How can children receive optimal support in their development? What risks exist concerning their learning achievement, for example regarding children with learning disorders, ADHD or immigrant children? How do carers and teachers cope with the growing heterogeneity in children’s day-care institutions and schools? What learning measures are promising with respect to providing support to children that is adapted to their individual needs?
IDeA is an interdisciplinary scientific centre, founded in 2008 subject to funding from the LOEWE initiative by the federal state of Hesse. Its founding institutions are the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF), the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Frankfurt Sigmund-Freud Institute. Members of the Center contribute their expertise from the fields of psychology, educational science, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, diverse subject didactics, sociology and psychoanalysis.
IDeA focuses on empirical studies of children at infancy, pre-school and primary school age who for different reasons - e.g. (neuro)cognitive or socio-emotional - bear a higher risk of impairment with respect to cognitive abilities required at school. IDeA assesses developmental pathways of such children and approaches the research question of which pre-school and school learning arrangements are most appropriate for fostering the children’s development.
Research activities are carried out in three themes: Individual Development focuses on developmental and learning processes of children. Adaptive Education is concerned with the identification of children's specific living and learning conditions and determine the extent to which educational programs take these contexts into consideration. Projects in the research theme of Professionalization explore the competencies, orientations, and attitudes of educators and teachers in daycare facilities, kindergartens, and elementary schools.
Research at the IDeA Center combines comprehensive longitudinal studies with focused experimental designs to study measures in institutional settings as well as informal learning environments. The IDeA Center also applies qualitative approaches to assessing children, teachers and carers. The scope of methods spans interviews, achievement tests observations of behaviour and even the application of cutting-edge neuropsychological methods.
Selected IDeA projects at DIPF
- BiPeer – Facilitating German Reading skills in bilingual primary school children by peer-learning
- BiPeer explores ways to support German reading competency of turkish-german bilingual primary school children using peer-learning methods.
- FLUX – Assessment of Cognitive Performance Fluctuations in the School Context
- The project aims at investigating daily fluctuations in children’s cognitive performance in the school context by applying ambulatory assessment techniques.
- Hector – Formative Evaluation of Hector Children’s Academies
- Hector-children’s academies are extracurricular institutions that offer support to particularly gifted children under the age of ten; they endorse a holistic approach. The aim of the evaluation project is to determine whether the individual children's acadamies achieve the desired effects in the development of the children.
- IGEL – Individual support and adaptive learning environments in primary school
- The project IGEL aims at evaluating three different teaching approaches (scaffolding instructional discourse, formative assessment, and peer-assisted learning) in primary school science education.
- LeA-Training – Learning Acceleration Training
- The focus of project LeA-Training is to investigate a reading fluency training program. The project aims at identifying the underlying mechanisms resulting in reading improvement to effectively implement the training for children with reading difficulties.
- LexPro – Processes of reading and methods of intervention in dyslexic readers
- The project focused on procedures of reading of struggling readers in the 5th and 6th grades. Two main questions were examined: 1. What are the underlying processes of reading in dyslexic children beyond the early years of reading acquisition. 2. How can these processes be enhanced or changed.
- PELIKAN – Perspectives of early childhood educators and primary school teachers on the implementation of compensatory education in kindergarten and primary schools
- The project PELIKAN focuses on factors that influence effective implementation of compensatory education for enhancing school readiness in kindergarten
- ReAL – Neurobehavioral Development of Reading and Arithmetic Skills - A Longitudinal Study
- The project ReAL examines the development of children's reading and calculation skills over the course of elementary school, using a combination of behavioral and neurophysiological (EEG, MRI) measures.
- SASCHA - Social and Acadademic School Transition Challenges
- The project SASCHA studies the adaptation of the transition from primary to secondary school. Specifically, daily academic and social challenges of the transition as well as coping mechanisms are studied.
- WorlD – Working memory and scholastic learning in children with intellectual disabilities
- In the project WorlD, we examine the role working memory plays for learning to read, write and calculate in children with intellectual disabilities (ID).