Applied Developmental Psychology

Programme Manager at the ERI: Dr Alenka Gril

Source (financed by): the Slovenian Research Agency, research programme/programme team

Duration of the programme: 2015–2019

General objectives of the programme:

Fundamental objectives of the research programme of Applied Developmental Psychology are psychological research studies of children, adolescents and younger adults, and the application of said findings in the practice of upbringing and education, sports activities and other extra-curricular activities, and social dynamics in families and peer groups.

At the Educational Research Institute, we will be performing activities in the field of objectives related to the educational context of psycho-social development of children and adolescents throughout the five-year period of financing (2015–2019). We shall focus on studying learning processes in school, or pedagogical practices that can encourage the formation of a positive relationship of adolescents towards knowledge, as well as the acquisition of high-quality knowledge.

We shall study the process of actively including adolescents into co-creating knowledge during participational interactions in school contributing to the acquisition of complex knowledge, formation of a positive relationship towards knowledge, and development of creativity, independence, and acceptance of diversity among adolescents. In this context, we shall study contextual conditions and psychological (predictive) factors influencing the study process, such as potential outcomes of participational study interactions in the light of the social and cognitive development of an adolescent, and forming their personal and social (vocational, moral, ethnical, civic) identities. At an international level, we will try to compare research findings in the Slovenian educational space with other socio-cultural contexts (particularly in the EU Member States).

On the basis of results, we will be able to define the key role of school, teachers, and peers when it comes to encouraging a positive development of adolescents and planning own career paths, and a responsible manner of accepting social roles during adulthood in the quickly changing and modern socioeconomic context.

In 2018, we will prepare scientific articles to be published in international magazines dealing with the model of active study courses and the verification of the role of the following social processes in school: participation of students in the study process, participational learning and class climate, and school culture. In these articles, we will present the results of secondary analyses of data collected during the previous national studies that have been implemented at the ERI (ESS 2011: intercultural relations and active citizenship – the effects of the climate and participation on interethnic friendships between adolescents, and understanding solidarity; Relationship of students towards knowledge 2012 and 2015 – changes in social representations of knowledge) and during international studies in the field of knowledge (TIMSS 2015, ICCS 2016, PIRLS 2016, compared to the previous cycles of same studies; analyses of trends in the learning environment, during classes, and when it comes to viewpoints of students).

In addition, we shall also focus on secondary analyses of data collected among high-schoolers (in their final years of study) in a bilateral research focusing on the visions for the future among young people in Slovenia and Serbia, while also studying the role of education and of the cultural context in two countries when it comes to planning objectives for one’s own future in the field of career, family, and accommodation/migrations in adolescents. The results will be made ready for publication in international scientific publications.

We shall continue with the development of appropriately measured questionnaires for children and adolescents: adaptation of the social competences questionnaire for adolescents (SV-A) and standardisation of the questionnaire with the norms for adolescents, as well as preparation of a textbook to be used in school practice (in collaboration with the Centre for Psychodiagnostic Funds and Dr Maša Vidmar, a researcher from the ERI, and the manager of the programme team, Dr Maja Zupančič).



Applicant/Core organisation: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Manager of the Programme/of the Programme Team: Dr Maja Zupančič (UL F)

Participating partner organisations: University of Maribor, Faculty of Arts; University of Maribor, Faculty of Education; Educational Research Institute