Empirical Educational Research

Graduate Training

The ZeB was also able to support graduate training and education in empirical educational research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In addition to organising and coordinating inter­national summer and winter schools (August 2012 and February 2013), it organised and supported several other national workshops. One of these was a workshop on publishing strategies, at which experienced professors from various fields of ­empirical educational research reported on the various options available and what, how and where work could or should be published. The workshop was designed to introduce participants to the various requirements of national and international publishing and provide them with ­advice from experienced researchers on how to get their work published, with the aim of raising the number of contributions accepted at international conferences in the long term. An “evening of empirical educational research” was also organised through the ZeB and offered researchers the ­opportunity to learn about other members’ new research projects and provided a forum for direct exchange between them. The ZeB also organised a “proposal coaching” event, at which ZeB members experienced in making DFG applications advised junior researchers and held individual coaching sessions to discuss their test proposals.

The expertise of the researchers within the Main Research Area of Empirical Educational Research has also been in demand beyond the UDE in recent years. Three members of the UDE (Prof. Hans E. Fischer, Prof. Elke Sumfleth, Prof. Maik Walpuski) were appointed as coordinators for chemistry and physics education for a project commissioned by the KMK (Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the “Länder” in the Federal Republic of Germany) and conducted by the IQB in Berlin to evaluate standards for natural sciences at lower secondary level (“Evaluation der Standards für die Naturwissenschaften in der Sekundarstufe I, ESNaS). Prof. Stefan Rumann was entrusted with evaluating the resulting test assignments. The groundwork conducted by these research groups forms the basis of the comparative study at German “Länder” level, which was published in 2013.

Between 2008 and 2012, Prof. Angela Sandmann, Prof. Elke Sumfleth and Prof. Hans E. Fischer headed the independent commission ­responsible for quality assurance of the central “Abitur” examinations in NRW for biology, chemistry and physics. The State of NRW is currently responsible for coordinating the formulation of exam questions, with Prof. Elke Sumfleth acting as scientific consultant for chemistry.