Add-on study for longitudinal analysis of undergraduate students of winter semester 2010/2011 (NEPS Starting Cohort 5)

On October 01, 2014, the Panel of Teacher Education Students (Lehramtsstudierendenpanel, LAP) was launched as an additional study accompanying Starting Cohort 5–First-Year Students in Higher Education–of the National Educational Panel Study. It focuses especially on (prospective) teachers.

Originally, the project was scheduled to run for about 3  years and was then extended until 2021. From the beginning, the project has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

It is carried out by the German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW)
and the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi).


Aims and Objectives

In what way are teacher education students different from other students with regards to their interests, occupational orientation, and previous educational biographies? To what extent are teacher education students equipped with domain-specific basic competencies such as, for example, reading competence as well as mathematical competence and scientific literacy? And how are study progress and success connected to the level of these competencies? How does the perceived quality of the preparatory service ("Referendariat") affect the professional career? And does the professional self-concept change during the course of this second training period? Which favorable conditions can be identified for the participation in teacher training? And to what extent does the form of cooperation between colleagues influence the teachers’ professional competencies?


With the continuation of an additional sample of teacher education students as part of NEPS Starting Cohort 5 and with teacher-specific survey contents complementing the survey (see Methodological Structure below), project LAP will make it possible to find answers to these and similar research questions. Due to its longitudinal approach following teacher education students right from the beginning of their studies until well into their professional careers, and also addressing their biographies prior to their entry into higher education, the project will significantly improve currently existing data on teacher education. The database thus created will be made available as an infrastructure service to the national and international scientific community.

Methodological Design

In 2010, a panel study was started as part of the NEPS that accompanied a cohort of undergraduate students of the winter semester 2010/2011 throughout their studies and into their professional lives (NEPS Starting Cohort 5). When the sample was drawn, teacher education students were overrepresented—about 5,500 teacher education students took part in the first survey wave. The entire sample covers all types of higher education institutions and study subjects across Germany. The sample of teacher education students is also representative of the Federal Republic.

The investigation of the NEPS cohort of undergraduate students is designed as a panel study starting upon students’ entry into higher education and continuing on a long-term basis well into their professional life. In doing so, the trajectories of different life spheres—for example, family and relationships, school, vocational training and higher education, as well as employment—are assessed in monthly intervals. The students’ biographies prior to their entry into higher education are surveyed retrospectively in relation to school, vocational training, employment and family. In addition, the study addresses a variety of psychological constructs and collects data on domain-specific basic competencies, general cognitive abilities, as well as meta- and social competencies.  

Whereas previous surveys have been unable to consider constructs that are of particular interest to research on teachers, the approval of the add-on study for NEPS Starting Cohort 5 will allow for an inclusion of a number of teacher-specific questions into the survey program. For the years until 2020, the following topics are planned, among other things:

Constructs 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Motivation for choosing a teacher education program X            
Beliefs concerning teaching and learning X   X   X   X
Self-concept as a teacher X   X   X   X
Learning environment of the preparatory service ("Referendariat")   X X X X X X
Aspects of professional competencies (self-evaluation)     X   X   X
Cooperation between colleagues         X   X
Teacher training and further education           X X

The surveys until 2013 featured all teacher education students. The approved additional study will make it possible to continue monitoring the whole sample of teacher education students until 2020. 


Project duration LAP 2: January 2019–June 2021

Project duration LAP 1: October 2015–December 2018

Project management:
Dr. Hildegard Schaeper, German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)
Dr. Thomas Bäumer, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi)

Funded by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research





LIfBi – Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories
Wilhelmsplatz 3
96047 Bamberg
+49 951 863-3400

Dr. Thomas Bäumer
+49 951 863-3416

Sebastian Franz
+49 951 863-3398

DZHW – German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies
Lange Laube 12
30159 Hannover

Dr. Hildegard Schaeper (Project Manager until 01/2020)
+49 511 450 670-150

Dr. Andreas Ortenburger (Project Manager from 02/2020)
+49 511 450 670-196

Stefanie Gäckle
+49 511 450 670-105

Claudia Menge
+49 511 450 670-135

Sebastian  Franz

+49 951 863-3398