Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Research Profile

The Interdisciplinary Center for School and Educational Research (ZSB) dedicates its work to processes of education and socialization. It combines perspectives of organisations and institutions with those of the actors.

The ZSB attends to a wider concept of education that covers formal, informal and non-formal educational processes. Education is therefore seen as a life-long process from early childhood to adulthood. Referring to that the areas of interest are elementary education, school, social work and youth welfare, higher education and other tertiary education institutions. Likewise significant to the diachronic perspective on education as a biographical process, is the research on synchronic interactions between various pedagogical and non-pedagogical fields.

A special characteristic of the educational research carried out by the ZSB is the socio-scientific perspective that starts on a micro level and helps to analyse specific educational practices and concrete biographical education processes. In this context, the ZSB sees itself as a venue for the systematic testing and enhancement of complex qualitative and triangular research procedures.

According to the research program of the ZSB particularly those research projects are being realized which systematically refer to each of the following different focal points:

1.   Childhood and Adolescence

The main focus in this research area lies on children and adolescents, taking into consideration their own lives and self-will, their specific ways of life, circumstances, biographical orientations and practices, as for instance the development of specific peer groups. Additionally, it deals with the question of how children and young people are being addressed and constructed in various fields of pedagogical action or how they deny and refuse being accessed by this practice.

2.   Organisations and Institutions within the Educational System

This research area turns its attention to the transformations and developments of organisations and institutions in various sectors of the educational system. Therefore, the main focus lies on the analysis of the forms and peculiarities of these institutions and organisations (e.g. institutions of social work, youth welfare, schools or universities) and the processes of transformation which they undergo over time. Here, new forms of regulation are of particular significance as well as processes of vertical and horizontal differentiation and new forms of networking and cooperation between different organisations within the educational system.

3.    Interacting in Fields of Pedagogical Acting

This main research area is dedicated to the analysis of interactive processes in pedagogical fields of action. Relevant to that are interactions and practices between professionals and their addressees as well as the methodological and didactic design of pedagogical processes. Furthermore, this research area centres on interactions and practices between different actors in the same field, who are not positioned in a pedagogical relation with each other (e.g. between kids and youths belonging to the same peer group).

4.    Pedagogical Professionalism an Pedagogical Professions

The last research area is about pedagogical professions and pedagogical professionalism in various areas of the educational system. This includes the examination of the peculiarities and specific challenges of pedagogical professionalism. Further attention is given to the processual development of pedagogical professionalism during different stages of one’s (working)biography. This includes forms of multi-professional cooperation as well as forms of cooperation between professionals in the field of pedagogy and other players.