Project Dropout – Analyse von Dropout in der Weiterbildung

Basic data

Analyse von Dropout in der Weiterbildung
01/09/2017 to 31/08/2019
Abstract / short description:
Object of research is dropout in adult and continuing education.
Dropout can be considered a key issue of further education. The switch from participation to non-participation is especially critical when individual learning interests cannot be realized because of institutional or structural barriers or when dropping out leads to a general withdrawal from the system of further education.
The interaction between the different factors influencing dropout has not yet been sufficiently clarified from a theoretical or empirical perspective. While extensive research on the topic has been done in the area of school and vocational education, national or international research on dropout in further education is currently non-existent. There is thus a need for basic research at an individual, social and institutional level.
The project´s objective is to conceptualize dropout as a special form of further education behavior and to relate this perspective to existing theories on further education participation. Research will accordingly focus on (a) the recording of dropout processes, (b) the investigation of reasons for deciding to drop out, and, based on the results, (c) the development of a model supporting theory formation on further education behavior with a view to dropout (grounded theory perspective of medium range with regard to dropout).
The following questions arise from this approach:
(1) Which constellations (training offering – group of people) cause dropout?
(2) How continuous/discontinuous are dropout in individual course?
(3) What are the factors that influence individual dropout decisions?
(4) To what extent do dropout experiences affect individual education behavior and education interest?
To this end, a multi-method approach is required, combining diverse perspectives. The three-step triangulation procedure comprises the following elements: secondary analysis of data sets (NEPS), ten interviews with experts from further education associations and 40 qualitative interviews with dropouts.
The aim is to analyze factors and consequences of dropout in further education and to use this as a basis for developing a grounded theory on dropout in the field of continuing education.

Involved staff


Schmidt-Hertha, Bernhard
Institute of Education (IFE)
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences

Local organizational units

Institute of Education (IFE)
Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

will be deleted permanently. This cannot be undone.