Characteristic for the research work of LIfBi's department "Competencies, Personality, Learning Environments" is the primarily psychological and pedagogical perspective from which education-related topics are treated. This enables an individual view of educational processes, focusing on the experience and behavior of individuals in different learning and educational contexts. This includes, for example, learning within the family or in different educational institutions and learning environments.
The structure of the department is based on the central content perspectives of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), which is located at LIfBi, and is divided into the following four work areas:
The "Early Education" work area takes a closer look at the important educational transitions, i.e., the transitions to kindergarten, elementary school, and secondary school. This area also includes the work units NEPS Start Cohort 1 and NEPS Start Cohort 2 as well as the office of the Leibniz Competence Center Early Education.
The focus of the work area "Competencies" is on the development of test instruments to measure competencies in the life course and to answer diagnostic research questions. The aim here is to record and analyze the competencies that are important for education and the trajectories of educational acquisition in different phases of life. This is where the NEPS Competencies Unit comes in.
In the work unit "Learning Environments and School Education", learning opportunities are researched over the entire life course. These opportunities are relevant in the educational trajectory because learners can use them to acquire skills and competencies. This work area includes the NEPS Learning Environments work units as well as NEPS Start Cohort 3 and NEPS Start Cohort 4.
The influence of motivation, interests, and personality on educational trajectories and educational decisions is investigated in the work area "Personality." In parallel, LIfBi's work on the national education report, the Nationales Bildungsbericht (National Education Report), is bundled here.
In addition to the four work areas, the Junior Research Group 1 headed by Dr. Ilka Wolter was assigned to the department from 2016 to 2020. This group was dedicated to the study of gender-specific competency trajectories and psychological mechanisms to explain gender differences in competencies relevant to education.