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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

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.
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.
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.
LexPro Training
The project focuses on the enhancement of visual word processing in children with reading problems (5th and 6th graders).
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.
SLICES – Using the thin slices technique to analyse school lessons: A reanalysis of large-scale datasets on constructive handling of student errors
The project SLICES examines whether the thin slices technique can be used to efficiently study educational processes in very large samples, as they are common in large scale assessments. The study focuses on the "constructive handling of student errors" in the classroom, an indicator of teaching and learning that is considered to be of particular importance for adaptive interactions with heterogeneous groups of learners.
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.
ViWa – Visual Perception
Visual perception in children is known to serve as an early indicator of learning and achievement disorders. The project ViWa focused on the development of visual perception and its relationship to math precursor skills and social-emotional competencies in children aged four to ten years.
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