About our institute


The Institute for Research and Development of Education is an institute at the Faculty of Education, Charles University, focusing on research, development and educational activities within educational sciences. It follows on from the tradition of the research institute which was established at the Faculty of Education in 1990 and which employed leading Czech and international experts, such as Jiří Kotásek, Jan Průcha, Ladislav Čerych, Josef Mestenhauser and others.

In the 1990s, the Institute made a considerable contribution to the project of educational transformation, to the formation of the national education policy’s strategies, and to the preparations for joining the common European educational space. It was the expert and editorial centre for the creation of the Green Paper and the White Paper of Czech education (1998–2000). The Institute initiated the establishment of the Czech Education Research Association (1993) and participated in the organization of the 8th WCCES Congress (1992), which started international cooperation and the development of comparative education in the Czech Republic.

The Institute took on its current name in 1998. It is strengthening its focus on comparative, quantitative and qualitative empirical research, developing its methodology and participating in international networks and projects. It cooperates closely with the Czech Ministry of Education, as well as with government bodies and non-profit organizations to improve school education, teacher professionalization and the introduction of innovations into educational practice.

Our sources of funding

IRDE Prague is funded through the institutional support of the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague, and additionally through fi nance acquired in competition for scientific grants, both national and international. The basic sources of funding in the past were the following:

  • institutional funding of the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague;
  • the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic – Centres of Excellence research programme;
  • the Czech Science Foundation;
  • the European Commission, DG Education & Culture;
  • the European Social Fund in the Czech Republic.
Our international partners
  • Centre for Equity in Education, University of Manchester, UK;
  • Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong, China;
  • Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung, Frankfurt am Main, Germany;
  • Institut d’Administration Scolaire, Université de Mons-Hainaut, Belgium;
  • Institute National de Recherche Pédagogique, Lyon, France;
  • Institute of International Education, Stockholm University, Sweden;
  • Matej Bell University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

The IRDE mainly carries out its scientific activity as part of research projects acquired in both domestic and international grant competitions, and in multidisciplinary collaboration with centres in the Czech Republic and abroad. The IRDE carries out empirical research into school education using both quantitative and qualitative research methods and suitable combinations thereof, and with an emphasis on longitudinal and panel studies.

The IRDE’s research focuses on a wide range of topics in the field, in particular on the following areas:

  • passage of pupils and students through the education system, school choice and the transition points between educational levels, with emphasis on the effects of selectivity of the education system in the Czech Republic;
  • measurement of the outcomes of education from pre-school education to general secondary and vocational education;
  • inequalities in education, impact of social and economic status, gender and ethnicity on education outcomes;
  • secondary analysis of data from large-scale international studies of student achievement (e.g. TIMSS, PIRLS, PISA, ICCS, TALIS) and critical analysis of the effects of these large-scale international assessments on policy makers and national policy formulation;
  • determining the quality and effectiveness of schools and the possibilities of linking internal evaluation (schools’ self-evaluation) and external evaluation (school inspection, national assessments and external testing);
  • research focused on teachers with an emphasis on identifying their attitudes and beliefs, evaluation of teachers’ working conditions and opportunities for their further professional growth;
  • transformation of education systems in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain;
  • forms of pupil and student assessment, development of a culture of formative assessment in schools;
  • curriculum theory and development.

In 2007 the IRDE established and continues to edit in cooperation with Masaryk University in Brno, Faculty of Education, an international peer-reviewed open access journal Orbis scholae, publishing issues in English and Czech. The journal is indexed in various international databases, including the Scopus (http://www.orbisscholae.cz/).


The core of the IRDE staff’s educational activity is in the PhD study of the field of education, both in supervising PhD students and in teaching courses for PhD students with an emphasis on education research methodology, comparative education and sociology of education. As part of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, the Institute staff participate in teaching the fields of education, psychology and school management, offering a range of optional courses, including courses in English, attended also by foreign students as part of Erasmus+ students’ exchange programmes.