The Importance of Educational Effectiveness Research

AN INTERVIEW WITH Max Nachbauer l by Katrin Ernst



Name: Max Nachbauer
Field: Educational Science
Country: Germany
Research Interests: Teaching Quality and Effectiveness, Educational Inequality in Schools





Katrin Ernst, one of our student assistants, conducted an interview with him to highlight his successfully completed dissertation and to talk about some of the experiences he made during his time at the BAGSS.


// What drew you to your dissertation topic and what interests you most about it?

M.N. I have considered educational effectiveness research the most relevant field within educational research since my studies. This is mainly because this kind of research can be used directly for improving education. Studying school effects on equity in education is especially interesting for me because this topic relates to the promotion of social justice.

// Can you give us a small sneak peek about the findings of your thesis?

M.N. My empirical analyses address the causes of the achievement gap between socially advantaged and disadvantaged students as well as school-based interventions to reduce this achievement gap. Concerning the causes of the achievement gap, the results suggest that socially disadvantaged students are academically less successful because of unfavourable cognitive characteristics, less stimulating leisure activities and peer groups with lower educational aspirations. In regard to school-based interventions, there is evidence that a high degree of teacher support during instruction, using mixed-ability groups and providing remedial teaching are effective measures for reducing the achievement gap.

// What did you enjoy most about your time at the Graduate School?

M.N. I really enjoyed the social network within the Graduate School including both doctoral students and professors. I especially liked the diversity of the people at the Graduate School as the members were working in different academic disciplines and coming from different countries.

// What is the next step in your career?

M.N. I am currently preparing the publication of my dissertation thesis. When this is done, I want to focus my further academic work on writing review articles. During my dissertation I realized that I enjoy reading existing studies more than conducting own studies. Therefore, I think writing review articles is a pretty attractive kind of academic work. Also, I recently started to work as a teacher in a secondary school in Berlin. This is a great opportunity for me to ascertain the practical value of my theoretical knowledge of educational effectiveness.