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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 DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education, 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 DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education.
Scientific coordinator: Prof. Dr. Florian Schmiedek
Head of IDeA coordination: Dr. Jeanette Ziehm
Head of IDeA lab: Dr. Björn Rump

Selected IDeA projects at DIPF

DeSign – Dynamics of Students’ Self-Regulation and Interrelations with Experienced Teaching Quality
Self-regulation refers to the ability of an individual to control his or her thoughts, feelings, and actions in such a way that they support the pursuit of long-term goals. Characteristics of situations influence this ability and can therefore support or impede self-regulation. The project DeSign investigates the interaction between the quality of teaching perceived during a lesson and the change in self-regulation within students.
EiKlar – EEG in the classroom
The project aims at a better understanding of cognitive, affective and behavioral teaching-learning processes using neurophysiological measures and their relation to various teaching methods and quality characteristics.
ESel – Effectiveness of Self-Regulation Training
We analyze the effectiveness of self-regulation training by means of meta-analysis and systematic review. The focus of the meta-analyses is on different training characteristics (e.g., use of learning diaries) and on diverse target groups (e.g., learners with ADHD).
GamA – Gamified Assessment
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. The project Gamified Assessment investigates the role of gamification elements in testing situations.
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.
LeA-Training – Learning Acceleration Training
The focus of the project LeA-Training is to investigate a reading fluency training programme. The project aims at identifying the underlying mechanisms resulting in reading improvement to effectively implement the training for children with reading difficulties.
LEGA – Elementary School Age Reading Strategies
The LEGA study investigates the use of reading strategies applied by elementary school children. Strategy usage is compared across grades and related to available vocabulary and contextual information. The aim of the study is to understand more about the conditions under which efficient (retrieval-) strategies, which are essential for fluent reading, are used and how this usage can be supported.
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.
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.
ögütPRO – Professional Support for Parents with a Turkish Migration Background Regarding their Children’s Transition to Secondary School
The aim of the project ögütPRO (Turkish ögüt = advice) is to train primary teachers to support Turkish-origin parents when their children face the transition from primary to secondary school. This preliminary study assesses parents’ knowledge of the German educational system. Furthermore, primary teachers’ knowledge about Turkish-origin parents’ educational situation will be investigated.
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.
PuS-SeL – Problem solving and Strategies – Self-regulation of Learning
The PuS-SeL project investigates components, influence factors and approaches to promote self-regulation of learning among primary school children.
RABE 2 – Risk Factors and Consequences of Learning Difficulties up to Early Adulthood
The project RABE 2 examines the persistence and the psychosocial consequences of scholastic learning disabilities from primary school age up to young adulthood. The study focusses risk factors and consequences of learning disorders but will also look at participant’s coping strategies.
SASCHA – Social and Academic School Transition Challenges
The project SASCHA studied the adaptation of the transition from primary to secondary school. Specifically, daily academic and social challenges of the transition as well as coping mechanisms were studied.
SchuWaMi – School Change in a Society shaped by migration – School Culture(s) in the current context of forced migration
The project SchuWaMi examines how schools in Germany have reacted to the increased reception of refugee children and youths, which institutional changes have taken place and are still taking place in this context. It also looks at whether and how schools succeed in promoting the social participation of children and youths with a refugee background.
Stereo-no-GO – Gender- and Origin-based Inequalities in Programs for Gifted Children
The project Stereo-no-GO examines inequalities based on gender and origin in the STEM fields and in programs for gifted children.
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 relations among affective, motivational, and cognitive processes in students. The aim is to develop easy to implement interventions tailored to individual children by targeting differences in these processes between children.
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