The aim of the Campus Schools Frankfurt program, launched on November 20, 2023, is to systematically bring school practice, educational research and teacher training into a mutually-constructive exchange, and work together sustainably on this basis with a view towards improving the educational opportunities of pupils at the participating campus schools. The program is supported by the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education and Goethe University Frankfurt.
Prof. Dr. Mareike Kunter describes the focus of Campus Schools Frankfurt as follows: “Continuous mutual dialog will allow school practice, educational research and teacher training to benefit from the experience and expertise of all those involved.” The educational researcher, who works at DIPF, is one of the program’s initiators. During the recent kick-off event, held at Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus, interested school staff had the chance to learn more about exact program procedures, and exchange ideas with other schools and researchers.
The program is aimed at primary and secondary schools (Haupt-, Real-, Gesamt- or Förderschulen) in Frankfurt and its vicinity, especially those with a very heterogeneous student body.
Prof. Dr. Ilonca Hardy, professor at Goethe University’s Faculty of Educational Sciences and board member of the Akademie für Bildungsforschung und Lehrkräftebildung [Academy for Educational Research and Teacher Training], explains: “In linking research and school practice, we pay particular attention to teaching heterogeneous learning groups. The aim is to better support children whose educational success may be jeopardized by various risks, including learning difficulties, poor language skills or growing up in low-income families.” The program’s goal is to contribute to greater educational equality, together with the schools.
Cooperation has many faces
There are various bilateral cooperation models, suited to the schools’ interests and needs, from which both schools as well as research and teacher training benefit equally:
1. Basic cooperation: This low-threshold offer consists of a regular newsletter sent out to schools containing current information on the program. Interested schools can also receive bundled information on specific educational research topics. In addition, schools are also invited to events (e.g. the annual Day of Dialog).
2. Further training and study cooperation: School staff teams receive further training in the form of workshops, lectures or pedagogical days. In addition to a suggested portfolio of topics, schools may also submit individual requests. The format also supports research and teacher training, including by having schools participate in scientific projects, by offering shadowing opportunities for young researchers and students, and by creating opportunities for mutual feedback on research projects and results.
3. Intensive cooperation: This consists of a long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation, i.e. jointly driven school development and research.
Some 20 schools are expected to participate in the Campus Schools Frankfurt program, which is initially planned to run until the end of 2025.
Participants and their roles
DIPF and Goethe University are equal cooperation partners of the Campus Schools Frankfurt program, whereby DIPF oversees the central coordination processes. The program is also supported by the “IDeA – Center for Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk” research center, founded by DIPF, Goethe University and the Sigmund Freud Institute, and which is also coordinated by DIPF. Goethe University’s Akademie für Bildungsforschung und Lehrkräftebildung and its Faculty of Educational Sciences’ “Didaktische Werkstatt – Arbeitsstelle für Diversität und Unterrichtsentwicklung” [Didactic Workshop – Department for Diversity and Teaching Development] are also represented in the program.
The program is jointly funded by the aforementioned academic partner organizations – with additional funding from the “Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main”. Campus Schools Frankfurt will be open to scientists from both DIPF and Goethe University who are interested in the field of educational research, thereby offering schools the most diverse portfolio of research and development perspectives possible. For the eighth time, Goethe University’s Förderverein Mathematik [Mathemathics’ Friends Association] and its Institute of Mathematics are organizing an interdisciplinary lecture series aimed at the public as part of the Frankfurt Bürgeruniversität citizens’ university. The current series deals with game theory, which provides a mathematical perspective on conflict situations – a particularly topical subject given the increase in global social conflicts in a manner that was unimaginable just a few years ago.