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IDeA Center

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 (Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk) is an interdisciplinary research center in Frankfurt/Main, 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.

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 programmes 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.

The IDeA lab offers its researchers facilities and personnel to support a wide variety of behavioral and neurocognitive studies.

The IDeA Center is co-ordinated and administrated at the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF).
Scientific coordinator: Prof. Dr. Marcus Hasselhorn
Head of IDeA coordination: Dr. Jeanette Ziehm
Head of IDeA lab: Dr. Björn Rump


Selected IDeA projects at DIPF

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 acadamies achieve the desired effects in the development of the children.
iLearn – Individual Formative Assessment for Adaptive Support of Children with Reading Difficulties
This project evaluates the potential of computerised formative assessment to support reading acquisition of children with reading difficulties. Formative assessment enables teachers to adapt their teaching methods to the individual learning progress of their students.
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.
LexPro Training
The project focuses on the enhancement of visual word processing in children with reading problems (5th and 6th graders).
LONDI – The Development of an Online Platform for Diagnosis and Remediation of Children with Learning Disabilities
The project LONDI (former OnDiFoe) aims at developing a web-based platform to support the identification and treatment of children with major difficulties in learning to read, spell, and/or calculate. The platform will provide evidence-based information, materials and tools for learning disabilities screening as well as for the individual diagnosis and remediation.
meRLe – Promoting German reading skills via multilingual-sensitive reciprocal teaching
The meRLe project explores ways to promote German reading skills using multilingual-sensitive reciprocal teaching in primary education.
PREDICT – Prediction Generation as a Tool to Activate Children’s Prior Knowledge and Improve Learning
This project evaluates the potential of asking students to generate predictions to improve their learning. Further, it investigates the mechanisms that determine its success and asks whether there are age-related differences in its effectiveness.
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.
TRIO – Language Education in Early Child Care Centers
Collaboration between elementary school and kindergarten – language education in early child care centers
UPWIND – Understanding and Improving Daily Cognitive and Affective Within-Child Dynamics in the School Context
The project UPWIND investigates relationships between affective, motivational, and cognitive processes in students. By analysing the differences of the processes in different children, easily implemented support measures tailored to individual students can be developed.
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