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Profile of the Center for Research on Education and School Development

The Center for Research on Education and School Development at TU Dortmund University is one of the largest school and educational research institutes in Germany. Founded in 1973, it deals with current issues in empirical education and school development research. How can educational processes and successes be described, explained and optimized? What effects do school reforms and school development processes have? To what extent are teaching situations perceived differently by teachers and learners? And what opportunities for teaching and learning are inherent in diversity?


Information about the Center for Research on Education and School Development

The Center for Research on Education and School Development (IFS) at the TU Dortmund University is committed to all areas of education research – from the description, explanation, and improvement of the organization and management of schools and the school system, to the analysis of educational processes and educational outcomes of students of different age groups in different contexts. Not limited to students, the research takes into account parents, teachers, school administration, and institutional frameworks. A special focus is research into the reform and development processes of schools and the school system, as well as the necessary conditions for these processes and their outcomes. 

Foto von einem aufgeschlagenen Buch mit einer Tabelle, sowie einem Becher und Stift mit dem IFS-Logo © Institut für Schulentwicklungsforschung

In the main research areas, various important levels at which education-related developments take place in the social context are systematically reflected upon and included in the empirical investigations: the educational system, the school, the class or learning group, and the individual students and their families. Educational and school development research at the IFS covers topics from all central areas of school development. In addition to the thematic areas, the area of research methods complements the focus of the IFS.

The various aspects of school development form the framework of research at the Institute. The research work at the IFS and within the individual projects
is characterized in particular by three overarching features:

  • Interdisciplinarity: IFS staff members conduct research in interdisciplinary teams. In particular, educational, psychological, didactic, and sociological theories are discussed, further developed, and empirically tested on central topics of empirical education and school research.
  • Multimethodological approach: Depending on the research project, the IFS uses a variety of research designs (e.g., longitudinal, large-scale, experimental, intervention), data collection methods (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, competency tests, videography, serious educational games), and quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods.
  • International, national and regional location and practical relevance: The IFS maintains international and national research partnerships and is very well networked with the regional school landscape as well as within the TU Dortmund University. In addition, the institute actively participates through publications, lectures and
  • In addition, the Institute actively participates in the international discourse in the field of empirical educational research through publications, lectures, and conference contributions as well as through interdisciplinary collaborative research projects. The interdisciplinary exchange across national borders and the direct relevance of many research projects to practice make in their combination a special strength of the institute.


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Location & approach

The most convenient highway exits are on the B 1/A 40 (Dortmund-Barop) (closer to the North Campus) and on the A45 (Dortmund-Eichlinghofen). The university is signposted at both exits. In the local road network you will find signs to Campus Nord, where the Campus Treff is also located. From Emil-Figge-Strasse, entrance no. 18 and from Vogelspothsweg entrance no. 23 lead to parking spaces near the venue.

From Dortmund main station, take the S-Bahn "S1" in the direction of Solingen on track 7 to the stop "Dortmund-Universität" (price level A). The S-Bahn runs every 15 minutes during peak hours on weekdays and takes about 6 minutes. From Düsseldorf, the S-Bahn runs every 30 minutes. Directly at the S-Bahn station you will find the CDI building, which houses the Center for Research on Education and School Development.

One of the university's landmarks is the H-Bahn, which has two terminuses on the North Campus. One is located directly above the S-Bahn station and is easily accessible from it by elevators. The other is located in the center of Campus North at the bridge between the University Library and the Mensa, right next to the Audimax. The H-Bahn runs from here to the South Campus and the Eichlinghofen district.

Dortmund has an airport connected with some destinations in Central Europe. There are regular flights, for example, to Amsterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Katowice, Krakow, Leipzig-Halle, London, Munich, Nuremberg, Paris, Poznan, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich. For the approximately 20 kilometers from the Dortmund airport to the campus, you can take the bus to the main train station and from there the S-Bahn. Faster is usually the use of a cab. Far more international flight connections are offered by the Rhine-Ruhr Airport in Düsseldorf, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.