The Leibniz Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Education explores the developmental processes of children during the first eight years of life and the support they receive from family and institutional learning environments. The research program also focuses on questions concerning professional development of staff and the quality of learning opportunities in early childhood education.

The Center's work focuses on intervention studies which examine the effects of preschool education on development in subsequent educational stages. Specific focus is also put on linking preschool and primary school programs.

The Center is coordinated at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories in Bamberg.


Members of the Leibniz Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Education

The Leibniz Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Education is part of the interdisciplinary Leibniz Education Research Network (LERN) with researchers from following disciplines:

  • Educational Psychology (IPN),
  • Developmental Psychology (DIPF, JLU Gießen, OFU Bamberg),
  • Education Research (IPN, Goethe University),
  • Cognitive Psychology (IWM),
  • Early Childhood Education (FU Berlin, OFU Bamberg),
  • Chemistry Education and Mathematics Education (IPN),
  • Educational Economics (DIW).

Affiliated Researchers


Prof. Dr. Yvonne Anders

Professor of Early Childhood Education

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

Prof. Dr. Ilonca Hardy

Professor for primary school education with emphasis on empirical education research

Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt a.M.


Prof. Dr. Marcus Hasselhorn

Director, Department of Education and Human Development

DIPF, Frankfurt a.M.


Prof. Dr. Aiso Heinze

Head of the Department of Mathematics Education and Professor for Mathematics

IPN, Kiel

Prof. Dr. Olaf Köller

Managing Scientific Director and Head of the Department of Educational Research at the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education

IPN, Kiel

Prof. Dr. Anke Lindmeier

Deputy Head of Department Mathematics Education

IPN, Kiel


Prof. Dr. Jan Lonnemann

Professor for Empirical Childhood Studies

Universität Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Korbinian Möller

Professor for Applied Learning and Knowledge Psychology and Head of the Junior Research Group Neuro-cognitive Plasticity

IWM, Tübingen


Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach

Professor of Early Childhood Education

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg


Dr. Daniel Schmerse

Research Scientist

IPN, Kiel

Prof. Dr. C. Katharina Spieß

Head of Department Education and Family at DIW and Chair of Educational and Family Economics

Freie Universität, Berlin

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Steffensky

Professor for Science Education - Chemistry
Universität Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Christina Schwenck

Professor for Learning, Developmental and Behavioral Problems in Childhood and Adolescence: Diagnostic and Intervention

Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert

Professor for Developmental Psychology

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

Prof. Dr. Henrik Saalbach

Professor for Educational Psychology

Leipzig University


We are currently conducting several studies on the effectiveness of educational interventions on the development of early mathematical and scientific competences at the age of 2 to 6 years. Methodologically, all projects follow a quasi-experimental approach. In a total of 4 projects, about 1000 children and families will participate in the studies by 2022. The projects are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The results should inform the design of effective learning environments in educational practice.

Project 1: Effectiveness of preschool teachers’ math-talk

Does preschool teachers’ math-talk influence the development of early mathematical skills?

The study examines the influence of different facets of interaction quality in preschool on the early development of mathematical competences of children from 2 years of age. It compares the effectiveness of different training programs for professional development. In particular, the project addresses whether math-talk can be specifically promoted and what effects this has for the early phases of mathematical competency development.

Project 2: Effective early science education
Project 3: Fingers, fine motor skills, and numerical competencies
Project 4: Spatial concepts and numerical knowledge in preschool


The Leibniz Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Education can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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