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Team McElvany

Empirical Education Research with a focus on Teaching and Learning K-12

Prof. Dr. Nele McElvany, acting director of the IFS, leads the working group Empirical Educational Research- teaching and learning in the school setting with a research focus on the description, explanation, and improvement of educational processes and success in terms of skills acquisition and educational participation across diverse backgrounds and age groups. Skills acquisition is understood as being a complex construct that involves not only cognitive processes, but also motivational factors and working behavior, attitudes, mental well-being, and personality traits. Not limited to students, the research takes into account parents, teachers, school administration, and institutional Frameworks. 

Foto einer Schulklasse, in welcher die Schülerinnen und Schüler Aufgaben bearbeiten © BraunS​/​

The research of the working group is anchored in the field of empirical educational research and often combines educational science, educational psychology, and sociological theories. The research projects are situated into three main areas of focus: the analysis of individual, social, and institutional conditions of learning processes and outcomes; the design and evaluation of systematic intervention; and the development and examination of diagnostic instruments. The research is characterized by a diverse set of methods, approaches and instruments. This includes longitudinal and cross-sectional questionnaire studies, experimental research designs, and the application of large-scale assessment data.  

In addition to actively participating in the scientific community through lectures, conference papers, and cooperative research on the national and international levels, a further objective is the transfer of research results for the practical application in school practice and educational administration. Within the university, the group provides instruction and lectures for several courses of study in order to provide students with broad insights into the theories and empirical findings of current educational research. 

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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.