We aim to understand the diverse aspects of educational fields by embedding educational processes within and outside the school in social, cultural and structural analyses.

Of special interest with respect to schooling are the impacts of educational policies and institutional developments

  • On schools 
  • Individual educational achievement and attainment
  • On diversity and educational inequality along the axes of social origin, gender, ethnicity and ability.

The approach to varying local, national and regional educational systems (primary, secondary, and tertiary education), theories and practices is often comparative and/or international. Our focus is on interactions of educational ideas, policies, institutions, and practices in their contemporary contexts – based on a variety of disciplinary and methodical approaches. We also investigate (social) learning in other contexts than schools or school systems, including in organisations such as municipalities, or ministries, in particular how (transformative) learning in individuals, organisations and systems may influence each other. Some InES researchers also engage in transdisciplinary research projects, embedded in practice, that actively contribute to transforming social practices and expectations in the face of societal challenges, including sustainability.

Specific research interests include:

  • Primary and secondary schooling,
  • Special and inclusive education
  • Vocational education and training
  • Higher education
  • Lifelong learning
  • Learning in informal settings

With strong international research collaborations and teaching networks within Europe and beyond, the Institute contributes to advancing the rigorous social- and cultural-scientific analysis of education across disciplinary boundaries and methodological approaches.

Researchers in the Institute are members of editorial boards of leading journals and book series for major international publishers. The Institute regularly organizes seminars, invited lectures and workshops, and has a steady stream of international visitors.