Centre for the Examination of Cognition and Learning

In the framework of the centre, we are implementing interdisciplinary research in the following scientific fields: developmental and social psychology, social philosophy, philosophy of education, anthropology of everyday life, and media studies.

When conducting our research, we keep in mind that paying attention to crucial questions, as well as addressing and asking them, is of crucial importance for efficient design of research problems and viewpoints. This is why we are focusing on the issues of the public and administrative discourse, as well as of the prevailing scientific paradigms that crucially define our current understanding of both general society and education. Therefore, we examine the role and the influence of prevailing ideologies and ways of understanding current planning and implementation of policies and practices in the field of upbringing and education. We also pay special attention to specific influences of cultural patterns, convictions, and standing presumptions on the cognitive, personal, and social development of children and young people.

The research focusses on the exploration of the role and importance of knowledge and education for optimum psycho-social development for all children and adolescents and their empowerment for active citizenship (development of critical thinking, political and media literacy, as well as intercultural and civil competencies) in the context of current social changes.

Research orientations and objectives:

  • developing analytical starting points in order to study and interpret paradigmatic and ideological changes in the field of upbringing and education;
  • exploring social justice in the context of school (tolerance, justice, social responsibility, solidarity, emancipation, public/private);
  • exploring various forms of the process of upbringing and education, taking into consideration individual differences yet enabling the acquisition and the development of interest for both elementary and useful skills;
  • studying social interactions in specific contexts of society (school, peers, youth organisations, local communities, socio-political system), and the effects they have on the development of (social) cognition, motivation, personality, and social behaviour of children and young people;
  • developing participatory school communities (researching different areas of creating an inclusive school environment in connection with the local community contributing to the empowerment of young people in order to ensure they become active citizens);
  • developing strategies for the social inclusion of children and young people, especially of the culturally and socially deprived (e.g. immigrants, young people becoming adults) based on theoretically founded and empirically proven models;
  • constructing and arranging measurement devices for the fields of socio-cognitive concepts, relationship towards knowledge, intercultural competencies, learning and didactic approaches, social interactions, and organisational culture.

Who we are



Ongoing Research


  • Research Programme: Applied Developmental Psychology (No. P5-0062;Financed by: the Slovenian Research Agency; Duration of the Programme: 2015-2019; Programme Manager: Professor Dr Maja Zupančič; Managing Research Organisation:University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts; Participating Research Organisations: University of Maribor, Faculty of Arts; University of Maribor, Faculty of Education; Educational Research Institute);
  • Effectiveness of Different Types of Learning Support in Self-regulation of E-learning (Fundamental Research Project No. J5-9437; Financed by: the Slovenian Research Agency; Duration of the Project: 7/2018 – 30/6/2021; Project Manager: Dr Cirila Peklaj; Managing Research Organisation: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts; Participating Research Organisations: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, Educational Research Institute);
  • Supportive Learning Environment for Motivated Learning and Quality Knowledge (a CRP 2018 project, No. V5-1701; Co-financed by: the Slovenian Research Agency and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration of the Project: 4/2018 – 31/3/2020; Project Manager: Dr Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • EUROSTUDENT VII 2019–2021 (international research project; Co-financed by: the European Commission and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Directorate of Higher Education and Science; Research Backer in Slovenia: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Research Coordinator in Slovenia: the Educational Research Institute);
  • Developing possibilities of communication through cultural and artistic education – SKUM(an ESS project, Innovative learning environments; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration of the Project: 8/2017 – 30/6/2022; Project Manager: Dr Bogdana Borota; Managing Organisation: University of Primorska, Faculty of Education; Participating Partner Organisations: University of Primorska, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Educational Research Institute; educational institutions (kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools), cultural institutions, artists; a total of 35 consortium partners);
  • SIRIUS 2.0 Policy Network on Migrant Education (Project type: The Action EAC/S28/2016/Framework Partnership Agreement; Financed by: the European Commission; Duration of the Project: 2017–2021; Managing Organisation: the MPG – Migration Policy Group AISBL; Participating Partner Organisations: 18 organisations from the EU Member States, members of the SIRIUS Network, the Educational Research Institute from Slovenia);
  • Reinforcing the Social and Civic Competencies of Practitioners in Educational Institutions: “We Only Exist With Others” (an ESS project; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration of the Project: 21/5/2016 – 30/9/2021; Project Manager: Dr Marina Lukšič Hacin; Managing Organisation: the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, the Slovenian Migration Institute; Consortium Partner: the Educational Research Institute).

Completed Studies


  • A National Report on the International Study EUROSTUDENT VI (2016 – 2018), Social and Economic Living Conditions of Students in Europe (final research report; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Directorate of Higher Education; Duration: July – October 2018; Manager: Alenka Gril; Research Organisation Implementing the Project: Educational Research Institute);
  • Yearly Evaluations of the Realisation of Measures of the Resolution on the National Higher Education Programme 2011–2020 (ReNPVŠ 2011–2020) for 2016, 2017, 2018 (Evaluation study; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Directorate of Higher Education; Duration: 2016, 2017, 2018; Manager: Alenka Gril; Research Organisation Implementing the Project: Educational Research Institute);
  • Education and Transfer into Adulthood in the Visions of the Future of Young People in Serbia and Slovenia (a product of bilateral scientific collaboration between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Serbia 2016, No. ARRS-BI-2016/253; Financed by: the Slovenian Research Agency and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia; Duration: 11/2014 – 31/12/2015; Managers: Dr Alenka Gril and Dr Nada Polovina, Participating Research Organisations: Educational Research Institute (Slovenia) and Institute for Educational Research (Belgrade, Serbia)).
  • Relationship towards Knowledge in a Knowledge Society (a CRP project, No. V5-1027; Duration: 1/1/2010 – 9/2012; Manager: Dr Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Intercultural Relations and Participation of Young People in Elementary School and High School (research in the framework of the ESS project:Expert Bases, Strategies and Theoretical Thematisations for Education in Intercultural Relationships and Active Citizenship”; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration: 1/2010 – 31/8/2011; Project Manager: Dr Marina Lukšič Hacin; Principal Research Organisation: Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, Slovenian Migration Institute; Consortium Partner: Educational Research Institute; Research Manager in the framework of the project: Dr Alenka Gril);
  • Practices of Civic Engagement of Young People in a Democratic Society (research project conducted for the needs of the Municipality of Ljubljana in 2007; financed by: Municipality of Ljubljana; duration: 2007–2008; Manager: Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Voluntary Work of Young People in Ljubljana (research project conducted for the needs of the Municipality of Ljubljana in 2005; financed by: Municipality of Ljubljana; duration: 2005–2006; Manager: Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Encouraging Voluntary Work with Young People (a CRP project, No. V5-0955; duration: 1/9/2004 – 3/2006; Manager: Dr Matej Tušak, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sports; Participating Research Organisation: the Educational Research Institute);
  • International Comparison of the Workload of Pupils in Nine-Year Elementary School from the Viewpoint of the Psychosocial Development of Children and Young People (Evaluation study; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration: 2003–2005; Manager: Dr Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Effects of the Organisation of Classes on the Social and Cognitive Development of Young People (a CRP project; No. V5-0560; Financed by: the Slovenian Research Agency and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration: 11/2001 – 31/12/2004; Manager: Dr Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Free Time of Young People in Ljubljana: Psychosocial Analysis of the Needs and Possibilities for their Implementation (a research project conducted for the needs of the Municipality of Ljubljana in 2003; Financed by: the Municipality of Ljubljana; Duration: 2001 – 2003; Manager: Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • Cooperation and Competitivity of Pupils in the Last Three Years of a Nine-Year Elementary School in Relation to the Characteristics of the Learning Interaction, Didactical Guidelines, and Approaches to Learning (an evaluation study; Financed by: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; Duration: 2001–2003; Manager: Alenka Gril, Educational Research Institute);
  • International Comparison of the Workload of Pupils and Students from the Viewpoint of the Psychosocial Development of Children and Young People (evaluation study; Financed by: the Ministry of Education and Sports; Duration: 2000–2002; Manager: Maja Zupančič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Participating Research Organisation: the Educational Research Institute);
  • Understanding Social Inequalities in the Framework of Youth Organisations (research conducted in the framework of the doctoral dissertation of Alenka Gril between 1999 and 2002).

Pedagogical Cooperation


Dr Alenka Gril, Docent in the field of Psychology of Development and Learning (University of Primorska, Faculty of Education), is collaborating with the following higher education institutions:

  • University of Maribor, Faculty of Arts; Higher Education Study Programme: Psychology, I. Degree; Study course: Developmental Psychology of Adolescence and Adulthood (obligatory course); Study Years: 2014/2015, 2015/2016, 2019/2020;
  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Education; Higher Education Study Programme: Educational Sciences, III. Degree; Study courses: Development of Thinking (elective), Participation of Children and Young People in Upbringing and Education (elective); Study Years: from 2010/2011 onward;
  • University of Nova Gorica, Faculty of Humanities; Higher Education Study Programme and Degree: Slovenian Studies, II. Degree; Study courses: Developmental Psychology (obligatory course) and Social Relationships in School (elective); Study Years: 2016/2017, 2017/2018.

 

Dr Igor Bijuklič, Docent in the field of Political Science, Sociology, Communication, Ethics, and Culturology in Management (University of Primorska, Faculty of Management), is collaborating with the following higher education institutions:

  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities; Higher Education Study Programme:Communication and Media, I. Degree; Study courses: Introduction to Politology (obligatory course), Introduction to Social Theory (obligatory course); Study Year: 2019/2020;
  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Education; Higher Education Study Programme: Inclusive Educational Studies, II. Degree; Study Course: Dissimilarity and Equal Opportunities in Education (obligatory course);Study Years: 2017/2018, 2018/2019;
  • University of Primorska, Faculty of Management; Higher Education Study Programme: Political Sciences, II. Degree; Study Courses: Art and Culture (the practical part of an obligatory course),Creative Research Seminar (obligatory course), Philosophy of Natural Sciences (the practical part of an obligatory course); Study Years: 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018.