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  • Laborschule Research Unit

    Universität Bielefeld
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Organisation

There are three positions for research associates and two secretaries included in the staffing plan of the Research Unit. In addition to these positions, the Research Unit has a total of 90 teaching hours for research and development purposes at its disposal (which equate to five teachers’ positions). These hours are used to reduce those teachers’ workload who work on a specific research project. 

The Research Unit is led by the Research Director, who is elected from the ranks of the professors at the Faculty of Educational Science for a period of five years. The Co-Leadership by the school head and the research director was established in order to ensure the cooperation between the school and the Research Unit and serves the purpose of coordinating school matters, giving advice as well as making suggestions. The Research Director and the board of directors of the Research Unit are the decision-making bodies of the institution. The research activities at Laborschule are supported by a Scientific Advisory Board, which primarily consists of university professors from other universities, representatives of the respective Düsseldorf Ministries and other persons (Research Director of the Research Unit and the school, in a consultative role). 

Tasks

The Research Unit is led by the Research Director, who is elected from the ranks of the professors at the Faculty of Educational Science for a period of five years. The Co-Leadership by the school head and the research director was established in order to ensure the cooperation between the school and the Research Unit and serves the purpose of coordinating school matters, giving advice as well as making suggestions. The Research Director and the board of directors of the Research Unit are the decision-making bodies of the institution. The research activities at Laborschule are supported by a Scientific Advisory Board, which primarily consists of university professors from other universities, representatives of the respective Düsseldorf Ministries and other persons (Research Director of the Research Unit and the school, in a consultative role). 

With regard to this task – which is the development and the implementation of new learning processes at school – the Research Unit fulfils a special role. In close cooperation with the school, the Research Unit develops a school research and development plan every other year and is responsible for ensuring the successful outcome of the projects that are included in this plan. The tasks of the Research Unit are defined as followed in the decree mentioned above: “It is charged with the task of developing the research and development plan, functioning as a scientific advisor to the school to help it fulfil the tasks laid out in this research and development plan as well as implementing, scientifically evaluating and documenting these research and development activities.”

In short, this means that the Research Unit can be described as the research department of the Laborschule. 

School research and development work

Biennially, the Research Unit creates a school research and development plan. It is defined by the projects which will be provided with resources over the next two years (particularly research hours and student and research assistants). In order to be included in a project of this research and development plan, educators and research associates of the Research Unit have to hand in a research proposal, which is then discussed and possibly approved by the board members. After the conclusion of this two-year period, the outcomes and findings of the project need to be compiled in writing, for instance, as a final report, scholarly articles or a book manuscript. These products are presented to the Scientific Advisory Board. In doing so, a diverse number of publications originates from the projects of the research and development plan, thus contributing to the dissemination of the findings of Laborschule research.  

The school research and development work of the Research Unit refers to the progressive education practices at Laborschule. This means that diverse questions lead the research interest of both Laborschule teachers and Research Unit: What measures can be taken to ensure that children of different abilities, capabilities and from different backgrounds learn together? How can individual children and adolescents be supported intensively and according to their needs? How could the school organise a learning process without excluding students and without grades? Finally, what measures can be implemented to successfully “open” the school and promote learning from experience?  

The main pillars of Laborschule research – supported by the Research Unit – are its teachers. Under the guidance of Harmut von Hentig, the teacher-researcher concept was conceived that – in a modified version and as practice research – guides the research work at Laborschule until today.


This overview is based on: Döpp, W. et al.: Die Forschungs- und Entwicklungsarbeit der Laborschule - ein Selbstbericht. In: Terhart, E. & Tillmann, K.-J. (Ed.): Schulentwicklung und Lehrerforschung. Das Lehrer-Forscher-Modell der Laborschule auf dem Prüfstand. Bad Heilbrunn: Julius Klinkhardt (IMPULS Laborschule, volume 1), 2007, pp. 115-116

Structure

The board of directors of the Research Unit is mainly made up of university lecturers of the Faculty of Educational Science of Bielefeld University. They are elected during the faculty conference.   

Current members

  • Oliver Böhm-Kasper
  • Martin Heinrich
  • Eiko Jürgens
  • Anna-Maria Kamin
  • Birgit Lütje-Klose
  • Susanne Miller
  • Annette Textor
  • Andreas Zick

nonvoting members:

  • Rainer Devantié
  • Thomas Makowski
  • Christian Timo Zenke

The Research Director of the Research Unit is elected from the ranks of the board of directors of the Research Unit for a period of five years. The Research Director is also referred to as managing director.    

Current Research Director

  • since 2012, Annette Textor is the head of Laborschule Research Unit

Overview of previous Research Directors:

  • Hartmut von Hentig (1974-1987)

  • Theodor Schulze (1988)

  • Will Lütgert (1989-1994)

  • Klaus-Jürgen Tillmann (1994-2008)

  • Sabine Andresen (2008)

  • Barbara Koch-Priewe (2009-2010)

  • Dieter Timmermann (2010-2012)

The Laborschule Research Unit usually employs three research associates. These positions include certain research and development foci and have a fixed contract period of four years. (By way of exception, there currently are four positions with an additional position due to the Erasmus+ project LabSchoolsEurope.)

Current members

  • Marlena Dorniak

  • Johanna Gold

  • Sabine Kaiser

  • Christian Timo Zenke

  • Dominik Zentarra

  • Benedict Kurz (Erasmus+ Projekt LabSchoolsEurope)

The Research Unit comprises two secretary positions.

Current staff members

  • Regina Mahnke

  • Angela Beck

The school research and development projects are supported by one student or research assistant respectively. 

Current staff members

  • Maja Boigs
  • Asli Demirogullari
  • Christine Drah
  • Sascha Engler
  • Svenja Gerdes
  • Nuran Kalinci
  • Katharina Kemper
  • Aglaia Merker
  • Malte Meyer
  • Jamila Ohlendorf
  • Jess Rehr

The co-leadership functions as a bridge between the two institutions Laborschule and Research Unit. It comprises four representatives of both the school and the Research Unit, respectively. The co-leadership is headed by the Research Director, while the headteacher of Laborschule is the deputy chairperson of the board. The co-leadership serves the purpose of a forum in which the school and the Research Unit can address questions and deal with issues that emerge from the school research and development work.  

Current members

Memebers of the Research Unit

  • Marlena Dorniak
  • Helga Kelle
  • Michaela Vogt
  • Annette Textor

Members of the School

  • Rainer Devantié
  • Nicole Freke
  • Jutta Hartmann
  • Alice Dawidowski
  • Thomas Makowski

The Scientific Advisory Board provides support for the school research and development work of Laborschule. It comprises three external researchers, two members of the Faculty of Educational Science at Bielefeld University and representatives of the Ministry of School and Further Training as well as the District Government Detmold. Ariane Garlichs, Wolfgang Klafki, Hilbert Meyer and Harm Paschen, among others, are founding members and long-term members of the Scientific Advisory Board.

Current members

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Martin Bonsen
  • Barbara Moschner
  • Andrea Peter-Koop
  • Michael Urban

Consulting members:

  • Rainer Devantié
  • Annette Textor
  • Michaela Vogt
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