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Latest IFS research results presented at GEBF 2018


19.02.2018 – Latest IFS research results presented at GEBF 2018
The IFS was represented again this year with numerous contributions at the conference of the Society for Empirical Research in Education (GEBF). Employees from all working groups presented their latest research results in symposia and individual presentations. The conference took place from 15 to 17 February 2018 in Basel 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. In view of the Dortmund Symposium, contributions by renowned experts will take up the latest research findings and discussions on the conditions of successful educational careers in social heterogeneity. The topic of digitisation in school education, which is currently the subject of much discussion, will be focussed on in the second volume of the conference series of the IFS Education Dialogue, with special emphasis on the various perspectives from 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" for some 240 school principals from all primary schools and support centres as well as school councillors 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 – In the news portal "Welt" a group of experts from educational research, practice and politics discussed the abolition of mandatory primary school recommendations in many countries. According to McElvany, the fact that "pupils from less educated classes at secondary schools and secondary schools are underrepresented" can be defused "when teachers decide on the secondary school." Discussions were also held on the current situation of attending different types of secondary schools with regard to equal opportunities.
Foto: 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 coordinates the action at the IFS.


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 represents the project manangement at 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 IFS Research Report. The report informs about the institutes´ key research areas, conferences, training of young scientists, knowledge transfer and internationalization. Beside 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 its problem areas and paths to their solution 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.


Professor McElvany at WDR5 Funkhausgespräch


16.11.2017 – Reading, writing, arithmetic - cultural techniques in danger? Renowned representatives of science (Prof. McElvany), politics (State Secretary Richter, FDP), practice (teacher Lichtenberg) and journalism (journalist Himmelrath) discussed this topic on 16 November 2017. "School and parents need to collaborate on reading socialization, taking into account different interests of children," said Nele McElvany, who highlighted the importance of linking child-friendly reading socialization, parental support, and reading-learning.


Adjuncted Professor Heidi Harju-Luukkainen (UCLA) visited IFS

Heidi und Nele

13.11.2017 – Professor Heidi Harju Luukkainen (UCLA, USA) held a public lecture on the topic The Finnish Education System and International assessments as part of their scientific residency at the IFS. In her research she focuses on student assessment and justice in education with international expertise, which has developed numerous links for intensive exchange and cooperation projects.


Open Day 2017: IFS successfully represents Faculty 12

Tag der offenen Tür 2017

12.11.2017 – Also this year many interested people found their way to the IFS at the open day and were informed about research and teaching at the IFS. Under the motto "Hands-on school research", visitors were able to take part in a written survey, whereby a short questionnaire on image-text integration could be completed. A small poster exhibition completed the successful information offer.


Dr. Daniel Kasper & Dr. Heike Wendt won this year’s IEA-best paper award


27.10.2017 – Daniel Kasper and Heike Wendt (IFS) together with Sebastian Bergold and Ricarda Steinmayr won this year’s IEA Richard M. Wolf Memorial Award for their paper: Academic competencies: their interrelatedness and gender differences at their high end, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology. The team will be donating their prize of € 500 to the organization Scholars at Risk (https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/).

Link to the article: http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fedu0000140


IFS facilitates dialogue with Mosul University on perspectives for reconstruction and reconciliation


24.10.2017 – Reconstruction and reconciliation are major challenges in the destroyed city of Mosul. Mosul University has to play a major part in these processes. The IFS, under the leadership of Dr. Heike Wendt, started a program to support Mosul University in this challenging task. Currently the IFS is hosting 11 professors and staff members from various academic disciplines to discuss perspectives and develop strategies for sustainable reconstruction and reconciliation processes.


Members of IFS strongly represented at different national and international conferences


28.09.2017 – In the last few month members of IFS presented their research results in talks, symposia, and poster presentations at many national and international conferences successfully. The intensive exchange and inspiring discussions supported (inter-)national networking in scientific community.


Heterogeneity within secondary school extended learning opportunities – Annual Ganz In Conference


19.09.2017 – At the 19.09.2017 the annual conference oft he Project Ganz In took place at the TU Dortmund. More than 100 active participants i.a. from the schools of the project, the universities of Dortmund, Bochum and Duisburg-Essen, the administration of NRW, the Mercator foundation and the QUA-LIS, came together to discuss the matter of Heterogeneity within secondary school extended learning opportunities. Prof. Ada Sasse (HU Berlin) gave an introducing impulse.


BE WELL at School – Survey with over 1.000 students


18.09.2017 – In the context of the research project BE WELL at School (BELLS) IFS-researcher, in cooperation with the Walnut Valley Unified School District and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matt Witmer, explored high school students’ perceptions of their school environment and their feelings of academic well-being. Well-being and motivation are core resources for academic learning and lifelong satisfaction. The study is based on an online survey. We are looking forward to the exiting results.


Promoting Intercultural Dialog – Theater Pedagogy meets Empirical Educational Research


31.07.2017 – Chen Alon, a co-founder of “Combatants for Peace” and nominee of nobel peace prize in 2017, visited the IFS from 24th till 27th of July 2017. He was a visitor in the workshop Inter-Cultural Dialogue Through Theatre for students of TU Dortmund, which was given by Nele Mc Elvany and dealt with intercultural dialog, power structures, and conflict confrontation. Students had the opportunity to get to know possible application strategies of these technics in school contexts. Furthermore, he held a talk to the topic of “Inter-Cultural dialogue through theatre - Theories and methods of intercultural education in diverse classrooms“.


Teacher Training Center from Shanghai at the IFS


27.07.2017 – On July 19, the IFS welcomed Ms. Hua from the Teacher Training Center in Shanghai, China. Commonalities and perspectives for potential cooperation were explored in joint discussions. The practical orientated Teacher Training Center in Shanghai strives to broaden his international network and to intensify his international exchange to evaluate and develop his activities on a scientific basis.


Surveys in the projects FALKE and BiSS EvalLesen successfully completed


18.07.2017 – Over the past few weeks, the teams of the projects FALKE and BiSS EvalLesen have successfully assessed students, parents, teachers, and primary school teachers in regard to students’ reading competencies and their corresponding context factors. In addition to the paper based questionnaire survey, FALKE also used tablets as a survey medium. The German-wide surveys could only be carried out with the support of many schools and families - Thanks to all involved!


Appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Decade of Literacy and Basic Education

Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany

14.07.2017 – Professor McElvany was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Decade of Literacy and Basic Education. At the end of June, a meeting of the Scientific Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees of the National Decade took place in Bonn, in which the Advisory Council gave an opinion on the further definition and implementation of the objectives and recommendations of the Decade.


Talk by Prof. Liliana Garces from University of Austin, Texas


06.07.2017 – Professor Liliana Garces visited the IFS on the occasion of a guest lecture during this year's lecture series. In addition to her talk on the subject of "Education Policy Studies: Affirmative Action in the US - historical beginnings and latest developments" an intensive exchange to current research and perspectives took place.


3rd Dortmund Symposium was complete success


23.06.2017 – At 22nd of June the 3rd Dortmund Symposium addressed the issue of conditions of successful education careers in societal heterogeneity. Scientific exchange was supported by contributions from education research, educational sciences, psychology, didactics, and sociology. Many experts could be won for contributions: amongst other professor Solga with team, professor Schindler, professor em. Esser, professor Hardy, and professor Maaz. Furthermore, young researchers presented their research projects at the main meeting as well as at a poster session the day before.


Extension of the project Developing Potentials – Empowering Schools till September 2019


08.06.2017 – The Stiftung Mercator agreed with an extension of the joint project Developing Potentials – Empowering Schools till the end of September 2019.
Therefore, the school development work on network- and school-level of 34 project schools can be continued till the end of 2018. Especially transfer processes in schools and systemic contexts can be planed and implemented sustainably. The last year provides additional time for analyses of the obtained quantitative and qualitative data.


International cooperation with University of Mosul started


22.05.2017 – With ISIS takeover in parts of Iraq in 2014 the University of Mosul has been forced to flee the city. Since 2015 the university offers a reduced but impressive academic program serving about 14.000 students in exile. TU Dortmund University has in April, under the leadership of Dr. Heike Wendt (IFS) and Dr. Hasan Sinemillioglu (Faculty of Spatial Planning), successfully started a support-program, aiming at supporting young scientific staff members and developing strategies for the time after crisis. For a kick-off and development meetings the project leadership met the university presidency and staff members in Dohuk.


Early English Education at Primary school less effective than expected


10.05.2017 – In cooperation between the English Didactics of the Ruhr-University Bochum (Dr. Nils Jaekel und Prof. Markus Ritter) and the IFS within the project Ganz In the long-term effects of early english learning up from class one were evaluated. The early starters did better in class five however they were surpassed by their peers in class seven.
This result quickly agitated medial attention.


Presented results of scientific monitoring of the trial phase of "Community School"

Gemeinschaftsschule Projektlogo

05.05.2017 – At the beginning of May the team of the scientific evaluation of the trial phase of "Learning Longer Together" in North Rhine-Westphalia led by professor Holtappels and professor McElvany in Dusseldorf presented the final results of the project at an advisory board meeting. Ten community schools had been accompanied and examined for three years. In addition to the working team of the community school project and the project PRIMUS were also representatives of the Ministry of Education and Training of the State of NRW.


Dr. Miriam Gebauer represented the IFS at AERA 2017

Dr. Miriam Gebauer

27.04.2017 – At the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, Dr. Miriam Gebauer successfully presented the IFS with the symposium "Conditions and Consequences of Educational Inequalities". On the subject of "Knowledge to Action: Achieving the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunity" international scientists met for common exchange and discourse in San Antonio, Texas from April 27 to May 1th, 2017.


Teacher education in international dialogue: TU Dortmund University students travel to Turkey


29.03.2017 – As part of innovative international teacher education program (CoTeach international) Dr. Heike Wendt is currently travelling with eleven students, enrolled in teacher education programs at TU Dortmund university, to Turkey to participate in a joint seminar with students from the DICLE Universität (Diyarbakir). As part of the seminar approaches to multicultural education in the Turkish education system will be explored and discussed in comparison to the German education system.


Shaping our future together: Education in Germany and Kazakhstan


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.


IFS at the 5th GEBF - meeting


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".


Continuation and expansion of international cooperation with CRESST in the US


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):


Chancenspiegel - On equal opportunities and efficiency of the german school systems


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.


Results from TIMSS 2015 published


23.11.2016 – In 2015 Germany participated for the third time in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS 2015). The results from TIMSS 2015 have been published at a press conference in Berlin at 11 a.m. on November 29, 2016. Materials for this press conference and further information on the study are available from the following website:


Länderindikator 2016 has been published


23.11.2016 – The representative study Länderindikator 2016 provides the second cycle of findings on media education in the German school system. This educational monitoring represents the status quo of the implementation of digital media in teaching and learning processes in schools for all 16 federal states, which allows for specific impetus for school development in each state. Considering the domains of schools’ equipment with digital media, instructional use of digital media as well as fostering students’ media-related competencies, developments since the Länderindikator 2015 can be revealed. Moreover, the Länderindikator 2016 introduces teachers’ media-related competencies as a new focus.


1st Dortmund education dialogue encourages to interdisciplinary exchange


19.10.2016 – "To be well received in schools - chances and challenges for integration of young refugees"
On September 29th 2016 participants from educational praxis, administration, politics and research on education met to investigate supporting possibilities for integration of young refugees. Three thematically focused kick-off speeches were presented additional to a panel discussion with Minister Sylvia Löhrmann. Participants highlighted the thematically variance and successful shift between science and practical perspectives.


Successful Integration? Refugees in Schools


26.04.2016 – The integration of more than one hundred thousand refugee minors is a central prevailing challenge of the education systems. The IFS Education Dialogue “Settling in the Schools – Chances and Challenges during the Integration Process of Refugee Minors” on September 29, 2016 aims at transferring scientific findings to educational practitioners, and at facilitating exchange between educational administration, politics, practice and science.


Press Release: All All-Day Schools Are Not the Same


24.02.2016 – German all-day schools (Ganztagsschulen) offer a comprehensive array of educational programs, but are not based on uniform standards and are structured very differently. This is one of the results of a recent, nationwide survey of school directors conducted as part of the long-term study on the development of all-day schools (StEG). The recently published report is based on a representative survey conducted from March to May 2015 of 1,500 school principals from all-day schools.


New Appointments in the Scientific Committee of the IFS


18.01.2016 – Professor Heike Solga and Professor Holger Horz were appointed to the Scientific Committee of the IFS in December 2015. Professor Solga is director of the Berlin Social Science Center and Professor Horz is the scientific director of educational psychology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt and the Executive Director of the Academy for Educational Research and Teacher Training. The IFS welcomes you both and looks forward to working together!
At the same time Professor Herbert Altrichter has retired his position after many years on the Scientific Committee at the IFS. The Institute thanks him sincerely for his thoughtful inspiration and wishes him all the success for the future.


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Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung (IFS)
TU Dortmund
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