Welcome to BiKS!

When do children learn what? How do kindergarten, school and the home environment influence learning? On which factors do parents base their choice of primary and secondary schools? These are the central questions that the interdisciplinary research group BiKS at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg wanted to answer. 

The research group consisted of a team of scientists from the fields of education, psychology and sociology and officially began its work on March 1, 2005. The German Research Foundation (DFG) provided financial support for the project. At the end of 2013, the work of the research group was continued by the DFG projects BiKSplus [3-13] (to be followed in 2019 by BiKSplus [3-18]) and BiKSplus [8-18].

The analysis of the data collected over the years 2005 to 2019 not only provided the BiKS research group with valuable insights into the factors by which, for example, educational pathways are influenced and how competencies can be targeted. Access to the collected data (in anonymized form, of course) is made possible via the FDZ at IQB to all interested researchers under certain conditions. Together with publications from the research group, this has resulted in numerous publications based on our longitudinal data.

The background of the BiKS-Study

The international school achievement studies of the past few years showed that the achievements of some pupils are not as good as we had expected and wished. Further information was necessary to provide improved learning-conditions for our children. The ideal conditions for promoting children’s linguistic and cognitive development had not been explored sufficiently. Moreover little was known about the decision-making process concerning school enrolment and, later on, choosing the right secondary school. Therefore we were following the development of a group of randomly selected children over a longer period of time.

Some of the work begun in the BiKS study ist being continued in the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS).

Two longitudinal studies

Since autumn 2005 2,395 children from 155 primary schools in Bavaria and Hesse have been part of BiKS-8-14. These children were in 3rd grade at the beginning of the BiKS study. The majority of the participating children moved on to secondary school in the summer of 2007. These children and their families were followed until the end of 9th grade. In addition to the regular collection of competencies of the participating children, their parents and their teachers were interviewed. The focus of interest is on the different developmental trajectories of children in elementary and secondary schools. While some of the students transitioned into the vocational education system in the school year 2012/2013, another part of the sample stayed in the general school system. From that moment on, these young people have been accompanied individuallyin the context of BiKSplus [8-18] on their way towards college, vocational training, and the labor market.

More information about BiKSplus [8-18] can be found here.