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SchiWa – Schools in Times of Change

Schools in Times of Change (Schule im Wandel V, SchiWa) was a preliminary study for a larger-scale mixed-method study of the systematic historical assessment of change in the German school system.

Project Description

The project was based on the studies of comprehensive schools conducted by Helmut Fend in the 1970s, adding a quantitative assessment and contemporary historical study to the introduction of comprehensive schools and their development in the district of Wetzlar. The preliminary study was also conceptualised as a mixed-method design, based on the comprehensive school studies from the 1970s. It consists of two sub-projects.


The quantitative sub-study that was conducted under the auspices of the department of Educational Quality and Evaluation focuses on a re-analysis of data from the comprehensive school studies carried out in the 1970s. To this end, the data was initially re-constructed and their quality assessed. Re-analyses will subsequently be conducted according to today’s standards (IRT scaling/multilevel modelling). These will either relate to aspects from the original studies or current topics from school quality research.

The contemporary historical sub-study Ideas, Actors, Knowledge – Comprehensive School in the State of Hesse: the Example of Wetzlar from the 1970s until Today that was conceptualised by the Research Library for the History of Education (BBF) focused on an investigation of pedagogical discourses on comprehensive schools, developments concerning educational and social policy as well as the the developments in individual schools, taking the general introduction of comprehensive schools in the district of Wetzlar in the federal state of Hesse as an example.

Both sub-projects were interlinked by considering results from the re-analyses of the quantitative data for contextualising data gained from historical case studies and interviews with contemporary witnesses, their analyses and interpretation on the change of schools and respective conditions. Conversely, results from the contemporary historical study were used for the interpretation of findings from analyses of correlations of the quantitative data. Results from both sub-studies prepare the ground for a subsequent main study.

Project Management

Project Team

Project Details

Current projects
07/2013 – 08/2020
Contact: PD Dr. Christine Schmid, Associated Researcher
last modified Aug 10, 2020