Division for Empirical Educational Research

In our research, we examine reasons for why there are still differences in the educational paths and outcomes of students with different ethnic or gender identities, or students from families with different socio-economic backgrounds.

For example, international student assessments have repeatedly identified competence gaps between girls’ and boys’ competencies in mathematics and reading. Educational panel studies show systematic differences in students’ choice of study programs. Our aim is to identify and describe the mechanisms that perpetuate inequalities in secondary and higher education: Why do girls and women underestimate their competencies in the natural sciences and math? Why are women still underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) domains?

When seeking to answer these questions we are particularly interested in the role that both the social learning environment and peer groups play in the formation of these inequalities. Also, we use a variety of quantitative methods, such as social network analysis (SNA), which enables us to analyze friendship and instrumental networks of learners and instructors and to observe their development over time. Using experimental designs, we examine the role of stereotypes and prejudices in shaping students’ and teachers experiences and social relationships in schools and universities.

Based on these insights, we develop interventions that allow teachers and university instructors to contribute to the reduction of educational inequalities – in 'traditional' as well in digital teaching environments.

In our research, we rely on the strength of an interdisciplinary work team with different professional perspectives and methodical approaches as well as on the cooperation with national and international scientists.

Our aspiration and long-term aim are to transfer our research results into practical strategies to overcome inequalities, for example by discussing our research in our lectures and seminars for prospective teachers and students of the educational sciences.

All current and concluded third-party funded and dissertation projects
Upcoming and past workshops, conferences and organised symposia
Most recent publications (co-)authored by members of our research group