When contemplating learning and teaching, educational research pertains to all phases of life, both in institutional contexts and societal ones. Educational research entails research on fundamental education in family and kindergarten, education of young students in schools and in non-school private or public institutions, and adult education that takes place in general or vocational institutions of further education and cultural facilities.
The concept of „Lifelong Learning“, which was launched by the German Federal Government, is designed to meet the challenges that come with societal changes, the demand for flexibility, and the topic of digitalization; therefore, this concept is highly significant for our society. In this context, one can notice a change in learning culture over the last few years – a culture that places learning in institutional and life-related contexts; this also includes lifelong learning processes.
The main topics of educational research can be listed as follows: The problem of unequal accessibility to education; research of transitions and changes during a person’s life; research of life-accompanying, lifelong learning processes through curriculum vitae and biography analysis (through evaluation of biographical data); analysis of the role and function of digital media; finding answers to questions of professionalization and educational governance; and the analysis of internationally comparative educational research. New research topics within educational research are: research of the processes and structures of transmigration; research of the emergence and evolution of transnational life situations; research of the possibilities and limits of integration into the educational system and its institutions. Other topics of educational research can be described as research on challenges and justice in education as part of a childhood and adolescent research that is sensitive to globalization; research of lifelong learning processes and lifelong educational processes; research of education that focuses on democracy and human rights, especially when considering social and political involvement in early childhood and adolescence.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthias D. Witte is the representative member of the pillar of educational research within the ZSBH.