Developmental Psychology

BISS: Feeling Thinking Talking

Because knowledge of German is not only of enormous importance for success in school, the training series "Fühlen Denken Sprechen" (FDS) for early childhood educators was developed in this intervention study for the professionalisation of language education integrated into everyday life. It aims at the everyday integrated promotion of language and uses the common conversation as opportunities to advance the scientific thinking (speaking about the factual world) and the emotional knowledge (speaking about the inner world) of the children. The FDS training was successfully implemented and evaluated in 13 kindergartens. According to a (qualitative) video analysis, the interaction behaviour of many trained professionals moved in the desired direction of educational orientation, which was reflected in longer dialogues. There was also success in that the children from the groups of trained professionals made above-average progress in grammar acquisition and scientific thinking. Children of trained professionals from a large city also showed above-average progress in emotional knowledge.

Funding: BMFSJ development project within the framework of the programme Education in Speech and Writing (BISS) in cooperation with colleagues from Braunschweig and Hildesheim (2016-2018).

Book: Fühlen Denken Sprechen: Children of educated professionals from a large city also showed above-average progress in emotion knowledge. More details can be found here:

ATEM 3-9

The Adaptive Test of Emotion Knowledge for 3- to 9-year-olds not only asks children to read emotions from other people's faces and to recognise external and internal causes of emotions, but also lets them assess their ability to regulate them. It thus captures emotion knowledge in 7 sub-areas in a differentiated way that is both reliable and valid, with the 32 items embedded in a child-friendly story. The ATEM 3-9 was normed in 2019-2020 with N = 882 children. A paper and pencil version and a tablet version of the ATEM 3-9 will appear in Springer Verlag's test series in spring 2021. Translations into English and Hebrew are available.

Funding: Springer Verlag


Against the background that stress and anxiety are widespread in the higher grades of German primary schools and limit both the performance and the mental health of the pupils, it is important to promote the potentials of these children wherever possible. The children's growing self-regulation skills can be useful in this. Therefore, the aim is to strengthen the self-regulation of 3rd and 4th grade students through the daily implementation of a lesson-integrated short intervention on breath-based mindfulness, i.e. the "breathing break". In a wait-and-see control group design, the effects of mindfulness interventions in the cognitive and emotional areas known from international meta-analyses will be tested over 3 measurement points.

Funding: Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (MWK) (2019-2022)