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  • Centre for Prevention and Intervention in Childhood and Adolescence (CPI)

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Action Skills and Educational Competences of Functional Illiterates (HaBil)

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Project duration:

  • 01.04.2008-29.02.2012

Project lead and implementation:

  • Prof. Dr. Ullrich Bauer
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe H. Bittlingmayer
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann
  • Dr. Gudrun Quenzel
  • Dr. Stephan Drucks
  • Dipl. Soz. Tuba Hastaoglu
  • Katrin Linthorst M.A.
  • Dr. Igor Osipov
  • Dipl. Soz. Hidayet Tuncer

Background and Objective

The project HABIL is sponsored for four years by the BMBF promotion guideline research and development activities in the field of literacy and basic education for adults literacy/basic education in the context of economy and labour'. It belongs to the project cooperation group ''Chancen erarbeiten [working out opportunities / options for action]" with the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), the Bildungswerk der Hessischen Wirtschaft (BWHW) and the Bundesverband Alphabetisierung und Grundbildung (BVAG e.V. / Verbundleitung).

The project HABIL encompassed not only the research work with a basic theoretical approach, but also a scientific monitoring and evaluation of the practical-oriented projects in the project cooperation group. The Project-management was conducted by Ullrich Bauer (Essen-Duisburg), Uwe H. Bittlingmayer (Freiburg), Klaus Hurrelmann (Berlin/ Bielefeld) and Gudrun Quenzel (Bielefeld).

The focus of the research activity is the analysis of living conditions, mentalities and the motivation of educationally deprived groups of people with a low formal human capital and functional illiterates.

The available resources and competences as well as barriers of the successful acquisition of education have been analyzed. Along the social structure analysis the main focus of the research concentrates on the analysis of initial conditions, mentalities and motivational structures dependent on milieu-specific contexts. Corresponding to the general attachment of the Health-Literacy concept other relevant research questions are included targeting on the emergence of health relevant competences of the problematic groups such as prevention or health care behavior.

The research findings aim in the context of its overall activity on an enhanced application orientation (Transfer of fundamental knowledge in a compensatory pedagogy of the milieu-specific education promotion). A link to a practice-oriented pedagogy of the promoting of education lays in the broad milieu specific value-free considered conception of competence as well as in the search for ideal typical constellation of poor education. Both permit the characterization of target groups, which possibly thus far highlight underexposed necessities and strengths of educational deprived people.

The research activity encompassed…

  • One for Germany representative, questionnaire-based survey with a panel-based design of the risk group of students at ‘’Hauptschulen und Förderschulen’’ (class 9 and 10)

  • A together with the representative survey implemented Screening of spelling competences with the "Hamburger Schreibprobe 5-9B‘‘

  • The construction of a typology of educational disadvantage on the basis of guideline-based interviews with groups of poor educational background (particularly ethnic marginalized and those with weak resources) and experts in different fields of practice

  • The reconstruction of occupational and educational processes of functional illiterates on the basis of guideline-based occupational and on educational biography based interviews

  • A explorative survey in enterprises towards attitudes and the willingness towards people with low writing skills as well as an evaluation of writing samples in view of their significance with regard to education and training chances

  • A Screening of international Best Practice-Models of literacy work and research
    An evaluation of first conversation reports of ‘‘Volkshochschulen’’ (Hamburg und Bremen)

The project was closely connected with teaching activities at university (range of subjects: sociology of inequality, educational research, socialization and functional illiteracy) from the beginning on. Research seminars have been carried out at the Bielefeld School of Public Health, the faculty of Sociology at the University of Siegen, at the Institute of Social Sciences PH Freiburg as well as at the faculty of educational research at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

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