Research Projects

Project "AVG"

Project "LUPE"

Project "AVG"

Evaluation of a Gifted Education Program: Effects of ability grouping of gifted students in special gifted classes in secondary schools in Rhineland-Palatinate

The Chair of Giftedness Research and Education acts as scientific supervisor of a gifted education program for secondary schools currently offered at four grammar schools (‚Gymnasien’) in Rhineland-Palatinate. In addition to regular classes, each of the schools taking part in the program offers a special gifted class to foster the development of gifted students.

One of our scientific goals is the investigation of the so-called „Big-Fish-Little-Pond“ effect (BFLPE). For the gifted classes, we assume that part of those students who were high achievers prior to their integration into the gifted classes will subsequently turn into average achievers within the context of their new classes. For many students, this „big fish“-„little fish“ transition has detrimental effects on academic self-concept. (Academic self-concept refers to statements such as „I’m gifted at maths.“) Since academic self-concept is a crucial factor in such diverse outcomes as scholastic achievement, learning behavior, course selection, career aspirations and vocational choices, the BFLPE is of great practical importance.

Interestingly, several studies have shown that, on the other hand, full-time ability grouping can improve motivation and attitude towards school and learning in gifted students. These issues will also be addressed in the context of the project. In general, little is known about the long-term outcomes of full-time ability grouping of gifted students. Therefore, besides the study of the BFLPE and related changes, the project aims at documenting developmental changes in order to help improve and optimize gifted education and to offer starting points for school development.

Results from grades 5-8

For the first results (grades 5-8) please follow this link to the official project report 2013. This report covers the data collected between 2005 and 2013.


Research Associate: Dipl.-Psych. Isabelle Schmidt
Duration: since 2005
Funding: Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate


back to top

Project LUPE

Project LUPE: A project aimed at a material-based promotion of primary teachers’ diagnostic competencies

The correct assessment of a student´s performance level by teachers is an important precondition for differentiated and performance-oriented learning. Furthermore, teacher judgments of student characteristics can lead to corresponding expectations for these students which in turn can influence their further development. The main purpose of the LUPE project is therefore to support the academic development of (potentially) high-performing students by promoting their teachers’ diagnostic competencies.  

The project comprises an interdisciplinary elaboration of a “Talent Development Model” with a specific reference to MINT subjects (mathematics and science).  Based on the model, domain specific materials that support primary school teachers in actively and structurally searching for and identifying (potentially) high-performing students will be developed, tested in practice, and formatively evaluated. The materials combine different approaches which can be used in a modular way („tool box metaphor“). The approaches include diagnostic task material teachers can utilise in everyday school settings and behavioural observation methods that could be used in the classroom.

Research Associate: M.Sc. Psych. Elena Mack, M.Sc. Psych Moritz Breit und Dr. Mireille Krischler

Duration: 2018 to 2022

Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Cooperation partner: Prof. Dr. Miriam Vock (University Potsdam)


TAD steht für „talent development in achievement domains“. Ziel des TAD-Projektes ist es, ein Rahmenmodell bereitzustellen, mit dem die Entwicklung von Begabung hin zu besonderer Leistung – mit anderen Worten: die Talententwicklung – aus psychologischer Perspektive abgebildet werden kann. Dieses TAD framework soll auf unterschiedliche Leistungsdomänen anwendbar sein, z.B. auf den akademischen, musischen, sportlichen oder künstlerischen Bereich.

Entwickelt wird das TAD framework in einer Kooperation von Psycholog*innen, die sich wissenschaftlich mit Fragen der Talententwicklung beschäftigen. Dabei werden unterschiedliche Perspektiven berücksichtigt wie die Hochbegabungs- und Expertiseforschung, die Instruktionspsychologie und psychologische Forschung zur Talententwicklung in unterschiedlichen Domänen wie Musik, Mathematik oder Malerei. Das internationale Team hat sich den Namen ICPT für “The International Research Collaborative for the Psychology of Talent Development” gegeben. Mitglieder sind (in alphabetischer Reihenfolge):

  • JunProf. Dr. Jessica Golle, Universität Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Roland Grabner, Karl-Franzens Universität, Graz
  • Prof. Dr. Linda Jarvin, Paris College of Art, Paris
  • Prof. Dr. Aaron Kozbelt, Brooklyn College, New York
  • Prof. Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen, Goldsmith University of London
  • Prof. Dr. Paula M. Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, Evanston
  • Prof. Dr. Franzis Preckel, Universität Trier
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, Universität Würzburg
  • Prof. Dr. Rena Subotnik, American Psychological Association, Washington
  • Prof. Dr. Miriam Vock, Universität Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Frank C. Worrell, University of California, Berkeley

Das TAD-Projekt wird durch die Karg-Stiftung und die Siemens-Stiftung unterstützt. Die Karg-Stiftung organisiert das nächste Treffen der ICPT-Forscher*innengruppe im März 2020 in Frankfurt am Main.

nach oben