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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

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

Professor Dr. Michael Becker is head of the working group that deals primarily with individual developmental trajectories and institutional contexts.

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Research Area

Deputy Professor PD Dr. Gaspard deals with heterogeneity in the development of learning and achievement motivation in school contexts as well as factors influencing this development.

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Former research area

Educational Research and Quality Assurance

Team Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bos


Empirical Educational Research with a focus on Social Heterogeneity

Team Prof. Dr. Aileen Edele


School Development and School Efficacy

Team Prof. Dr. Heinz Günter Holtappels


IFS to present results at PAEPSY 2021

Videokonferenz_iStock-1224641809_Olena Kychygina

13.09.2021 – The IFS is providing its expertise at this year's PAEPSY, which is taking place online. In addition to chairing a symposium on Stereotype Threat, the IFS contributes papers on reading literacy, the relevance of parents for students' school outcomes, the mediating influence of motivational factors on social background with regard to high school graduation, and the importance of different instructional characteristics for the success of school-based civic education. We wish all participants an exciting conference!


Daria Benden receives EARLI SIG8 Student Research Excellence Award


02.09.2021 – Daria Benden, a research associate in the Lauermann WG, received the EARLI SIG 8 Student Research Excellence Award on September 2 at this year's European Association for Learning and Instruction conference (EARLI 2021). The paper addresses "Short-Term Relations Between Students' Situated Expectancies and Task Values in the Math Domain." Congratulations on this great accomplishment!


Findings from research project ST² presented at CDME


27.08.2021 – IFS participated in this year's digital CDME conference (Cultural Diversity, Migration, and Education Conference), which focused on "Social belonging and cohesion in multicultural schools and societies". Together with the project partners from the DFG-funded project Stereotype Threat, the project team addressed the topic of "(Absence of) Stereotype Threat in Elementary, Secondary, and Higher Education: The Importance of Students' and Teachers' Identities" in a symposium. The contribution of the IFS focused on Stereotype Threat in learning situations of learners with linguistic migration background.


IFS participates in EARLI 2021


23.08.2021 – Renowned scholars from around the world will meet for the 19th time from August 23-28 for the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) conference, which this year will take place online. They will discuss the conference theme "Education and Citizenship: Learning and Instruction and the Shaping of Futures." The IFS also contributes numerous presentations. Staff members will present their latest research findings, including on the effects of Stereotype Threat, whether teachers' competency expectations have an impact on students' academic performance, or how teachers can be motivated to attend all-day schools.


Current research results


New journal article in Unterrichtswissenschaft published

Lepper, C., Stang, J. & McElvany, N. (2021). Bedeutung der wahrgenommenen Motivierungsqualität für intrinsische Motivation und Selbstkonzept von Grundschulkindern [Importance of perceived motivational support for intrinsic motivation and self-concept of elementary students]. Unterrichtswissenschaft. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42010-021-00121-y

The study examined whether 4th grade students’ perception of motivational support in mathematics instruction was related to intrinsic motivation and ability self-concept in math. Thereby, students’ math grade was taken into account as a motivational determinant and the feeling of competence was considered as a mediator.

The results showed that students’ perceived motivational quality in math was positively associated with both motivational variables. The effects on ability self-concept were mediated by an increased feeling of competence in class. Thus, motivational support was a significant factor for students’ motivational variables.

Further information (German)


New journal article in Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie published

Stang, J., König, S. & McElvany, N. (2021). Implizite Einstellungen von Kindern im Grundschulalter gegenüber Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie. 1-14. doi: 10.1024/1010-0652/a000320

What attitudes do primary school children have toward people with a migration background? This question was examined in the context of the article. In addition, it was examined whether elementary school children with a Turkish and without a migration background differ in their attitudes. Furthermore, it was analyzed whether, for example, identification with the host culture and culture of origin were related to implicit attitudes. Data from 240 fourth graders formed the basis of the data. An implicit association test was used to measure implicit attitudes.


New journal article in Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaften published

Ohle-Peters, A., Igler, J., Schlitter, T., Teerling, A., Köller, O. & McElvany, N. (2021). Unterrichtsqualität und intrinsische Lesemotivation im Kontext der Bund-Länder-Initiative „Bildung durch Sprache und Schrift“ (BiSS). Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11618-021-01022-7

The statewide initiative “Education through Language and Writing” (BiSS) focussed (i.a.) on promoting students’ reading comprehension. This longitudinal study with 59 classes investigated a) relations between BiSS-participation and instructional quality, and b) relations between instructional quality and students’ intrinsic reading motivation. Multilevel analyses revealed a small positive effect of BiSS-participation on differentiation in reading instruction and relations between instructional quality and students’ intrinsic reading motivation.

Reading Research Quarterly

New journal article in Reading Research Quarterly published

Lepper, C., Stang, J. & McElvany, N. (2021). Gender Differences in Text-Based Interest: Text Characteristics as Underlying Variables. Reading Research Quarterly. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.420

The study investigates to what extent different text characteristics (text genre, gender-typed topic, gender of the main characters) and students’ gender are systematically related to elementary students’ text-based interest. Using experimentally varied texts, significant differences in students’ text-based interests were found depending on the text genre and topic of the text. Moreover, gender disparities based on the text topic and protagonists’ gender were significant. The results underscore the relevance of text- and person-related characteristics for elementary students’ interest in texts.

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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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