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Nothing interferes more with science than believing that you know something that you do not actually know.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (translated from German)

School research is one of the most intriguing fields of research within education. In school research, the individual person, groups, institutions, and societies are closely intertwined. Therefore, school-research findings reflect dynamic constellations of factors. This circumstance places enormous demands on research methods, measurement instruments, and the study and evaluation designs.

Numerous practical considerations bespeak the importance of research on schools and schooling. For example:

  • Studies show close links between the quality of national school systems and economic growth rates, technical progress, and the number of registered patents.
  • The growth of international comparative testing in education since the 1960s has increased national and international competition within and between educational systems.
  • Exponential growth in information and the growth of knowledge-based economies place ever-greater demands on the personal learning competencies of individuals throughout their lifespans as well as on teachers.
  • Social and political uncertainty as to whether the current school system can fulfill its educational goals requires suitably informative, evidence-based responses from school researchers.

Approach to Research

Research efforts at the Chair are empirical, interdisciplinary, practice-oriented, and local, national, and international in scope.

  • Empirical focus: Research at the chair has an empirical focus. The department has excellent connections within the scientific community. This is reflected, for example, by Prof. Dr. Stoeger’s scientific leadership positions (e.g., 2016 vice president of the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence); her memberships in numerous learned societies (e.g., the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs), the European Council for High Ability (ECHA), the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE), the American Educational Research Association (AERA)); and her various scientific council memberships (e.g., Asia-Pacific Federation on Giftedness (APFG) and European Council for High Ability (ECHA)).
  • Interdisciplinarity: The chair collaborates with researchers in education, psychology, and didactics.
  • Practice: The chair incorporates a practical component, cooperating with, for example, schools, parents’ associations, counselling centers, teacher associations, ministries of education, and stakeholders in government and business—locally, in Bavaria, in Germany, and on all inhabited continents.
  • International Cooperation: The chair collaborates with universities, ministries of education, talent centers, and other institutions in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. Collaborations exist with, for example, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China); Dublin City University / CTY Ireland (Dublin, Ireland); the Engineers Europe (Brussels, Belgium); Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida, USA); Future Minds (Lima, Peru); the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education (Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China); the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Aurora, Illinois, United States); Kaunas University of Technology (Kaunas, Lithuania); King Faisal University (Al-Ahasa, Saudi Arabia); the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (Sofia, Bulgaria); Monash University (Melbourne, Australia); Mount Kenya University (Thika, Kenya); Mully Children's Family (Nairobi, Kenya); the National Centre for Learning in Science, Technology and Health, ASTRA (Copenhagen, Denmark); Platform Talent voor Technologie (The Hague, Netherlands); the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada); and the University of Wollongong (Wollongong, Australia).

Main Research Topics

The chair’s research groups are investigating teaching and learning processes in preschool, elementary school, and high school. Areas of focus include:

  • Student learning conditions (e.g., cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social factors as well as motor skills and their significance for academic learning outcomes);
  • Student learning and performance behaviors (e.g., cognitive and metacognitive processes within self-regulated learning);
  • Learning environments in and out of school (e.g., classroom, school, family, and mentoring relationships);
  • Instruction and teaching processes (e.g., training studies and their evaluation); and
  • Teacher and school-wide professional development processes (e.g., planning, implementation, optimization, and evaluation).

Scientific Publishing

Research is published in in English and German. Contributions include peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and monographs. Publications focus on various readerships (scientists, educational practitioners, parents, and the general public).

From 2007 to 2014, Prof. Dr. Stoeger was editor in chief of the peer-reviewed journal of the European Council for High Ability (ECHA), High Ability Studies. In cooperation with the Chair of Educational Psychology of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Prof. Dr. Stoeger edits the monograph series Schulpädagogik und Lehr- und Lernforschung (School Research and Teaching and Learning Research).


Chair of School Research, School Development, and Evaluation

Building PT 5

Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger



PT 5.1.04
Tel. +49-941-943-3657 (front office)
Fax +49-941-943-1993