Learning processes of teachers


Autism affects at least one percent of school children in Germany and the demands for inclusive education are increasing. Schools have an increasing number of students in autism spectrum, while at the same time there is often a lack of both knowledge and resources to adequately educate children in AS. The socio-emotional well-being and educational success of students in AS depend in large part on autism-sensitive schooling.

As a core product, the INCLASS project will develop a resource-based training tool for school staff to work with students* in AS, delivered in a (free) digital blended learning format. With the training platform, relevant and needs-based competencies for teaching students in AS in inclusive classrooms will be acquired in a flexible, efficient, and practical way.

In our subproject, we will also develop an assessment tool for teachers that captures teachers‘ knowledge, beliefs, and motivation and serves as a self-assessment to provide teachers with individualized feedback on their competence on AS. It also allows for tailored selection of training content and evaluation of training outcomes.

Project team of the subproject: Charlotte Dignath & Mareike Kunter (project management), Gerrit Hasche

Project management of the overall project: Kathrin Berdelmann, Charlotte Dignath, Marcus Hasselhorn, Mareike Kunter, Florian Schmiedek

INCLASS | Homepage


In the ReMento project, we are investigating how competencies of prospective and experienced teachers in the area of digital media in the classroom can be strengthened. Within the framework of the project, a seminar for student teachers will be conducted, which will be linked to an in-service training for teachers. The didactic method of „Reverse Mentoring“ will be developed, tested and evaluated. In reverse mentoring, traditional mentoring structures are reversed: student teachers, who we assume are more familiar with digital media, pass on their knowledge and experience with digital media to experienced teachers. Teachers in turn share their teaching experience with students who are less experienced in teaching practice and subject didactics.

Project team: Charlotte Dignath, Mareike Kunter & Franziska Baier-Mosch (project management), Victoria Kramer

ReMento | Homepage


Practice and research show that stereotypes about learners with individual support needs are widespread and also present among (prospective) teachers. Such stereotypes could pose barriers to professional diagnosis if they lead to overlooking or overemphasizing certain information.

This project examines stereotypes about groups of children with individual support needs among student teachers. Simulated diagnostic situations will be used to examine the ways in which stereotypes influence the assessment of individual students with individual support needs. Finally, we will investigate how the influence of stereotypes on the diagnostic process can be reduced. To this end, we will analyze, among other things, the effect of an intervention to reduce stereotypes and promote diagnostic competence.

In this project we focus on the stereotypes student teachers have towards learners with learning disabilities, with Down syndrome, and with Asperger’s autism.

Project team: Charlotte Dignath & Mareike Kunter (project leader), Charlotte Schell, Nathalie John, Hannah Kleen

StereoDisk | Homepage


Teaching how to learn: Promoting self-directed learning in STEM education) is a project funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant since 2019. The project aims to investigate the key factors that influence improvements in teacher competencies and student academic outcomes in STEM subjects. Although there have long been calls to create classroom learning environments that increase students* interest, activity, and control over their learning, particularly in STEM subjects, research shows little progress in practice. There is a noticeable lack of interest in science at the secondary level, due primarily to factors such as a lack of student autonomy, the impersonal nature of the teacher-student relationship, instruction dominated by transferring rather than action-oriented programs, an emphasis on meaningless rules and procedures over ideas and curricula that allow little adaptation to individual student needs. The critical questions are: Can we make lasting changes in STEM teacher practices, and do these changes affect student interest, acceptance of science, and academic achievement?

Project team:

Chief investigators: prof. dr. Stella Vosniadou, prof. dr. Mike Lawson & prof. dr. Lorraine Graham

Partner investigators: Dr. Charlotte Dignath & Prof. Dr. Michelene Chi

Academic associates: Dr. Penny van Deur, Dr. Mirella Wyra & Dr. Igusti Darmawan

Research associates: Dr. Helen Stephenson, Dr. Wendy Scott, Dr. Emily White, Rob Mason & Dr. Masa Pavlovic

Teaching how to learn | Homepage


How teachers implement inclusive teaching is likely to be strongly influenced by their beliefs about how they think about inclusion. In addition, their self-efficacy expectations and their fears about implementing inclusive teaching play a role.

In the TeBelIn project, we are conducting research on (1) teachers‘ beliefs about inclusive education and how these beliefs develop. With the help of a meta-analysis we investigate how teachers think about inclusive education and on which individual and contextual preconditions these beliefs depend. In another meta-analysis, we also test the effectiveness of interventions for teachers on the development of inclusive beliefs.

In another study, we examine the effect of reading persuasive texts on the development of inclusive beliefs. In several laboratory experiments, we test whether reading persuasive texts about inclusion has an effect on student teachers‘ development of inclusive beliefs. In doing so, we also investigate the moderating effect of prior knowledge and motivation.

Project leader: Charlotte Dignath

TeBelin | Homepage


The aim of the project WieSeL is to identify which aspects of professional competence of elementary school teachers promote self-regulation in learning and how teachers can be supported in developing these competences. In doing so, we examine teachers‘ beliefs, their self-efficacy expectations of being able to promote self-regulation in the classroom, the teacher’s own self-regulation, and knowledge about self-regulation.

Based on empirical findings, we assume that teachers first need knowledge about what self-regulated learning and teaching is in order to be able to proceed self-regulated and to effectively promote the self-regulation of their students in the classroom.

The first WieSeL study investigates the role of teachers‘ knowledge about self-regulation in promoting self-regulation in the classroom.

In order for teachers to become self-regulated learners and teachers themselves, they must have a repertoire of strategies for regulating their own learning and teaching. In our second study, we are developing and evaluating an instructional video intervention that we will use to promote student teachers‘ self-regulation.

More information on Study 1 can be found here and Study 2 can be found here.

Project team: Charlotte Dignath (project leader), Antonia Fischer

WieSeL | Homepage