The Center for Research on Education and School Development (IFS) at the TU Dortmund 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 IFS was founded in 1973 as the "Center for School Development Research Education Research and Development" by the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and was affiliated with the former Pedagogical University of Dortmund. It quickly developed into a recognized academic institution of national importance, and a pioneer in education research, school development, as well as the structural and quantitative trends in education. The founder and former director of the IFS was Prof. em. Dr. Hans Günter Rolff. From 2005-2014 the Institute was directed by Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bos. As of 2015 the IFS is directed by Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany.
Research of empirical school development and educational science at the IFS is conducted in interdisciplinary teams. Educational, psychological, and sociological theories are developed, applied to core themes of education research and empirically tested. Depending on the research project a wide range of research designs (e.g., longitudinal, large-scale, intervention), survey methods (including questionnaires, interviews, competence tests, and videography), and quantitative and qualitative methods of analyzes are utilized.
The IFS is divided into three research areas, differentiated by emphasis:
The IFS is actively participating in the broader research community through publications, lectures, conference participation, and through interdisciplinary collaborative research projects at the national and international levels. In addition, the IFS maintains close contact with schools, and regional and national educational administration. This combination of knowledge transfer from and into educational practice and academic exchange with national and international research partners is a particular strength of the IFS.
23.03.2017 – On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of German-Kazakh diplomatic relations, Dr. Annika Ohle visited the educational conference "Together to shape our future: education in Germany and Kazakhstan" in Astana, Kazakhstan. In addition to a presentation on "Situation and challenges in the German school system" intensive exchange supported the bilateral relations successfully.
22.03.2017 – The edited volume Settling in the Schools – Chances and Challenges during the Integration Process of Refugee Minors presents a collection of contributions from scientists and practitioners on the integration of refugee minors in the German school system, dealing with diverse topics such as integration in the classroom, fostering of language acquisition and support for traumatized children. In addition, experts from education administration, politics, research and practice give their assessment of the current situation.
20.03.2017 – As part of the fifth meeting of the Society for Empirical Educational Research in Heidelberg March, 12th-15th 2017, the IFS was strongly represented. Researchers from all research areas of the IFS were successfully involved through individual contributions and various symposia under the overall theme of the conference "Mastering societal challenges through education".
10.03.2017 – In a third stay by Professor McElvany as Visiting Researcher at the University of California's National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) in Los Angeles, scientific exchange and cooperation between researchers from both institutions were further strengthened. As a result, a research project „Instruction in diverse classrooms: Teacher education and assessment through complex simulations“, is launched at IFS, which designs a simulation-based online tool for teacher training and examines its effectiveness.
UCLA - National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST):
01.03.2017 – As a tool for monitoring school systems that is based on data and focused on equal opportunities, the Chancenspiegel draws the attention of scholars and the public to a key social policy goal: reducing institutionally rooted educational inequality. This final edition of the report series examines the development trends of the school systems in Germany since the first PISA survey. The statistical time series sometimes demonstrate considerable developmental differences between the school systems of individual Federal States, but it also reflects trends at the federal level.
Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung (IFS)
Campus Nord (CDI Gebäude)
Tel. +49 (0) 231 / 755-7955
Fax +49 (0) 231 / 755-5517