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IPN responsible for analyzing the Hamburger School Achievement Studies Data

July 15th, 2016

German research Foundation (DFG) promoting five projects / IPN project surveys private lessons

Kiel. July 15th 2016. For many years now school achievement studies have received a lot of attention. TIMSS and PISA are the better known studies which compare students’ international achievements. However, individual German states regularly test their students and compile data about learning issues. Hamburg has doubtlessly been in the vanguard here. Since 1995, In the context of two longitudinal studies, students have been surveyed every two years. These are: LAU (Aspects of Learning background and Learning development) as well as KESS (Competencies and Attitudes of Students). Both studies stand out as being unique, because an entire class was examined from fifth grade till school completion. This made it possible to analyze school careers over a long-term period. Both sets of data offer an almost inexhaustible potential for additional evaluations.

Against this background, the scientific consortium MILES (Methodological Issues in Longitudinal Educational Research) was founded in 2012 under the direction of Professor Olaf Köller, the managing director of the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN). Based on a contract between the Hamburger School and Vocational Training Authorities and the IPN, the unique LAU and KESS data sets was donated to the MILES consortium for intensive scientific evaluation, so-called secondary analysis. Since then, the data sets have been documented, revised and completed.

In the meantime seven project applications were submitted by the MILES consortium to the German research Foundation (DFG). Five of the projects have received funding from the DFG to the amount of ca. 700,000 Euros. Norbert Maritzen, director of the Institute for Educational Monitoring and Quality Development, Hamburg spoke „of a major breakthrough in the cooperation between the Hamburg School and Vocational Training Authorities and science groups which enable an intensive evaluation of the unique Hamburg LAU and KESS data sets.

Two of the projects focus on equal opportunities in the educational system. One project will address the question how bilingual education affects the performance and motivation of students in the subjects German and English as well as in scientific subjects. Another project examines how stays abroad affect student performance. Additionally, the IPN submitted project on private tutoring is also being funded by the German research Foundation.

How helpful is private tutoring?

Twenty percent of all secondary school students avail of private tutoring, which in certain cases is also financed by the State. It is, however, questionable if the tutoring really achieves its aim of improving student performance. Moreover, it is also not clear under what conditions student performance improves with the received instruction and how the tutoring should be carried out in a way that it successfully motivates of weak students.

In the preliminary stage, the IPN developed a model that describes the success of private tutoring. Thereby, the model considers findings for parent support with homework and on the quality of teaching in regular classes. This model is now being tested with the data of the Hamburg LAU and KESS longitudinal studies.

“We focus on how long and how often students receive private tutoring. Additionally we take the teachers, the class contents, student motivation as well as their ability self-concept into account”, commented Professor Köller from IPN. “We hope to be able to make substantiated statements on this topic about conditions that make private tutoring really helpful.

Dr. Karin Guill
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MILES (Methodological Issues in Longitudinal Educational Research) is a scientific consortium of partners who are active in the field of empirical educational research. MILES takes data sets into account which are extremely complex due to their longitudinal design; methodological scaling and problems of longitudinal data are processed in more depth.

Director und Spokesperson:
Professor Olaf Köller, Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN)

Hamburg KESS/LAU-Team: Dr Roumiana Nikolova, Stanislav Ivanov, former state council, Ulrich Vieluf
HumboldtUniversity, Berlin: Professor Rainer H. Lehmann
IFS/TU Dortmund: Professor Wilfried Bos
IPN / Kiel University: Professor Jürgen Baumert; Professor Oliver Lüdtke; Professor Gabriel Nagy, Dr Karin Guill
Hamburg University: Professor Knut Schwippert
DIPF/Berlin: Professor Kai Maaz; Dr Michael Becker; Dr Marko Neumann
Tübingen University: Professor Ulrich Trautwein

Associated Members:
IFS/TU Dortmund. Dr Daniel Kasper; Dr Heike Wendt
Potsdam University:. Professor Michel Knigge
DIPF/Frankfurt: Professor Johannes Hartig, Professor Eckhard Klieme, Dr Svenja Vieluf
Tübingen University: Professor Benjamin Nagengast