About the Project

On the First of December 2018, the joint research project DATAFIED (DATA For and In EDucation) has been officially launched and ended successfully on the 31st of May 2022. Together the Leibniz Institute for Educational Media | Georg Eckert Institute (GEI), the Institute for Informationmanagement Bremen (ifib), the Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (HSU), and the Leibniz Institute for Educational Research and Information (DIPF), investigated the effects of the advancing digitization and the attached datafication in the school education system. Datafication, by the means of the school education system, can be perceived in a way that data is collected on all processes of the school system, which simultaneously influences decision-making and opinion-forming processes of various school actors (e.g. education policy, school supervision, school authorities, teachers or parents).

The collection and use of data is by no means neutral: Which data is collected for which reasons, which is not queried? What happens to the data? What conclusions can be drawn from this, with regard to the ideal of “good” education and the “right” implementation of digital aids?

The BMBF and the Kultusministerkonferenz have anchored the increasing digitisation of the school system within their strategy papers. In addition to that, the currently discussed amendment to the the “Digitalpakt” is reaffirmed. In this context DATAFIED was an important constituent in the research and evaluation of the progress made so far.

Alongside the digitalization, a comprehensive datafication of the school system is occurring nowadays, which collects data in all processes of the school system which simultaneously influences decision-making and opinion-forming processes in education policy, school supervision, school authorities, school management, teachers, pupils and their parents as well as the public. Their origin, interpretation and use is not (value-) neutral, as the data itself already includes ideas of “good education” or “good school” and “good teaching“. Contemporaneous increasing datafication is changing the roles of teachers, pupils and other actors in the education system and their relationships with each other. The joint research project described these processes of change from four different, interwoven perspectives and analyzed them on the basis of its own empirical studies at four interfaces of the school education system: School Inspectorate and School (SP1), School management and school information systems (SP2), Digital learning software and teaching (SP3), Teachers and students in class (SP4). The aim was to describe the formative role of data in order to gain insights about the role change and professional understanding, and to generate impulses that support future decisions regarding the design of data practices in the education system.

The joint research project DATAFIED was scheduled for 3 years (1st December 2018 – 31st November 2021) as part of the “Rahmenprogramm empirische Bildungsforschung” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.  In the end of 2021 we received the possibility to prolong the project for the time of 6 month (until 31st of may 2022) to balance out delays caused by the pandemic. The project has been successfully concluded on the 31st of May 2022. The results will be published in a book giving detailed insights on each subproject in various chapters. More information on the book will be made available here as soon as possible.

For further information to this topic as well as other projects you can find on the homepage: Rahmenprogramm empirische Bildungsforschung