School and Education Research

This scientific competence field researches central societal future topics such as "heterogeneity in school and teaching", "digitalization", "democracy/civic literacy" and "inclusion" in the context of different educational areas. In recent years, national and international attention has increasingly focused on inequalities in educational opportunities and success for different social groups. Dortmund and the Rhine-Ruhr region are ideally suited as a research laboratory for these topics due to their special population structure. Through its work, the competence field actively contributes to better identifying young people's potential in the future and promoting it in a targeted manner in schools and lessons.

With their research work, the participating scientists stand for:

  • Different aspects, e.g. gender, migration background, language competence, socio-economic status of families, individual cognitive and motivational conditions, special educational needs.
  • Different contexts, such as schools, classrooms, family, remedial contexts, in-service training, and transfer activities.
  • Different research approaches, e.g., longitudinal, experimental, large scale assessments, qualitative studies, design research, professionalization research.

In the course of the Science Master Plan 2.0, the already existing cooperations will be consolidated, further developed and strategically expanded into an institutionalized network. The concrete design of the focal topics and the research program will shape the future expansion in the network. In addition to institutionalized participation, other forms of integration (e.g., through associate memberships) are also possible. In the course of the thematic development, additional stakeholders can also be integrated to strengthen the field of competence.

The central goal of the competence field "School and Educational Research" is the bundling of research competences in the above-mentioned and other thematic focal points. The development of these various research foci within the framework of a joint, overarching research program will promote and systematically expand the national and international visibility of Dortmund's school and education research.

 Photo: TU Dortmund/Nikolas Golsch


In the initial phase, the focus will be on developing and shaping the joint thematic program (milestone 1). The visibility will then be increased nationally and internationally through joint publications in journals and edited volumes, participation in relevant conferences and congresses (milestone 2), and the organization of joint conferences at the Dortmund location (milestone 3). Finally, the joint research activities should lead to the acquisition of a joint project for the sustainable strengthening of the scientific competence field (milestone 4).

The research results from the topics of heterogeneity, digitization, democracy/civic literacy and inclusion in education can contribute to the development of targeted interventions and support programs as well as their implementation, which are of great relevance for numerous national target groups of educational research. In addition to education policy and education administration, these include in particular educational practice in formal, non-formal and informal learning contexts and the professionalization of teachers. In addition to the development and implementation of potential intervention and support programs, the competence field also pursues an addressee-specific transfer strategy with professionalization measures, publications, e.g. of practical material, regular press work and event formats.

The expansion of the scientific field of competence also aims at further international networking, which is promoted and expanded, among other things, by regular guest stays of renowned researchers in Dortmund. Within the framework of guest lectures in an "Interdisciplinary Discussion Forum", exchange and cooperation are promoted and international visibility is increased through joint publication projects in the focus areas. The organization of a large international conference will bring together the different perspectives and research results at the end of the term of the Science Master Plan 2.0 and contribute to the further international radiance of school and education research.

Participating organizations  


Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany & Prof. Dr. Ricarda Steinmayr (TU Dortmund University)

TU Dortmund University

  • Faculty of Education, Psychology and Educational Research
  • Faculty of Statistics
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Arts and Sport Sciences
  • Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Faculty of Cultural Studies
  • Faculty of Arts and Sport Sciences