The WZB Berlin Social Science Center conducts basic research with a focus on problems of modern societies in a globalized world. Around 160 German and international researchers work at the WZB, including sociologists, political scientists, economists, legal scholars, and historians. They study developments, problems, and opportunities for innovation in modern societies. Their research is theory-based, problem-oriented, often long-term and mostly based on international comparisons. The research areas are: education, work and life chances, markets and choice, society and economic dynamics, international politics and law, dynamics of political systems, migration and diversity.
One research focus at the WZB is sociological education research on vocational training and continuing education. Research devoted to these topics is primarily performed at the research unit “Skill Formation and Labor Markets” (Director: Prof. Dr. Heike Solga) and the WZB-based project group “National Educational Panel Study: Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning” (Head: Prof. Dr. Reinhard Pollak). The WZB makes theoretical and empirical contributions to improving the German education systems, fighting educational deprivation, and smoothing the transition from school to work. All of this involves international comparisons. An important focus of education research at the WZB is the relation between education, labor market, and social policy.
Important Research Projects:
- The project group “National Educational Panel Study” at the Social Science Research Center (WZB) is involved in Stage 6 (Vocational Training and Transition to the Labor Market) and Stage 8 (Adult Education and Lifelong Learning) of the German National Educational Panel Study.
- In cooperation with various Leibniz institutes, the “College for interdisciplinary Education Research” (CIDER) offers the opportunity of interdisciplinary career advancement to 30 junior scientists in educational science, psychology, economics, and sociology during their early post-doctoral stage.
- The WZB is a partner and patron of the „Berlin Interdisciplinary Education Research Network“ (BIEN) and of the Berlin Network of Labor Market Research (BeNA).
- The institute publishes the “WZBrief Bildung”. The „WZBrief Bildung“ provides concise up-to-date information about a given topic from their educational research. It is published several times a year in electronic form. It is geared towards experts and specialists working in politics, schools, organizations and the media. The authors of the „WZBrief Bildung“ are scientists conducting research on issues surrounding education and training.
- In cooperation with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education, the WZB publishes the „Zukunft Bildung“ dossier (“The future of education”). Using texts, videos, and graphics, the dossier makes current educational policy debates and research results from various disciplines accessible to a broad, non-academic audience.