Main Topics

  • Education in Kindergarten and Primary School
  • History of Kindergarten and Primary School
  • Educational Reforms in Kindergarten and Primary School
  • Teaching and Classroom Management in Kindergarten and Primary School
  • Learning and Teaching in Physical Education

Research Projects


Situation on Kindergarten in the Canton of Zurich (2017–2020)

In cooperation with Prof. Dr. Doris Edelmann (University of Teacher Education Bern) and Prof. Dr. Hansjakob Schneider (University of Teacher Education Zurich) we follow the research questions of transition to kindergarten, the competency of kindergartners as well as the play- and learning-centered settings of kindergarten in an empirical study.

Motor Activities during Free Play in Kindergarten (2008–2012)

Due to claims that the motor abilities of young children are declining and the fact that increasing numbers of children are overweight, the Institute for Continuing Professional Education at the Bern University of Teacher Education initiated a project in kindergarten called «Purzelbaum» (Project Somersault). Its purpose is to enhance motor activities in kindergarten, especially basic motor skills. We took advantage of this arrangement and initiated an empirical study on the questions of how do teachers implement their concepts of physical education in kindergarten, particularly during free play, and are the children taking advantage of these motor learning opportunities.

Earlier Beginning of Compulsory Schhool in Switzerland (2005–2006)

The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) seeks to harmonize the educational system in Switzerland. One crucial question is when should compulsory schooling begin. This expertise describes the current situation in the various Swiss cantons and generates some conclusions as to whether or not an earlier start of compulsory schooling should be considered.

Primary School

Classroom Management at the Entry Stage of Primary School (2008–2012)

Since the late 1990s kindergarten and the first two grades of primary school have been undergoing a reform in which they are defined as being the entry stage to compulsory education in Switzerland. It is mainly a structural reform and little is known about actual practices in kindergarten and the first two grades of primary school. The aim of this study is to explore the importance of classroom management in these settings and to consider the interrelationship of classroom management and instructional design.

Educational Goals of the Entry Stage of Primary School (2006)

On behalf of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education in the Eastern Part of Switzerland a paper was compiled to describe the educational goals of the new forms of primary school in Switzerland. It provided a basis for discussions on how the different forms should be developed further.

Kindergarten and School: Professional Fields and Professions – Torn between Proximity and Delimitation (1998–2002)

Ever since their historical beginning the relationship between kindergarten and primary school was shaped by proximity and delimitation. Based on empirical data the goal of this study was to pursue this circumstance and to present evidence that will aid the reform of kindergarten and primary school.

Kindergarten and Primary School: Characteristics of Two Professional Fields (1998–2001)

The 1990s witnessed a teacher education reform. One innovation stemming from this reform is the combined teacher education for kindergarten and the first two classes of primary school. For lack of empirical data the Bernese Cantonal Department for Education commissioned a study to analyze the two professional fields.

Career Choice

Adolescence and the Process of Career Choice (2000–2004)

The transition from school to working life is extremely demanding. Because career choice has such significance both for the individual and for the development of society, it is astounding that there so little empirical knowledge is available on the subject. The purpose of this study was to analyze the career choices of adolescents who are in the transition phase from the lower secondary school to the upper secondary school or who decide to pursue vocational education and training.