KEGS – Competence Development in Elementary Schools – Enhancement Study

The study ‘Competence Development in Elementary Schools’ (KEGS) tracked competence development of students in the state of Brandenburg across five years in primary school (grades 2 to 6). The primary focus of the enhancement study lies on the role of individual differences in the experiences and behaviour of the students regarding their academic achievements and decisions regarding their educational careers.

Project Description

The KEGS study focused on the assessment of student competencies in the domains of German and mathematics, together with individual, social and instructional factors that might cause differential developments. Besides highlighting the students’ achievement-related development, the study focused on modelling the students’ transition from primary to secondary education as well as the teachers’ diagnostic competencies.

At DIPF, an enhancement of the study is concerned with investigating the role individual differences in the students’ experiences and behaviour play regarding their academic achievement and further decision-making in education (e.g. transition processes). The project aims at clarifying whether personality traits from the Big Five model (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) might serve to explain differences in the primary school students’ academic achievement. Existing data from the KEGS study are particularly interesting because of the multi-perspective approach, which assesses the students’ personality in terms of self-reports but also reports from parents and teachers.


The study was carried out by the Institute for School Quality in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg (ISQ), under the auspices of Dr. Poldi Kuhl (now Leuphana University Lüneburg). For the evaluations at the end of primary school, ISQ cooperated closely with the current project team at DIPF. Further analyses of the study are currently being run in collaboration with Professor Dr. Martin Brunner from the University of Potsdam and Dr. Poldi Kuhl from Leuphana University Lüneburg.


  • Maaz, K., Baumert, J., Gresch, C. & McElvany, M. (Hrsg.). (2010). Der Übergang von der Grundschule in die weiterführende Schule – Leistungsgerechtigkeit und regionale, soziale und ethnisch-kulturelle Disparitäten. Bonn & Berlin: BMBF
  • Retelsdorf, J. Becker, M., Köller, O., & Möller, J. (in press). Reading development in a tracked school system: A longitudinal study over 3 years using propensity score matching. British Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Rjosk, C., McElvany, N., Anders, Y. & Becker, M. (2011). Diagnostische Fähigkeiten von Lehrkräften bei der Einschätzung der basalen Lesefähigkeit ihrer Schülerinnen und Schüler. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 58, 92-105.

Project Management

Project Details

Completed Projects
Department: Educational Governance
01/2014 – 12/2020
External funding
Contact: Prof. Dr. Michael Becker, Research Fellow