The research of our department focuses on the issues of learning, knowledge, and competencies at different life course stages of adults. While we investigate practice within pedagogical institutions, we are particularly interested in settings beyond these formalized contexts. We pursue questions and phenomena at the level of theories, discourses and empirical research.

Our current research activities center on the domains of learning in the context of work, life course transitions as impetus for learning, as well as teaching and learning in higher education.

Life Course Transitions as Impetus for Learning

We research learning during transitions in the life course through different projects:

First, we explore and discuss theoretical perspectives on the learning during life course transitions. Publications in this project elaborate on concepts such as lifelong learning and are working towards a framework for theorizing learning during transitions.

In thematic project areas, we investigate transitions

  • into parenthood and the associated challenges as an impetus for learning. Over the past ten years, this research has been focusing on the role of learning in both formal pedagocial programs as well as in informal contexts,
  • to being an executive, as studied by Simone Anton in her doctoral dissertation,
  • into university studies, which has been the focus of Kathrin Henrich's PhD research,
  • in the context of migration and mobility, as is at the centre of Michael Bernhard's PhD project.

Learning in the Context of Work and Organizations

We investigate learning in the context of work through several projects, drawing on a variety of methods and theoretical perspectives:

  • Janek Förster is focusing his PhD research on developing a standardized instrument to capture informal workplace learning.
  • Martina Wohlfart-Schäfer investigates in her PhD research the salience of experiential knowledge in daily work routines. (Link, German)
  • Petra Maurer centers her PhD research on coping strategies in the context violence in public service workplaces. (Link, German)
  • Jannis Ackermann explores the processualities behind the organization of sport.
  • Master-level research seminars have been exploring work contexts as sites of learning and opportunity spaces.

Learning in Higher Education

We research learning at the university with a focus on the practices of studying. One project conceptualizes and develops supports inquiry-based learning with an eye on digital learning spaces. Of further interest are the relationship between study behaviour and learning habitus, as well as the development of different learning practices under the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For a complete list of research projects and publications, please see this page (German).