Germany launches new education research programme

Germany has launched a new education research programme with the goal of improving the quality of the country’s education system.

‘A knowledge-based society needs a knowledge-based education policy,’ said German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan at the launch of the new programme. ‘This programme will create
the basis for measures to improve the position of German pupils in international comparative studies.’

The programme will be financed entirely by the German government to the tune of ?120 million spread over the next five years. It was developed with the collaboration of experts in the field as
well as representatives of the Länder (federal states). Minister Schavan emphasised the fact that as well as designing the programme, the Länder would also have a key role to play in
implementing it.

One of the priorities of the programme will be to break the close link between the social background of pupils and their educational attainment which currently exists in Germany. ‘Every young
person must be given a chance, independently of the educational level and income of the parents,’ commented Ms Schavan.

The programme will also look at how teaching methods can be improved; the evaluation of pupils; how best to support individual pupils; improving teacher training and ensuring the quality of
teaching.

The new initiative foresees the creation of a Germany-wide education panel, which Minister Schavan hopes will make Germany’s education system more internationally competitive.

In order to strengthen the education research community in Germany, the programme plans to make funding available for young researchers in the field. Access to funding will also be made more
competitive, to ensure the quality of research carried out under the programme.

‘We now have a good basis for future empirical education research,’ said Professor E. Jürgen Zöllner, President of the Conference of German
Education Ministers. ‘Our common goal is to create incentives for sound scientific results in order to improve our education system and make it more just.’

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