German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE)

The German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE) is an extramural research institute, which processes the socially and educationally relevant task of substantiated learning and adult education acadamically and its succesful development. As a central institution for research, politics and practice, the DIE supports stakeholders in the field of continuing education with research findings and services. The range of tasks includes application-relevant and fundamental research, infrastructural services as well as counselling for politics and practice.

On this basis, the institute’s activities focus on two objectives: On the one hand, they support adult education science and research with national and international publications and research data. On the other hand, this knowledge contributes to the development and sustainable professionalization of practice. The claim is to acknowledge and meet the needs of science, practice and politics equally. Another objective is the productive exchange with international stakeholders to visualise adult education in Germany in the international context and to position it in the European educational debate. DIE employees elaborate research and infrastructural services in six departments, which are closely connected and cooperate in numerous projects. All research activities focus on the prerequisites, forms and consequences of adult learning. They cover all areas of continuing education: adult learning processes, didactic design of programmes, staff, organisation and management of continuing education institutions in various institutional contexts, and financial, political and legal aspects of the continuing education system. DIE services are a supporting pillar of the academic infrastructure in German continuing education – increasingly often in open access. This covers publications, statistical services, professional data base and portals as well as an academic specialised library for adult education.

Important Work and Services:

  • wb-web, a portal for teachers in adult and continuing education (only available in German), is a nationally unique information infrastructure for a user group of more than 530,000 full-time, freelance and part-time adult educators. wb-web provides basic information on the activity fields and an adult educational knowledge base. All materials are offered as open educational resources (OER).
  • The project OWL (Open web-based learning space for continuing professional development of adult educators) enhances an online learning opportunity for adult educators, which results in the development of the online learning space wb-web. It contributes to the professionalisation of educators, which is highly relevant for the quality and effect of continuing education.
  • The DIE publication series DIE Survey. Data and reports on continuing education(only available in German) covers current research findings gained in empirical studies of the continuing education system – available in open access. The publications are directed at stakeholders in education policy, practical continuing education, as well as national and international research. The series was launched in spring 2016 – its first titel was: „Das Personal in der Weiterbildung. Arbeits- und Beschäftigungsbedingungen, Qualifikationen, Einstellungen zu Arbeit und Beruf“ (“Staff in continuing education. Work and employment conditions, qualifications, attitude toward work and profession” – only available in German).
  • wb-personalmonitor – Personal in der Weiterbildung. Beschäftigungsverhältnisse und Tätigkeiten (wb-personell monitor. Staff in continuing education) is an extensive survey of adult and continuing education staff, which was conducted by the DIE, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The findings were published in the new publication series “DIE-Survey” (see above). Based on this data, staff in continuing education was first incorporated into the National Report 2016. (only in German)
  • The Deutsche Weiterbildungsatlas (Atlas on German continuing education) is a research project in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Foundation, which processes the transparency of regional and municipal differences in continuing education programmes and participation for the first time. Thus, striking differences of regional continuing education behaviour as well as inhibitory and encouraging factors of regional adult educational chances were identified. In a subsequent study on continuing education behaviour and programmes, the focus on districts and independent cities was more emphasised. The open access volume is available here (only in German).
  • Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung (Journal for Research on Adult Education) is the leading scientific journal for research debates and findings in the field of adult and continuing education science and associated disciplines. It is available only in German via open access.

Alliance Projects