INSIDE I: Inclusion in lower secondary tier in Germany

INSIDE II: Educational inclusion and transitions after lower secondary tier in Germany

With surveys and competency tests, the INSIDE project creates for the first time a comprehensive inventory of the current situation and development of inclusively taught students in lower secondary tier as well as of the transitions of students with special educational needs to upper secondary tier, the vocational training system or another life situation. The project involves academical experts as well as stakeholders from educational administration and practice (participating students, parents, teachers, associations). This also includes the exchange on content-related focal points and their implementation in instruments as well as aspects of the processing of results.


In the first project phase, which lasted from December 2016 to May 2021, the researchers addressed the following questions, among others:

  • Under what organizational conditions and when implemented in classroom processes does inclusive learning contribute to the successful individual development of students with special educational needs?
  • What effects does inclusion have on fellow students without special needs?
  • What factors contribute to the success of inclusive learning?

As this required a broad information basis, INSIDE consisted of three substudies:

  • Substudy I: School principals in the lower secondary tier in all 16 German federal states were asked to participate in an online survey.
  • Substudy II: Building on Substudy I and data from the official school statistics, a targeted selection for a school sample was made; these schools will then be monitored longitudinally. Used here will be competence tests and questionnaires for pupils, questionnaires for principals, teaching staff and special needs teaching staff or specialists. Furthermore there will be telephone-interviews for the parents.
  • Substudy III: Selected teaching staff and relevant special needs staff or specialists will be asked to keep a teaching diary.


In a second funding phase starting in June 2021, the next stage in the students' educational journey is now being looked at. Questions such as the following are now focussed:

How do students who are taught inclusively succeed in their transition to upper secondary tier, the vocational training system, or another life situation?

What role play their experiences throughout lower secondary tier in this transition?

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research