Educational research has often been criticised as being too theoretical and inaccessible to a non-academic audience. Especially large scale assessments have been accused of reducing learning to achievement and performance rankings, failing to take into account the realities of the classroom. At a plenary debate on the challenges and potentials of science communication organised by the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER) and the Leibniz Education Research Network Alliance (LERN) in Berlin in January 2017, one of the challenges discussed was how educational researchers can ensure educational practitioners benefit from their findings. One of the panellists was Professor Eckhard Klieme, Director of the Department of Educational Quality and Evaluation at DIPF. We met him after the discussion to find out about his view on the collaboration between researchers and practitioners, why he feels it is important that young researchers sometimes think beyond publications and why it is sometimes easier to turn to English in science communication.
Interdisciplinary cooperation in educational research can present a challenge to young scientists. The fields they come from vary from pedagogy to sociology to psychology, all with their own rules, paradigms and ways of operating. A workshop organised by the College for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (CIDER) and the Leibniz Education Research Network Alliance (LERN) held in Berlin in January 2017 brought researchers with different backgrounds together and offered them the opportunity to present and discuss their current work. The workshop included a plenary debate on the challenges and potentials of science communication, an issue any educational researcher will be confronted with sooner or later in their career. In accordance with the idea of interdisciplinarity, the panellists also came from different backgrounds, ranging from economics to innovation management and international cooperation. We were at the event to hear their stance on the current status of science communication. One thing quickly became clear: The audiences of science communication are as diverse as the scientific approaches underlying educational research.
By Stephanie Pauly
Professor Dominique Lafontaine is an associate and regular visitor to DIPF. Since a sabbatical in 2012, the expert for reading literacy, comparative studies, teaching and learning processes, quantitative methods, development of cognitive and non-cognitive instruments has kept close ties with the institute. During a stay in Frankfurt earlier this year, she talked to dipfblog.com about the cooperation of her research center – the aSPe (Analysis of Systems and Practices in Education) – and the German PISA team at DIPF.
Question: “What is your relation with DIPF? How did you get in contact?”
Lafontaine: “In 2012, I made a sabbatical six months stay at DIPF. I had met Eckhard Klieme a couple of times in PISA and EARLI biannual meetings, and I appreciated a lot his expertise about comparative international studies. During my stay, I was mainly involved in the PISA 2015 contextual questionnaires development, collaborating with Nina Jude, Susanne Kuger, Sonja Bayer and Svenja Vieluf. I was also involved in different activities such as the PHDipf Academy, the DFG research group… It was very fruitful to discover the DIPF – this famous research center, and to notice the amount of permanent resources dedicated to research in education in Germany. Obviously, I had some goals for my research stay, but the benefits were beyond my expectations. The main and unexpected benefit was reminding me the importance of theoretical foundations. I had been involved in international studies since the early nineties as a national project manager in IEA studies and then in PISA, I was also a member of the PISA reading expert group since the beginning of PISA 2000, so I had a long experience in the development of questionnaires. At DIPF, I learned how paramount it is to be rigorous at the conceptual level, how to articulate constructs and empirical data, and became more aware about methodological issues such as response styles and cross-cultural biases. In addition, before coming at DIPF, I did not know that one of Klieme’s main interests was teaching processes, which is also a subject I teach at the Université de Liège. I also observed how Professor Klieme supervises and supports the researchers and especially the Ph-D students. I was really impressed by his capacity to support the scholars‘ own thinking and development, and I learned from him. After six months, I felt quite a strong sense of belonging to the DIPF, and beyond professional relationships, I have some strong bonds of friendships with several people here. Individual collaborations are still going on (joint communications and papers), and I am still involved in some activities such as the PHDipf-academy. I am an associate partner of the DIPF. In 2014, Professor Klieme was made docteur Honoris causa of University of Liège, so the links are strong and in both directions.”
Was passiert eigentlich in der Bildungsforschung in Argentinien? Die Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer des 25. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft werden am kommenden Wochenende einen Einblick erhalten – denn das erste Mal in der Geschichte der Tagung gibt es ein Gastland. Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus dem südamerikanischen Staat präsentieren ihre Arbeit in Vorträgen und Workshops.
Das große Bild – mit welchen Themen sich die Bildungsforschung in Argentinien befasst, welche Institutionen und Organisationen das Feld bestimmen – zeichnet ein Dossier von DIPF-Mitarbeiterin Nadia Cohen mit wichtigen Links und Kontakten, Themen und Trends für Forschende. Die Redakteurin betreut am Informationszentrum Bildung das Portal „Bildung Weltweit“ und erklärt, worauf sie bei der Recherche, Systematisierung und Aufbereitung geachtet hat:
He is working towards rendering a 200-year old idea serviceable to educational research, became a methodologist almost by accident and is now our guest at DIPF. In an interview with DIPFblog, Professor Ph.D. David Kaplan from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a specialist in applied statistics for educational research, talks about his life as a Humboldt fellow in Germany, different ways of working, and Bayesian statistics.
UNEDITED What does this growing multiculturalism imply for the future of countries in Europe? „Education is at least one of the most powerful tools for successful integration and participation“ says Professor Marcus Hasselhorn, who spoke in front of the Arraiolos Group, which includes all non-executive heads of state of the EU. The speech on education and participation, held on September 22, in exact wording:
„Populations in most European countries are increasingly multicultural – though to a different extent. In 2012, for example, more than 12 percent of the people living in Europe had not been born in their country of residence. The current flow of refugees has now probably led to a far higher ratio.
THREE QUESTIONS TO Irit Bar-Kochva, scholarship holder at DIPF, researches the development of successful learning and specifically lexical intervention in reading. In our interview, she explains why German and Spanish children learn reading very fast compared to English pupils and how readers who struggle with dyslexia might be helped.
Was macht eigentlich die Arbeit von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern im internationalen Vergleich aus? Eine gute Ansprechpartnerin für diese Frage ist Professorin Dr. Sandy Taut. Die gebürtige Chemnitzerin studierte zunächst in Köln, wurde dann in den USA in Erziehungswissenschaft promoviert und arbeitet inzwischen seit neun Jahren in Chile, wo sie in der Hauptstadt Santiago Professorin am Zentrum für Bildungsmessung der „Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile“ ist. Im Rahmen eines längeren Forschungsaufenthaltes in Deutschland war die Bildungsforscherin vor Kurzem zu Gast am DIPF. Im Kurzinterview erzählt sie ein wenig von ihren internationalen Erfahrungen. Weiterlesen
Die Digitalisierung sämtlicher Gesellschaftsbereiche macht auch vor der Wissenschaft nicht halt und verändert das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten. Einer der DIPF-Mitarbeiter, der sich federführend damit befasst, was diese Entwicklung für die Bildungsforschung und ihre Wirkung bedeutet, ist Dr. Christoph Schindler, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Informationszentrum Bildung des DIPF und Koordinator des Projektes Centrum für Digitale Forschung in den Geistes-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaften (CEDIFOR) und des Bereichs eHumanities am IZB. Über die Leibniz-Gemeinschaft wurde die University of Alberta in Edmonton (Kanada) auf Schindler aufmerksam und lud ihn nach Nordamerika ein, wo er als deutscher Experte für Digital Humanities an zwei wissenschaftlichen Konferenzen teilnahm und am Lehrstuhl von Professor Geoffrey Rockwell Kontakte und neue Impulse sammeln konnte. Hier im DIPFblog berichtet er davon:
In der Abteilung Bildungsqualität und Evaluation gibt es ein neues Gesicht: Seit Kurzem ist Dr. Anna-Katharina Praetorius Habilitandin am DIPF. Sie hat Pädagogik, Grundschulpädagogik und Psychologie an der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg studiert, war anschließend Promotionsstipendiatin an der Universität Koblenz-Landau im DGF-Graduiertenkolleg „Unterrichtsprozesse“ und später Mitarbeiterin am Lehrstuhl für Psychologie der Universität Augsburg. Weiterlesen