2015 - 2017: Project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (SP 1269/4-1)
Spörer: "Instructional Processes in Inclusive Learning Settings: Influences of Teacher-Student Interactions and Student-Student Interactions on Academic Achievement and Learning Behavior of Primary School Students"
Based on Helmke's (2010) model of learning and instruction, the present research project's key objective is to examine how inclusive learning settings influence changes in the academic achievement and learning behavior of primary school students. Building on recent research in inclusive education, it is anticipated that especially forms of individualized instruction are positively correlated with changes in students' academic and personal competences. Further, our aim is to analyze how teacher-student interactions and student-student interactions would be correlated with indicators of academic achievement and learning behavior. In our hypothesis, the intensity and quality of teacher-student and student-student interactions is assigned a mediational role in explaining the hypothesized effects of individualized instruction on students' changes in academic achievement and learning behavior. The planned investigations should be realized within a longitudinal classroom study with three measurement points across two school years. Ten inclusive learning classes with approx. 250 students will be accompanied in the fourth and fifth grade. At each measurement point, written standardized measures are used to collect information on students' academic achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. Further, questionnaire measures are used to assess students' academic and social self-concepts, their interests in learning, and students' self-reported quality of learning and instruction (e.g., classroom climate). Moreover, instruction in the domains of mathematics and German will be systematically and comprehensively observed by trained research assistants. By assessing instructional processes and their effects on different groups of students, our aim is to specify under which instructional conditions inclusive education is especially effective. These findings can contribute to corroborate models of effective inclusive education as well as to strengthen the quality of primary school teacher training.
Spörer & Nottbusch: "Heterogeneity and Reading Competence: The Role of Institutional and Home Learning Environment"
Being able to read a text and to acquire meaning from what one has read is a universal cultural technique that is necessary to gain access to education, social and cultural life in modern societies (Bynner, Londra, Jones, Britain, & Unit, 2004). Largescale studies like PISA (OECD, 2010) documented that students' levels of reading competence relate to their environmental (e.g. social) conditions. Some of which are determined, for example differences in children's migrational background (Mücke & SchründerLenzen, 2010) or differences in their multilingual background (e.g. Artelt, Stanat, Schneider, & Schiefele, 2001; Baumert & Schümer, 2001). However, other environmental aspects of reading acquisition are not determined. These include but are not limited to: specific aspects of the home learning environment (such as the quality of literacy related materials or the quality of language input and literacy related activities) as well as aspects of the institutional learning environment (e.g. the quality of the teaching and classroom conditions (Melhuish et al., 2008)). Therefore, improving on the changeable environmental conditions promises to influence a child's reading acquisition in a positive way.
Following this idea, the aims of the present research project are (a) to investigate how changeable aspects of children’s learning environments at home and in the institutions contribute to their reading acquisition and its preconditions and (b) to analyze whether changeable aspects of children’s learning environments contribute in a similar way to their reading acquisition and its preconditions in heterogeneous learning groups. The planned investigations should be realized within a longitudinal study with three measurement points using the data of the NEPS start cohort 2. Thus, we provide a theoretical model that combines changeable aspects of institutional learning environment and home learning environment. We further plan to compare the effects of institutional and home learning environments with regard to their success in helping to foster reading acquisition of children from different high risk groups, namely multilingual children, children with a migrational background and children from families of low socio economic status.