The project “Adaptivity and teaching quality in individualized classrooms” (Ada*Q), which is part of the Robert Bosch Foundation’s program “How does good schooling work?—Research for Practice” investigates how individualization is implemented and designed in primary schools at the award-winning schools of the German School Award. A particular focus is on the degree of adaptivity of the lessons and on teaching quality. The overarching goal is to generate scientific findings and practice-relevant knowledge on how to deal productively with heterogeneity in the classroom together with the award-winning schools.
To ensure we could include the expertise of the award-winning schools of the German School Award from the very beginning, we first conducted interviews with the head teachers of 21 award-winning primary schools on their individualization practices as part of a preliminary study in the 2018/2019 school year. Subsequently, nine schools were selected for the main study. At the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, 3rd and 4th grade students from 54 classes were interviewed and tested on their core academic competencies with standardized achievement tests. The heart of the main study was a one-week data collection exercise in the middle of the 2019/2020 school year that used various data collection methods. In addition to written surveys of students and teachers as well as interviews with teachers, the research involved a videotaping of lessons from different perspectives throughout the week. At the same time, students participated in a short survey about the lesson after each class using tablets. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this data collection could only be conducted in 22 classrooms in six schools. The data collection planned for the end of the 2019/2020 school year could not be undertaken for the same reason.