Educational Sciences

Institute of Pedagogy

The Institute of Pedagogy combines historical, systematic analysis of issues relating to education science theory with quantitative and qualitative empirical research on aspects of growing up in contemporary society, professional development and professionalisation, teaching, learning and educational processes in classrooms, schools, in the family and in society, as well as on the structural development of pedagogical institutions and the education system in different social contexts. Current priorities are analysis of individual educational processes in political and intercultural learning, analysis of school settings in their social context, and studies on professional development in teaching.

The broad participation of members of the Institute in the BMBF funding priority “Evidence-Based Governance in the German Educational System” (SteBis) with three projects on evidence-based school development (Prof. Isabell van ­Ackeren, Prof. Clausen), quality development strategies for schools in socially deprived areas (van Ackeren), and successful multicultural schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (Prof. Nicolle Pfaff) is indicative of a particular strength in this field.

The work that has attracted the greatest response inside and outside the academic discussion is research on the length of secondary education, in grammar schools (Kühn, van Ackeren), a hotly debated topic among the public at the present time. The research has found little evidence of differences between eight or nine years of grammar school education (G8 or G9) in the performance of and burden on pupils.

An important structural development is the “Methodenzentrum Qualitative Bildungsforschung” (MzQB, with Prof. Böhme as the foundation board spokesperson), which has been established to pool existing expertise and strengthen the role of qualitative methods in educational research, supporting young scientists, and the educational science programmes. Its acquisition of the “Childhood and youth in urban transformation” data archive project created the basis for empirical studies on questions of growing up in a historical and contemporary context.

Three DFG projects are currently being conducted at the Institute (Böhme, Kühn, Prof. Göbel). Further DFG proposals are in preparation. Alongside these, projects are underway that are funded by the EU, the BMBF, the State of NRW and various foundations (including Mercator, Hertie, Hans-Böckler Foundation).

In addition to individual research projects on an international basis, members of the Institute are internationally visible through their publications in various languages, presence at international conferences with peer review processes, and involvement in international networks in their ­relevant research fields. It is of note in this context that Prof. Rotraud Coriand took over as Chair of the Internationale Herbart Gesellschaft in 2013 following organisation and documentation of its conference in Essen.

Activities in current research fields are accompanied by initiatives particularly in childhood and youth research and teaching and learning in schools. A special focus of attention is improving the structural conditions for and content of teaching degree programmes. Present concepts in connection with the BMBF’s Teacher Education Quality Offensive have encouraged increased ­cooperation within the Institute and greater ­mutual recognition of different methodological approaches.