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Objectives & Responsibility

The Dortmund Centre of Physical Education Research and School Sport Research is an academic facility of the department of sport and sport science at the TU Dortmund. It is aimed at the establishment and the systematic development of research in physical education as a multidisciplinary designed and independent area of the science of sports. There are two basic concerns: one objective is the analysis of physical education how it is in an academically sound and empirical way. The second objective aims at an advice service, addressed to the praxis of physical education, developed on the base of empirically firm findings. 

Physical Education Research is the systematic frame that brings together all studies which – with the help of various methodical approaches and theoretic backgrounds – refers to the different dimensions of physical education and to the relationship between Physical Education and other fields of sports. Due to the objective to undertake a profound examination of physical education like it is, with all its appendent phenomena, the Physical Education Research depends on topic-related research works of all domains within the science of sports. Based on a renowned research programme, Physical Education Research presents a conceptual switch point where the systematic cross-linking and integration of disciplinary studies, concentrating on physical education, takes place. The Physical Education Research is not only the switch point with regard to studies within the sector of science of sports, at the same time it presents a mutual intersection with the field of school research.

Subjects of Physical Education Research are those contexts of action and experience relating to sporting activities which teachers and students establish, create and develop in the context of school and education. Four main fields of research can be distinguished:

  1. Research in students concentrates on the addressees of physical education. The focus is on the following questions: which competences and orientations do students contribute to physical education, which experiences do they gain in physical education and how does physical education affect their personal development, as well as their involvement in sporting activities beyond school.
  2. Research in teachers focuses on the persons who are responsible for the didactics of physical education. This field of research deals with questions like: under which conditions do teachers of physical education work at school, which skills do teachers of physical education need to carry on their profession successfully and how do their competences and orientations change in the course of their professional development.
  3. Educational research deals with micro-processes of every-day activity in physical education in a differentiated way. Dependant on the situation questions like – how do teachers and students organize their classes, which special intentions and objectives do they pursue, how do they cope with particular tasks, challenges and stress emerging in physical education, which precise strategies do they apply and which consequences arise from that – are examined.
  4. Research in the development of physical education analyses physical education in the overall context of academic processes of change and reform. This already indicates the broad character of this field of research because besides physical education it deals with sport facilities in the entire context of school.


The “Dortmund Centre of Research in Physical Education” concentrates on five work fields:

  • Application and realization of pertinent research projects
  • Creation and organization of research cooperation
  • Performance/realization of enquiries relating to the state of the art
  • Development and provisioning of advice
  • Promotion of young academics.



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