits and effects of national and international school achievement studies. Wilfried Bos emphasizes the necessity of empirical findings for the improvement of school and teaching. According to him, empirical evidence about performance levels and causes is essential for change in the education system. Furthermore, he advocates a greater responsiveness to empirical data , especially in education policy.


Opening of ETN OCCAM: Kickoff and first training event


22.08.2018 – The European Training Network OCCAM will be formally opened on 22 August 2018. At the kick-off, the coordinator of TU Dortmund will welcome the international network of 15 young scientists and experienced researchers from a total of 12 research institutions in Europe, Australia and the USA. Between 23 and 31 August, there will be organizational meetings and a first-class training session consisting of three workshops. Further information can be found at the links below.


Manuela Endberg successfully defended her doctoral thesis


19.07.2018 – Manuela Endberg, research fellow in the team of Professor Bos, successfully defended her doctoral thesis dealing with “Professional competence of teachers with regard to the use of digital media in class”. Congratulations!


TU Dortmund University Council votes 2018 – IFS represented in Senate and Faculty Council

Gremienwahl an der TU Dortmund_englisch

18.07.2018 – Professor Nele McElvany was elected as member both of the senate of TU Dortmund University and the council of the Faculty of Educational Science, Psychology and Sociology. Furthermore, Heinz Günter Holtappels (group of professors), Karin Lossen and Dr. Andreas Sander (group of research associates) as well as Dr. Michael Männel (group of administrative staff) – all of them members of the IFS – were voted as alternates of the Faculty Council. Congratulations to all elected representatives and a successful term!


Martin Burghoff – Docotral thesis successfully defended


18.07.2018 – Martin Burghoff, research fellow in the team of Professor Bos, successfully defended his doctoral thesis in the field of educational sciences today. His thesis deals with the topic of “Anchoring digital media at all-day schools – A theoretical framing and empirical results”. Congratulations!


Seminar Inter-Cultural Dialogue through Theatre bridges the gap between theatre work and dealing with migration-related heterogeneity in the school context


18.07.2018 – In cooperation with Dr. Chen Alon of Tel Aviv University, Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany once again offers the innovative teaching format Inter-Cultural Dialogue through Theatre. In this seminar, and within the framework of the theory model Polarized Theatre of the Oppressed, prospective teachers are introduced to new methods and tools to successfully deal with migration-related heterogeneity in the school context. Dr. Chen Alon is co-founder of the internationally known group Combatants of Peace, which uses alternative forms of communication to break down hardened patterns of thought and promote peaceful coexistence.


Theresa Schlitter receives Best of JURE Award Paper 2018


11.07.2018 – Theresa Schlitter, research assistant in the team of Prof. McElvany, received the Best of JURE Award in the category "Paper" at this year's Junior Reseachers of Earli (JURE) conference. The paper deals with "Differential and Gender-Specific Relations among Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension by Text Genres". The prize is endowed with a one-year JURE membership. Congratulations!


4th Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research – What teachers need to know


05.07.2018 – The 4th Dortmund Symposium on Empirical Educational Research provided the stage for educational research experts from all over Germany to discuss – from diverse perspectives – conditions and effects of teacher education, teacher competencies and classroom teaching. The minister of school and education of North Rhine-Westphalia, Yvonne Gebauer, emphasized in her conference greeting her great interest in the findings and achievements of educational research due to its important guidance role in the continuing improvement of schools. We are grateful for the diverse contributions of all experts and participants.


Svenja Hartwig successfully defends her doctoral thesis


04.07.2018 – Svenja Hartwig, research fellow in the working group of Professor McElvany, successfully defended her dissertation today. Her doctoral thesis deals with “Teachers’ attitudes and motivation towards heterogeneous learning groups: structure, characteristics and framework conditions”. Congratulations!


The project Ganz In celebrates project completion


04.07.2018 – On Friday, the IFS together with 150 project partners from schools, education policy and administration celebrated the closure of its project Ganz In at the Dortmunder U. Since 2009, the project has been supporting secondary schools in North Rhine-Westphalia in their reorganization towards all-day-schooling. The overall goal was to improve the quality of school qualifications and to enable more students to achieve the Abitur. Especially students from underprivileged educational backgrounds should get the chance to tap their full potentials.


IFS members nominated for the Best-of-JURE Award


25.06.2018 – The JURE, the annual young researcher conference of the EARLI conference, traditionally awards the Best of JURE Award in the three categories Round Table, Single Paper and Poster. In this year Nurit Viesel-Nordmeyer was nominated for the Poster Award and Theresa Schlitter for the Single Paper Award. All nominees will present their contributions to a scientific committee of experts. The winner will be announced at the closing session on Friday, July 6, 2018.
Photo: iStock, Schriftzug IFS


Teacher Training Center from Shanghai at the IFS


22.06.2018 – On June 22, IFS welcomed Ms. Li Ding from the Teacher Training Center in Shanghai, China. Overlapping aspects and resources for potential cooperation were discussed and research work was presented.


Franziska Schwabe as studio guest in the local time Ruhr

Schwabe WDR Stress

14.06.2018 – A survey conducted by the school council of the Erich-Fried-Gesamtschule in Herne showed that 90 percent of pupils feel stressed. As studio guest in a local TV program Lokal Ruhr on WDR Dr. Franziska Schwabe answered questions on the subject of well-being at school..


Evaluation of the Scientific Competence Field "School and Educational Research" at IFS


17.05.2018 – As part of the Master Plan Science of the City of Dortmund, the scientific competence field "School and Educational Research" at the IFS was evaluated today by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Prenzel. With the Master Plan Science the City of Dortmund has been pursuing the goal of working together with all societal agents since 2013. The idea is to strengthen science in Dortmund and to let urban society benefit from science.


Education Action Council publishes new report on digital sovereignty and education


16.05.2018 – The Aktionsrat Bildung, a ten-member politically independent panel of experts including Professor Lenzen (chairman), Professor Bos and Professor McElvany, has published the report Digital Sovereignty and Education providing the latest research results, developments, and effects of digitization relating to all educational phases as well as educational phase-specific recommendations for education policy. The results will be presented at the "Germany has a future" event in Munich today. Photo: iStock


Habilitation – Dr. Ramona Lorenz got Venia Legendi


25.04.2018 – On April 25, 2018, Dr. Ramona Lorenz successfully presented the scientific talk "New regulation in the school system - comparability of achievements" as oral part of her postdoctoral qualification. After completing the habilitation process with her inaugural lecture, she will be awarded the venia legendi "Educational Science with a focus on Empirical Research in Education" - Congratulations!


Nele McElvany as Visiting Researcher at UCLA CRESST


24.04.2018 – Professor McElvany is again spending some time as visiting researcher at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) at the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, thereby continuing the successful cooperation established in 2015. From March to May 2018 she will be participating in different research contexts such as the cooperation with senior research scientist Alan Koenig on the project Teach-SEG or the BELLS project on well-being at high schools with Deputy Superintendent Matthew L. Witmer.


Analyzing technical and pedagogical support in secondary schools in Germany


16.04.2018 – The study funded by Deutsche Telekom Stiftung aims at analyzing current and prospective technical and pedagogical support in German secondary schools . Based on survey data from 600 teachers who have participated in the representative study Schule digital – der Länderindikator 2017 and in-depth expert interviews a support profile will be compiled serving as a standard for ensuring and further developing ICT-related efforts in schools.


New study funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG): Development of pedagogical media competence of pre-service teachers in the context of integrating ICT in education


13.04.2018 – Integrating ICT successfully into education requires teachers to be competent in using ICT in instruction. With the study at hand, a pre-service teacher course is developed including theoretical, empirical and practical approaches in order to analyze how the different facets of pedagogical media competence can be fostered in teacher education. Project manager (April 2018 – March 2019) is Dr. Ramona Lorenz. Picture: iStock


IGLU 2021 - IFS again responsible for national participation

IGLU 2021

10.04.2018 – IFS will, again, be in charge of Germany’s participation in the 2021 cycle of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS; national: IGLU). New features in this cycle will be the so-called bridging study accompanying the transition to digital survey, a module for reading in online environments, and a national school panel. Picture: iStock


Article of the year in Language Learning


14.03.2018 – The article from early starters to late finishers? A longitudinal study of early foreign language learning in school by Michael Schurig and colleagues was written in cooperation with the department of didactics of the English language at Ruhr-University Bochum and the IFS and published in Language Learning. It has been chosen as the journal’s article of the year 2017. Along with this award Wiley publishers provide open-access for several months.


Interview: Franziska Schwabe at LEONARDO on WDR5


12.03.2018 – Are students more stressed these days? If so, is it due to certain school development processes? As studio guest on WDR 5 radio science program, LEONARDO, on March 9, Franziska Schwabe talked about school stress - Do schools make students sick? In addition to questions from host Steffi Klaus, interested listeners were invited to call in and join the discussion. Photo: iStock


StEG: nationwide, representative system monitoring has started


06.03.2018 – The “Study on the Development of All-Day Schools” 2018, a nationwide representative online-survey of headmasters at all-day schools, has been launched. It measures the development trend and stage of extension of all-day schools in Germany within the third system monitoring, following 2012 and 2015. About 2000 schools were asked to participate.


Graduated: Andreas Sander successfully defends his dissertation


23.02.2018 – On February 21, Andreas Sander, research fellow in the team McElvany, successfully defended his dissertation. Concerning language-related educational inequalities in the context of migration focusing on stereotypes as a possible reason and implicit language promotion as a potential reduction strategy. Congratulations!


Latest IFS research results presented at GEBF 2018


19.02.2018 – As usual, the IFS contributed also to this year’s conference of the Society for Empirical Research in Education (GEBF). Members of all research teams presented their latest research results in symposia and individual presentations. The conference took place from 15 to 17 February 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, and was jointly organized by the School of Education Basel and the University of Basel.


Latest Volumes for the Dortmund Symposium of Empirical Educational Research and IFS- Education dialog published


15.02.2018 – The latest volumes of the third Dortmund Symposium of Empirical Education Research and the second IFS Educational Dialogue have recently been published by Waxmann-Verlag. Regarding the Dortmund Symposium, contributions (by renowned experts) will pertain to the latest research findings and discussions on the conditions of successful educational careers in societal heterogeneity. The topic of digitization in school education, currently the subject of much discussion, will be focused on in the second volume of the IFS Education Dialogue conference series, emphasizing the various perspectives of educational practice, administration and research.


Talk by Dr. Franziska Schwabe to the topic “reading and language competences in primary school”


14.02.2018 – At the invitation of Dr. Thomas Riecke-Baulecke, Director of the Institute for Quality Development at Schools in Schleswig-Holstein, Dr. Franziska Schwabe gave an input lecture on the topic of "Reading and Language Skills in Primary Schools" to some 240 principals from all primary schools and support centers as well as school inspectors in Schleswig-Holstein. The event took place on 14 February 2018 in Damp, Schleswig-Holstein. Foto: iStock


Expert panel discusses compulsory primary school recommendation - Interview with Nele McElvany at WELT


12.02.2018 – The cancellation of mandatory primary school recommendations in many countries was discussed by a group of experts from educational research, practice and politics on the news channel „Welt". According to McElvany, the fact that "educationally disadvantaged pupils are underrepresented at more demanding secondary schools (Gymnasium and Realschule)" can be alleviated "when elementary school teachers, rather than parents, determine the type of secondary school to attend." Discussions were also held on the current implications of attending different types of secondary schools with regard to equal opportunities. Photo: iStock


IFS coordinates international study on education and school systems: EU funds 3.9m Euro project OCCAM


06.02.2018 – How does governance of resources and decision making impact educational outcomes, what are effective educational settings and processes, and how valid are international school rankings like the PISA study? These are three key questions of the international project "Outcomes and Causal Inference in International Comparative Assessments” (OCCAM). The Center for Research on Education and School Development (IFS) will coordinate the international and interdisciplinary project with twelve partner organizations from nine countries. The consortium will investigate schools and education systems around the globe. Dr. Rolf Strietholt, IFS, is project coordinator.


New DFG-project at IFS


31.01.2018 – The new project “Effects and moderators of stereotype threat in vocabulary/language learning situations among primary and secondary school students of Turkish origin”, funded by the DFG, will be launched this year. The research project will be conducted by Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Bettina Hannover, Dr. Lysann Zander, and Prof. Dr. Oliver T. Wolf. Andreas Sander will be project manager at the project site Dortmund. Several experimental surveys aim at investigating the effects of stereotypes on learning success.


IFS-Research Report 2016 - 2017 published


12.12.2017 – The development and the activities of the Center for Research on Education and School Development (IFS) in 2016 – 2017 are presented in the current IFS Research Report. The report informs about the institute’s key research areas, conferences, training of young scientists, knowledge transfer and internationalization. In addition to the presentation of the research projects you will find an overview of publications and contributions to conferences.


Specialist conference on ‚quality and learning effectiveness of all-day schools‘


07.12.2017 – At a StEG-Lesen symposium, the topic „Quality and learning effectiveness of all-day schools” was critically evaluated and problem areas and possible new approaches were discussed. Multipliers from education research and administration, interest groups and educational practice participated. Prof. Dr. Heinz Günter Holtappels opened the symposium with an overview of relevant findings of (all-day) school research. Subsequently, three presentations focused on strategies of didactic intervention and organization relating to learning time and all-day activities in the domains of mathematics, reading, and physics. To conclude the event, an expert panel discussed these findings and results before the discussion was opened to questions from the audience. The StEG-Lesen team would like to thank all participants for the lively and productive exchange of ideas.


Results from PIRLS 2016 published


05.12.2017 – In 2016 Germany participated for the fourth time in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016). The results from PIRLS 2016 have been published at a press conference in Berlin on December 5, 2017. Materials for this press conference and further information on the study are available from the following website:


Prof. McElvany gave guest talk at University of Zurich


29.11.2017 – Student heterogeneity in different aspects is a key challenge for teachers in everyday school life. Teacher-side attitudes and motivation can be important skills in dealing with the challenges and designing successful lessons. On this topic Prof. McElvany gave a guest lecture in the colloquium of the chairs of Prof. Maag Merki and Prof. Moser Opitz at the University of Zurich.


Specialist conference on ‚Quality and learning effectiveness of all-day schools‘ on December 7th, 2017


21.11.2017 – The specialist conference is dedicated to the main issue of ‘interventions and possibilities for design regarding curriculum-related activities in all-day programs’. It will be framed by an overview on latest developments, background information and perspectives as well as a panel discussion on rudiments of educational policy, practice and research.
More information is provided in the attached program.

For easy scheduling please use the online registration until November 29th, 2017: https://goo.gl/vTb4cX


IFS Advisory Board Meeting 2017


17.11.2017 – The Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute, consisting of Professor Horz, Professor Solga, Professor Gogolin, Professor Husfeldt and Professor Terhart, met at the 2017 plenary session to shed light on IFS developments over the past two years and, in its advisory capacity, presented perspectives and opportunities for further development to determine.


Sub content


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




Social Media

ResearchGate Twitter
YouTube LinkedIn