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Die Graduiertenschule LEAD
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Research areas at the LEAD Graduate School

Interdisciplinary research on learning and educational achievement

Research areas at LEAD

At LEAD, interdisciplinary research on learning, educational achievement, and life course development is conducted in five defined intersections.

Empirical research on learning and educational achievement is most typically conducted in educational research departments and in educational psychology. However, it has become evident over the past that the "big questions" in research on education are highly complex, involving factors located at - for instance - the individual student level, the level of the learning material, the teacher, class and school level, and the societal level. As such, they cannot satisfactorily be examined within the confines of a single discipline or a single research project.

Rather, such big questions need to be addressed within concerted research programs spanning many years and bringing together researchers with complementary expertise. It is for this reason that LEAD combines a prolific Education Sciences program with the integration of several additional research fields that are of obvious relevance for answering big questions in education and which have proven to be highly productive in Tübingen.

  • More specifically, Tübingen is well-known for its strong research program in cognitive and social psychology to which both the University and the Leibniz Knowledge Media Research Center contribute.
  • Similarly, Tübingen has a long tradition of excellent research in Neuroscience and Informatics whose contributions are used for the analysis of micro-level brain processes involved in learning and instruction.
  • Tübingen also houses highly productive clinical psychology and psychiatry departments which bring in an expertise and attention to mental disorders that is still underrepresented in the scientific and public debate on education.
  • Given Tübingen's tradition of excellence in linguistic research, the LEAD Graduate School is also ideally placed to more fully integrate linguistic research and educational science.
  • Finally, Tübingen also has well-known sociology and economics departments whose expertise includes research on the returns to education.

The research fields contributing to LEAD are characterized by the different granularity levels used to examine the causes and consequences of learning, achievement, and life course development: In some cases, the outcomes of learning processes are immediately measurable (psychology or neuroscience). In other cases, the outcomes are measurable only after months (educational science) or years (sociology/economics). Furthermore, there are differences across the research fields in the variables of primary interest and in the designs and data analysis techniques favored.

LEAD brings these research approaches together and lets members benefit from one another in five defined intersections:

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