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Research - Diversity

Research and Projects for Innovative Teaching


BMBF project as part of the “Quality Offensive in Teacher Education: Inclusive Pedagogical Tutorials”


Beginning date: 1 January 2019
Head: Prof, Dr.  Sina-Mareen Köhler
Research Associate: Dr Meike Penkwitt, Deborah Hennig

The project, Inclusive Pedagogical Tutorials, is funded as a subproject of the RWTH-wide project LeBIAC (teacher education in Aachen) within the funding channel, Quality Offensive in Teacher Education of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The subject matter is the conception and execution of an electronic learning room for the specialist didactic experts of RWTH Aachen University and students in the educational sciences. This offers a wide range of posibilities for self-directed discussion on the subject of inclusion and exclusion. The complex conditions of social disadvantage are discussed in the course of introductory (self-produced) tutorials through recordings of guest lectures by experts as part of the Evening Conversations in Aachen about Educational Inclusion, through explanatory videos produced by students, the uploading or linking of papers that are available on the Internet, and the linking of additional selected and thematically fitting offerings on the Internet, such as recordings of lectures, films and film trailers, Internet glossaries and collections of material.


Study: School principals as an element of (inclusive?) school culture


Beginning date: 01.08.18
Conducted by: Dr. Meike Penkwitt, Prof. Dr. Sina-Mareen Köhler
Research Associates (through 31.12.2018): Yagmur Mengilli, M.A., and Jessica Beißel, M.A.
Research Assistants: Burak Sen and Lena Winkler

Inclusive school cultures are a basic requirement for inclusive school development. School culture, in turn, is affected by the many actors involved in school life, both when they cooperate and when they are in opposition. Based on narrative interviews with school principals, in this explorative study the orientation frameworks (attitudes or habits) are reconstructed with the help of the documentary method. Aspects of school culture that are identified in the interviews are addressed. In addition, questions are asked about the meaning of heterogeneity, inclusion, and the role of recognition and relationships in the school context, as well the conditions for successful inclusion formulated or documented in the interviews.
An important point, according to the first results, is to look at how school principals deal with conflicts resulting from the different requirements for mandated inclusion (or even just educational justice) on the one hand and the multi-leveled approach and selectivity of the existing school system—geared toward a meritocratic social system—on the other. Differences among the school principals are revealed in how they take advantage of opportunities for change.




“Similarities and Differences in Class - Perspectives of Young Adults when Changing School Education Contexts “ (internal finance: 01.11.15-30.09.16)


Direction: Dr. Sina-Mareen Köhler, Team members: Dr. Meike Penkwitt, Nilüfer Kus

The project, "Similarities and Differences in Class,” studies, from a sociological perspective, the diversity of young adults who gather after the secondary level in a new classroom. This includes both pupils in the educational programs of secondary education at vocational schools and those in the upper grades of academic high schools and integrated schools. A total of 25 interviews are available that have been collected on the basis of a longitudinal study with students in the 11th grade. Currently, two cases were selected for further reconstruction to examine the experience of habitual distance/compliance, and to identify similarities and differences in their importance for processes of pooling or differentiation in class.


Heterogeneous Educational Biographies and Career Guidance Processes
of Young People at the Vocational College (external fund: 01.01.14-30.06.16)


Direction: Dr. Sina-Mareen Köhler, Team members: Dr. des. Daniel Goldmann, Bettina Zapf, Sabine Bunert

The project follows a qualitative approach and focuses on the career guidance processes of adolescents who attend a general education qualification path at a vocational college. These programs are intended not only to address work-related content and activities, but they enable the extension of secondary education. The project deals with the question of how young people experience these parallel tracks of general and vocational education and how that affects the orientation process. Using the reconstruction of narrative biographical interviews, the relevance of vocational colleges compared to other socialization areas, such as family, peers and leisure, should be analyzed. A longitudinal part of the study also aims to examine the development of work attitudes and future plans. The project is at the intersection of youth research, vocational education research, and school research. Valuable information for the differentiation and optimization of general and vocational education programs of the transition system are expected because of the contrasting data.


„Enough Time for Vocational Orientation? – The Relevance of Vocational Orientation Programs at School from a Student’s Perspective“ (internal finance: since 2012)


Dr. Sina-Mareen Köhler

The aim of the project is to examine the career plans and future aspirations of young adults and the role of school in contrast to other socialization contexts. During the research, investigating the relevance of vocational orientation programs became a subtopic. Research questions related to that are: 1) Which developments of career plans occur during transition? 2) What role do vocational orientation programs play in these developments? 3) What relevance do other socialization contexts have? The project uses a qualitative longitudinal approach to determine the transition and development of career plans before and after graduation. Biographical interviews with 17 young adults were collected and analyzed in two waves of data collection. Four schools that offer low and intermediate level pathways offered the possibility to get in touch with the students. Two of the schools were located in a rural region and the other two were located in an urban region. In addition, interviews with teachers at regular schools and vocational colleges were collected to get some background information about the organization of vocational orientation programs.

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