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 we – the researchers at Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg – want to answer. BiKS stands for "Bildungsprozesse, Kompetenzentwicklung und Selektionsentscheidungen im Vor- und Grundschulalter" (educational processes, competence development and selection decisions in preschool- and school age) and consists of a team of academics from the areas education, psychology and sociology. In March 2005 the BiKS project started. The study is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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 is necessary to provide improved learning-conditions for our children. The ideal conditions for promoting children’s linguistic and cognitive development have not been explored sufficiently. Moreover little is known about the decision-making process concerning school enrolment and, later on, choosing the right secondary school. Therefore we will follow the development of a group of randomly selected children over a longer period of time.

Three 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.