Lisa Bardach’s research mainly focuses on students’ positive development at school in different domains, such as their motivation, personality, cognitive abilities, and social integration, and on the question of how to improve positive developmental outcomes for students with diverse backgrounds and needs. In addition to individual differences between students that drive their development and learning, she studies how teaching approaches and peer processes contribute to students’ developmental outcomes. Moreover, she is particularly interested in exploiting the potential of digital technologies as tools to foster students’ positive development in different domains.
My plans for the fellowship period
The research I will conduct during my fellowship aims to help students with an immigrant background to realize their potential by fostering their positive development (e.g., learning, positive self-beliefs, social integration) in secondary school. I will use interdisciplinary research approaches, combining psychology and educational research with methods from other disciplines, such as neuroscience or sociology.
First, I seek to enhance current understandings of the complex ways in which immigrant students’ positive development is shaped by factors located at multiple levels of analysis, ranging from individual differences between students, family support and home factors, to dynamic classroom, teaching, and learning processes, and characteristics of school systems and societies. Second, I will develop and test a scalable intervention to promote immigrant students’ positive development by using innovative game-based applications. I will furthermore examine how multiple-level influences affect intervention outcomes in order to better tailor the intervention to individual needs and different settings.
How will my work change children’s and youth’s lives?
My work will contribute to a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of the positive development of students with an immigrant background at school. Moreover, as effective education policies and practices are needed in order to change children’s and youth’s life and foster their positive development at school, I will provide a scalable digital technology-based intervention that can be implemented in secondary school classes. Classrooms, and particularly interactions between immigrant students, teachers, and (native) fellow students represent important developmental contexts for immigrant students. Hence, the whole-class intervention allows to improve academic learning outcomes and positive self-beliefs of individual immigrant students, while also supporting social integration, for example by fostering positive cross-cultural contacts and friendships between immigrant and native students. I first focus on Germany due to my access to schools here; however, the impact will be much broader: During my fellowship, I will initiate an international (research) network to discuss and disseminate research findings from the fellowship, and to test and implement the game-based intervention in different countries.