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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 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. 

Short film: International comparative school performance studies at IFS

Research projects 


“Biss-EvalLesen” is a comprehensive formative and summative evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of reading and diagnostics programs for elementary school children within the overall program “Education through Language and Writing” (BiSS). The design includes recommendations for further development within the program.

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The IFS at TU Dortmund University is responsible for scientific accompanying research of the project DoProfiL. During the scope of this project researchers involved in teacher education as well as higher education at the TU Dortmund work together headed by the Dortmund competence center for teacher training and educational research (DoKoLL) and rectorship. On the individual level the focus of the investigations is on the development of professional skills of emerging teachers.

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EkK Music

Aim of the project is the development and validation of a test to measure creative competence in the context of music in grades 5 and 6. This is connected with the question whether creative processes in the field of music can be described as competences.

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Integrating ICT in education successfully requires teachers who are 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 differentiated facets of pedagogical media competence can be fostered in teacher education.

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The project addresses the question of how the competence development of students of an education program can be effectively supported by a digital tool for recording and promoting Classroom Management.

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The European Training Network OCCAM is an international research project that provides junior scientists with an international, intersectoral, and interdisciplinary research and training environment. The research questions encompass the fields of the integrity of educational measures, educational settings and processes, as well as governance of resources and decision making in the area of education.

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The aim of the project is the development of an adaptive, computer-based testing process for the measurement of readings skills and competencies of elementary grade students. Of particular importance in the instrument design is test fairness across all student groups.

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Ganz In II

The project focus is on the development of instruction in a selected subject and a subject-specific theme in one of 29 Ganz In schools, itensifying and continuing the sucessful work over the last many years. Support for the transfer process within and between schools has been increased and tranfers to other schools has been made possible.

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The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2021 (PIRLS/IGLU 2021) examines the reading competence of primary school pupils at the end of grade 4. Due to the layout of the study, the pupils’ competences can be compared to those from different countries and parts of the world. IGLU 2021 provides important knowledge in the context of international and national education monitoring.

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The study focuses on the attitudes and motivation of prospective teachers in terms of managing cultural, social, and performance heterogeneity in the classroom. Approaches are divided into cognitive, affective and behavioral components, and are understood as belonging to a teacher’s professional competence.

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Focusing reading literacy LeseDif analyses to what extent strengths and weaknesses of children who are socially disadvantaged and those with migration backgrounds are being influenced by (a) motivational characteristics of the learners and (b) quantitative and qualitative characteristics of instruction.

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This study examines whether motivation for music lessons on the one hand and listening competences on the other hand can be fostered measurably by taking account of motivationally beneficial teaching conditions.

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The National Education Panel Study analyzes educational processes in Germany. The IFS is responsible for the fourth phase (the transition from lower to upper secondary school) of NEPS.

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Cooperation between TU Dortmund University and University of Mosul. The main objective is to support the University of Mosul in times of crisis by supporting young scientific staff members and quality improvement in academic teaching.

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Sprache und Geschlecht

Language and Gender investigates possible differences in the quality of vocabulary knowledge of girls and boys. Using empirical analysis, presumed advantages girls have with words with female connotations and boys with words with male connotations will be investigated.

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StEG is a nationwide research program investigating the quantitative and qualitative development of all-day education and care in Germany. At the Dortmund location, the effects of extra-curricular learning arrangements that promote reading comprehension are studied in all-day schools as part of an intervention study.

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Teach SEG

Effective teacher education and assessment are key tasks for all modern societies. By using the digital revolution for teacher education and assessment, the innovative project proposed will significantly advance teacher training and help improve classroom instruction.

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TIMSS is an international comparative school assessment of mathematics and science competencies, comparing elementary school students’ competencies internationally and describing long-term trends in the German and other educational systems. Focus of the joint research project at IFS is the assessment of instructional quality in fourth grade.

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The study aims at analyzing how the technical and pedagogical support in schools currently is and prospectively should be implemented. Based on surveys and expert interviews a support profile will be compiled which shall serve as a standard for ensuring and further developing ICT-related efforts in schools.

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