Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socialisation, Education and Training


The pluridisciplinary research group GIRSEF (focussed on sociology, psychology and education) was founded in 1998 at the Université catholique de Louvain. Developing fundamental research in the fields of education, training and professional groups is the main purpose of the research center

The research center counts presently some 20 permanent staff members mainly with a status of teacher-researcher and about 60 non-permanent members achieving a doctoral thesis or a post-doctoral research. The current research activities are organized around two teams :

  • Systems, processes and actors

  • Instructional practices and environment, motivation and learning


Team 1. Systems, processes and actors

In a context of social, economic, and cultural transformation that traverses the educational field, questions of production, access and development of knowledge present themselves in new ways. These transformations are taking place at different scales, and result in new and emerging practices and actors. These actors and practices do not only challenge the education system, but also the field of continued development, as well as the numerous professional groups in and outside of the education field.

Our research group aims to analyse these changes. The groups’ primary interest is in comparative analysis of different systems regulation and policy, as well as the processes creating and stabilising different systems. A particular attention is also given to the interplay between actors who are already organised or emerging, as individuals or collectives, who are institutionalised or marginalised.

Team 2. Instructional practices and environment, motivation and learning

The research work of this unit consists in better understanding the links between training methods, motivation and learning processes.

Training plans, educational and pedagogic practices are particularly taken into account as they can improve in certain circumstances student’s motivation, commitment and learning.

Researches are developed at different levels : university education, training for adults and teachers, primary and secondary schooling