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Fit fuer Verantwortung

"Fit for Responsibility" and "Fair Talent". The benefits of interventive measures to promote socially disadvantaged children and adolescents

Research project of Freie Universität Berlin funded by the Roland Berger Foundation

Project Duration: 01/05/2009 – 30/04/2013

Project Management:

Research Associates:

  • Dr. Janine Neuhaus
  • Dr. Ilka Wolter
  • Dipl.-Psych. Sara Matthies

Student Research Assistants:

  • Pina Keller
  • Janica Materne


Studies on school performance like PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) have shown that in hardly any other country participation and success in education are tied so closely to the social background as in Germany. The Roland Berger Foundation uses the program "Fit für Verantwortung" ("Fit for Responsibility") to promote students materially and ideationally, who could take a particularly favorable learning development for their outstanding achievements, but come from families that are barely able to support such a development (due to a low socio-economic status or because of education distance), and thus the projects makes an active contribution to break the connection between background and success.


In our project we want to assess not only the influence of social indicators (e.g. economic and cultural resources of the family) on school success, as was already done in a variety of studies in the past, but furthermore analyze, through which mediating processes (e.g. motivation and self-confidence) school success becomes more likely and how this success can be promoted through targeted interventions in the program. The program "Fit für Verantwortung" implies more than just the intention to help providing a better academic performance of the participants. An academic career is indeed usually a precondition for assuming over responsibility in society, but is highly dependent on other social skills. For this reason we want to investigate to what extent it is possible to teach social skills through the program and find out if they lead not only to academic success, but also to the assumption of social responsibility and civil courage behavior.


The four-year project period allows a longitudinal evaluation design based on four evaluations that occur each year. As a result, we expect to find differentiated statements about the academic and social development of the participants from which to derive recommendations for the organization of school and to promote social equality.


Information for Roland Berger Foundation: http://www.rolandbergerstiftung.org/index.php?id=3




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