Educational Sciences

The Institute of Pedagogy mirrors in its ­diversity the central theoretical and empirical directions within modern educational research. These are grounded in different scientific traditions with a multitude of different methods and developed in discourse and by systematically finding new connections between them.
Changing social conditions are challenges for the educational system and its ongoing development, which the Institute of Pedagogy monitors, supports and scrutinizes. In this context, research is focused on themes including dissolution of the boundaries of pedagogical space, demographic change, educational poverty, the management of heterogeneity, and the 12 or 13 year “Abitur” (university entrance qualifying exam). Taking a historical research approach to such issues additionally helps to put the drama and the apparent innovative content of current trends into perspective. A particular strength of the institute is that it does not content itself with simply observing changes in the educational system, but that it places them critically into the wider contexts of globalization, medialization and economization of culture and society.
In 2011/2012, innovative contributions were made in the following areas:

  • Quality development of schools in difficult situations, evidence-based school development
  • Quality of teaching and lesson planning
  • Central final exams, promoting gifted pupils and cognitive activation, individual support
  • Mobility at older ages
  • Heterogeneity in the educational sector and encouraging participation of young people from a migrant background in education
  • Gender roles in an intercultural context
  • Diversity and educational science
  • International research on Herbartianism
  • School architecture and its pedagogical relevance
  • School cultures under urban change in neighbourhoods
  • Adolescents in network-based educational spaces
  • Educational poverty, unexpected educational paths and preventive healthcare for vulnerable target groups
  • German schools abroad
  • Different spaces of reference and education of peer networks in childhood, analysis of distinctions and inequality effects
  • Intercultural education and social structure, migration and ethnic minorities, cities and regions
  • Education under segregation, confidence in education, constructions of ethnicity in pedagogical practice and public discourse
  • Development of educational science on the basis of Critical Theory
  • Methods and methodology of qualitative educational research

Having appointed Ingelore Mammes and Anja Tervooren as professors for primary education and childhood research, the institute is intensifying its research efforts relating to educational processes at preschool and primary school level. This development is also being supported by establishment of the primary school research lab, G-Lab. In another overarching area of the institute’s profile, various research efforts are brought together under the heading of “Urban educational spaces under conditions of social, ethnic, and cultural diversity”. This field is similarly being strengthened by the recent appointment of Professors Carsten Keller, Nicolle Pfaff and Anja Tervooren.
One focus of the institute is spatial school and educational research, which is anchored in the education and social affairs focus of the University’s Main Research Area of “Urban Systems”. In this area, the DFG project “School space and school culture” was successfully completed in 2012 and funding was approved for the follow-up project on “School locations” (Professor Böhme) for three more years. Another project, funded by the DFG for the years 2012–2014, will use analyses of auto-portrayals to reconstruct adolescents’ self-constructions in network-based educational spaces (Hagedorn).
Many of the projects conducted at the Institute of Pedagogy are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Three projects of the Stebis network (Stebis stands for ‘Steuerung im Bildungssystem’ or governance in the educational system), which is part of the BMBF “Empirical educational research” funding priority, are located at the institute (Professors van Ackeren, Clausen, Pfaff). In addition to these are one project in each of the Literacy and Prevention Research funding priorities (Professor Bauer). Having reached the maximum duration of funding, the third funding phase of the DFG Research Unit Teaching and Learning of Science (NWU) expired in 2012, while the associated DFG Research Training Group of the same name, conducted with participation of the Institute of Pedagogy, is receiving funding for one further year (Professor van Ackeren). Another project funded by the DFG focused on steering effects of educational standards (Professor Kühn). Applications for DFG funding of various other projects are currently being prepared. Federal state funding was obtained for a project on university entrance qualification (“Abitur”) after 12 or 13 years (NRW: Professor van Ackeren) and a project on promoting gifted children in schools (Hessen: Professors van Ackeren, Clausen).
Further external funds were granted by foundations including Stiftung Mercator, the Hertie Foundation, the Alfred Krupp and Friedrich ­Alfred Krupp Foundation. Added to these are a number of projects financed by sponsors from industry and business. In 2011, the “KANU” project (Professor Bauer) was awarded the health prize of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2012, Sven Kluge was awarded the Junior ­Researchers Prize for outstanding work in the field of educational research by the DGfE, the German Association of Educational Research.