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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

WiNK – Knowledge in the Neighborhood of Kids
The project WiNK examines the development of thematic neighborhood effects and their relation to reading and verbal creativity.
zEbra – Social Belonging in the Real and Digital World
The project zEbra examines the associations of perceived social belongingness in real and digital life with well-being in children and adolescents. For this purpose, a measurement instrument shall be developed that allows for assessing which digital networks children and adolescents use to interact with peers.
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