The interdisciplinary Doctoral School in Educational Sciences at the University of Luxembourg is dedicated to the development of excellent researchers who analyze those challenges using historical, sociological, psychological, and educational theories and methods.
Best Doctorate Programs in Education in Luxembourg 2016/2017. Modern societies are characterized by social, cultural and linguistic diversity and therefore pose specific challenges to educational systems. The interdisciplinary Doctoral School in Educational Sciences at the University of Luxembourg is dedicated to the development of excellent researchers who analyze those challenges using historical, sociological, psychological, and educational theories and methods. They will be able to shape theoretical innovations, political reforms, and practical developments. Based on Luxembourg’s multicultural location, as one of the capital cities of the European Union, and at the intersection of French and German speaking worlds, a decidedly international perspective is pursued in all activities.
Combining historical, educational and cultural analysis with sociology, psychology, and sociolinguistics, this Doctoral School covers all relevant disciplines involved in contemporary research on education. With the special focus on the challenges facing societies today, our doctoral candidates develop the knowledge, principles, and skills needed to analyze educational programs, policies, and practices. After completing their doctoral work, the Doctoral School’s graduates go on to serve in the academy, in educational policy or in educational organizations at all levels.
The Doctoral School offers an ambitious international and interdisciplinary postgraduate program leading to a PhD in Education, History, Sociology, Psychology, and Linguistics. To cover this disciplinary breadth, three different research programs are offered:
History, Theory and Sociology of Education
Program director: Prof. Dr. Justin J. W. POWELL
The research program on History, Theory and Sociology of Education focuses on the scientific analysis of processes and practices on different levels, such as global culture, educational systems, schools, curricula, instruction, groups, and individuals. The program’s scope reaches from early childhood education to professional education and to universities. The focus is on different processes: on the pedagogic, social and political processes defining objectives and standards, on institutionalization and reform processes, on integration and selection, and on dimensions of (in)equality and (in)justice. The goal of the program is to deepen understanding of how educational processes, practices, institutions, and organizations develop, to find intelligent ways to further their development and to identify the crucial factors and dynamics that influence them on organizational, local, national, and global levels.
Learning, Cognition and Development
Program director: Prof. Dr. Sabine KROLAK-SCHWERDT
Learning, Cognition and Development focuses on research in a broad range of areas related to cognition, learning and student development as well as educational diagnostics and evaluation. Research in this domain investigates topics such as learner motivation, inter-individual differences in learning, cognitive processes in learning, and psychometrics. It comprises a wide range of research methodologies, from analysis of large-scale data sets to random-assignment experimentation to program evaluation. Research topics are analyzed on the individual level of learner / teacher as well as on the inter-individual level of interactions between teachers and learners. The following four fields are taken explicitly into account: (1) teaching/learning research, (2) psychological-pedagogical diagnostics, (3) cognitive and social-psychological principles, and (4) professionalization of teachers.
Multilingualism in Education and Society
Program director: Prof. Dr. Jean-Jacques WEBER
Research on multilingualism and education from social and language policy perspectives deals with deeply held assumptions about language and multilingualism that are challenged from a critical sociolinguistic perspective. Key issues of sociolinguistics and education will be considered, such as the following:
How do languages ‘leak’ into each other, and what implications does this have for our understanding of what a language is and what multilingualism is?
What is the best way to organize a multilingual system of education that is truly open to linguistic diversity?
How can we critically analyze multilingual signs, such as media representations of multilingualism and official policy discourses?
The courses are based on discussions and presentations. Furthermore, doctoral candidates are expected to present their own research at different stages of their projects. These courses will be of particular interest to candidates in the fields of multilingualism, educational policy, and social inequalities.
The Doctoral School in Educational Sciences not only provides space for conducting individual research, but also differentiates three different training levels:
On the first level, doctoral candidates are introduced to international developments in the three respective programs.
On the second level, disciplinary knowledge is extended through regular participation in the colloquium organized for all Doctoral School dissertators.
On the third level, doctoral candidates practice their skills in specific courses (e.g., on academic publishing or languages) and workshops (e.g., devoted to improving writing and presenting) (transferable skills).
Doctoral candidates should collect 20 ECTS credit points (ideally within the first two years of the PhD): a min. of 10 ECTS within level 1 (courses in own field of study), a min. of 7 ECTS within level 2 (interdisciplinary colloquium) and a min. of 3 ECTS within level 3 (transferable skill trainings). It is also possible to receive ECTS through research activities or scientific contributions such as writing reviews or publishing articles (level 1) as well as presenting at conferences (level 2).
Preferred language competences are English, German, and / or French. English is the main, but not the only course language.