IZeF Research Groups
The IZeF currently oversees more than 30 projects from the field of empirical teacher and teaching research, which are organised according to thematic IZeF Research Groups (IZeF-RGs). The IZeF research groups comprise three to nine projects. A detailed description of the projects can be found in our two-year report. Below is a brief description of each project.
Over the past ten years, the competencies of teachers have become increasingly important in empirical educational research. The IZeF-RG focuses on two areas: (1) Projects that essentially focus on conceptualisations for the professional competence of teachers, thereby developing competence models and, based on this, aiming at a measurement with the help of diagnostic procedures. (2) Furthermore, some of the projects also examine assumptions about the effectiveness of teacher education using approaches from competence measurement or they analyse the significance of teacher education competences for the quality of their teaching and the learning on behalf of pupils.
The IZeF-RG Language Education focuses in particular on facets of the professional knowledge of prospective teachers in the field of language and linguistics. The current projects relate specifically to the knowledge of teachers of German and English as a foreign language. The results of the projects open up important perspectives for the initial training of German and English teachers at universities, for the organisation of the practical teacher training semester and for the second phase of teacher training.
The restructuring of the German school system in the course of the implementation of inclusion has led to changed responsibilities on the part of teachers, which particularly affect the increasing integration of general and special needs pedagogical expertise. Since not all teachers are equally prepared for coping with these tasks, this readjustment results in a need for professionalisation with respect to inclusive education, which ideally begins already in the first training phase. The projects of this IZeF-RG deal with current needs and requirements within the framework of state and/or district, school-related or university-wide ventures.
Continuous technological developments and dynamically changing media (offerings) as well as the associated changes in instructive and specialist approaches to teaching and learning are increasingly shaping the design of teacher education. The IZeF-RG Media and Digitalization takes a holistic, interdisciplinary perspective with respect to media in the context of teacher education and aims at the integration of three core areas: Teaching, learning and testing.
Psychological problems are a risk factor for all levels of development. On the other hand, promoting mental health and well-being can increase resilience to stressors and make children, young people and adults more resilient to critical life events and failures. Maintaining and improving mental health therefore plays an important role for educational institutions. In its projects, the IZeF-RG „Mental Health in educational institutions“ attempts to record mental health in educational institutions and to improve it in a multi-modal, multi-stage and multi-professional way.
For at least two decades, the education system has been increasingly confronted with expectations of innovation and reform, which are directed toward the form of teaching, the organisation of schools and the professionalism of teachers. Changes in the education system respond to these expectations and are at the same time inherent in social systems. However, the focus on change does not fully capture the complex social reality of education systems. The flipside of change is the enduring, the remaining, or the persisting aspect of school, teaching and teaching profession. Accordingly, the IZef Research Group pursues two perspectives by asking on the one hand how the education system changes on its different levels and on the other hand how persistent structures affect innovation, reform and development impulses and programmes.