The LAP project at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories in cooperation with the German Centre for Higher Education Research and science studies (DZHW, Hannover) is coming to an end these days with a final conference (May 25, 2023, online). Over the past nine years, the Student Teacher Panel has created a unique data collection on the educational trajectories of (prospective) teachers, expanding the database for empirical educational research in Germany to include this specific group of individuals. The LAP is a supplementary study to the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) start cohort 5 (students). The joint data include longitudinal information from over ten years of panel surveys covering all phases of teacher education - including the first years in the school service. Unlike other large surveys of teachers in Germany, the LAP data are not limited to specific states, school types, or subjects. They allow detailed analyses of teacher education, the transition to the profession, and the first years of employment, as well as comparisons between different teacher education programs. The instruments specially developed for the surveys enabled the recording of relevant educational processes in the various phases of teacher education and include, among other things, the specific situation of prospective teachers during the Corona pandemic.
The research potential of LAP data is enormous. They allow for a variety of analyses on educational and career paths as well as on the professional situation, professional practice, and self-assessed competencies of (prospective) teachers. Questions about educational decisions, educational trajectories, educational outcomes, and the importance of learning environments for competence development can be examined. Of particular interest are also questions about the decision to stay in teacher education or to change to other programs, to drop out of teacher education, or to change within education, for example, with regard to the choice of teaching subject.
The LAP data can also be used to derive recommendations for practice and educational policy and to help improve teacher education. The results of the research can help to investigate the causes of the currently highly debated teacher shortage and to develop support measures for prospective teachers. By analyzing the data, the potential and risks of teachers in second-chance education, via so-called lateral and lateral entrants, can be better assessed. The connection to the data of the NEPS student cohort also enables cross-occupational studies on career choice and career trajectories, for example, to compare educational returns and the career trajectories of teachers with other occupational groups.
A publication on the entire data set of the LAP project has now appeared in the Journal of Open Psychology Data. It describes the design, the survey instruments, the data, and their potential uses. The Student Teacher Panel (LAP) is linked to Start Cohort 5 of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), which started in the winter semester 2010/2011 with an oversampling of student teachers. In total, approximately 5,500 students from teacher education programs were part of the panel sample at the beginning of the surveys. Beginning in 2014, the surveys were supplemented with teacher education-specific survey instruments - for example, instruments to capture the learning environment of the preparatory service or aspects of professional teacher competence and professional development. The joint data were collected in 19 waves between 2010 and 2022 and are now available to the research community as scientific-use files as part of Start Cohort 5 of the National Education Panel. The LAP project has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in three project phases since 2014.
Schaeper, H., Ortenburger, A., Franz, S., Gäckle, S., Menge, C. and Wolter, I., 2023. The German Panel of Teacher Education Students: Surveying (Prospective) Teachers from Higher Education into Working Life. Journal of Open Psychology Data, 11(1), p.7.DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/jopd.76
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