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Supporting Children’s Individual Learning: DIPF and Jacobs Foundation Launch Partnership

How can contemporary technology serve to find out more about different learning prerequisites of children and how to offer them targeted support? DIPF will pursue these questions in a strategic partnership with the Jacobs Foundation. Central to the co-operation are a new research project and an assistant professorship.

The inclusion of disabled children, support of gifted children, and the integration of immigrant children: for different reasons, demands on pre-school and school institutions have risen to accommodate for diverse learning needs. A strategic partnership between the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) and the Jacobs Foundation will investigate these. “Supported by the Jacobs Foundation, we will use new technological opportunities to research individual learning prerequisites of children to better understand how they can be offered individualised support“, says Professor Dr. Marcus Hasselhorn, Executive Director of DIPF.

“The science of learning is one of the main topics that we focus on at the Jacobs Foundation and we are particularly interested in the limits and possibilities of individualised learning. We are looking forward to finding out more about the conditions that are fundamental to learning new skills, and to the development of children and young people, as well as the consequences for learning environments, institutions and technologies”, Simon Sommer, Head of Research at the Jacobs Foundation, explains.

The new research project ”Understanding and Improving Daily Cognitive and Affective Within-Child Dynamics in the School Context“ (UPWIND) constitutes a central element of the partnership. “We assess the influence of factors such as sleep, stress, or physical activity on cognitive performance and children’s emotional well-being“, Professor Dr. Florian Schmiedek from DIPF, who will manage the project, describes. The method of ‘ambulatory assessment’ will be used by the researchers to measure behaviour, experiences, emotions, and cognitive performance, all of which might change within and across days. During their normal school day, children will use a smartphone to work on tasks, and respond to questions in a playful manner. The UPWIND project team will then investigate whether the information thus gained can serve to develop individual support measures.

The project exemplifies how psychological research can be linked with contemporary technology. Potentially, insights into different learning needs of children and individually adaptive learning methods can lead to the design of customised online courses and computer-based cognitive trainings. An assistant professorship for psychology will soon be appointed by DIPF and the Goethe University Frankfurt to focus on such topics, specialising in individual learning support. This professorship constitutes another core element of the partnership with the Jacobs Foundation. The professor’s research group will collaborate closely with the UPWIND team.


DIPF: Professor Dr. Marcus Hasselhorn, +49 (0)69 24708-214, aGFzc2VsaG9ybkBkaXBmLmRl
UPWIND project: Professor Dr. Florian Schmiedek, +49 (0)69 24708-820, c2NobWllZGVrQGRpcGYuZGU=
Philip Stirm, DIPF, +49 (0)69 24708-123, c3Rpcm1AZGlwZi5kZQ==, www.dipf.de/en/

About DIPF:

The German Institute for International Educational Research (Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung – DIPF) delivers empirical educational research, digital infrastructures and targeted knowledge transfer, thus contributing to coping with challenges in education. Knowledge for education is processed and documented by the Leibniz Institute to support science, politics and practice in education – to the benefit of society.

About the Jacobs Foundation:

The Jacobs Foundation operates globally in the field of child and youth development, it was established by entrepreneur Klaus J. Jacobs in Zurich in 1989. The Jacobs Foundation funds research projects, intervention programmes and science institutions with an annual budget of ca. 40 million Swiss francs. The Foundation is highly committed to fostering excellence and scientific evidence. By investing 200 million euros in the Jacobs University Bremen (2006), the Jacobs Foundation set new standards in the field of private funding.

last modified Jun 29, 2017