Creating and promoting lasting knowledge is a major goal of education. Research in psychological and educational science often seeks to identify characteristics of instruction and learning processes that promote the acquisition of knowledge that remains available and accessible over long periods of time and can be used as the basis for further learning. Yet, prior research in psychology and education has focused almost exclusively on short-term learning outcomes. As a result, there is a dearth of systematic research that can provide either a comprehensive theory of lasting learning or practical recommendations for how learning and teaching in schools should be designed to create long-term knowledge.
In this research unit, we aim to fill this knowledge gap by investigating lasting learning in schools and other educational contexts over a period of up to eight years (2022–2030). With the goal of making a significant contribution to theory and practice, we will investigate, in eight independent research groups
- ... the individual benefits of three major desirable difficulties in learning, namely retrieval practice, distributed learning, and interleaved learning, on long-term learning and transfer.
- ... the combined benefits of these desirable difficulties with instructional interventions that support meaningful (generative) learning.
- ... the moderating roles of learning settings, learner characteristics, and their interactions in lasting learning.
All projects are based on experimental intervention studies in schools (primary and secondary level) and use learning materials in biology, mathematics, German, and physics developed by experts on subject-matter education.
Richter, T., Berger, R., Ebersbach, M., Eitel, A., Endres, T., Borromeo Ferri, R., Hänze, M., Lachner, A., Leutner, D., Lipowsky, F., Nemeth, L., Renkl, A., Roelle, J., Rummer R., Scheiter, K., Schweppe J., von Aufschnaiter, C., & Vorholzer, A. (2022). How to promote lasting learning in schools: Theoretical approaches and an agenda for research. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie/German Journal of Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology, 54(4), 135–141. https://doi.org/10.1026/0049-8637/a000258 (open access)