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Professor Dr Wilfried Smidt
Professor of Education
Main Focus on Early Childhood Education


University of Innsbruck
Maximilianstrasse 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

E-Mail: wilfried.smidt@uibk.ac.at

Tel: +43(0)512-507-44700      
Tel: +43(0)512-507-44702 (Secretariat A. Kirschner)

Bild Wilfried Smidt

 Professional Activities

since 2015

Professor of educational science with a main emphasis on early childhood education at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

2011 - 2015

Post-Doc-Researcher in the longitudinal research project “Übergang von fachschul- und hochschulausgebildeten pädagogischen Fachkräften in den Arbeitsmarkt” (Transition of academically and vocationally qualified educational professionals into the labour market, abbr. ÜFA) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany

2006 - 2011

Research assistant in the longitudinal research project “Bildungsprozesse, Kompetenzentwicklung und Selektionsentscheidungen im Vor- und Grundschulalter” (Educational processes, competence development and selection decisions in preschool- and school age, abbr. BiKS) at the University of Bamberg, Germany


Scientific Qualifications


Habilitation in educational science at the University of Bamberg, Germany


Doctorate in educational science at the University of Bamberg, Germany


Diploma in in educational science at the University of Bamberg, Germany


Diploma in social work at the University of Applied Sciences Regensburg, Germany


Selected Publications (*included in the Social Sciences Citation Index)

Bloch, B., Kuhn, M., Schulz, M., Smidt, W. & Stenger, U. (Eds.). (in preparation). Early Childhood Education in Germany – Exploring Historical Developments and Theoretical Issues. London: Routledge

Smidt, W. & Kraft, S. (2019). Fostering children’s intrinsic motivation in preschool. In O. N. Saracho (Eds.), Contemporary perspectives on research on motivation in early childhood education (pp. 153–173). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.

*Lehrl, S. & Smidt, W. (2018). Differential effects of preschool quality on children’s emergent literacy skills during preschool in Germany. Research Papers in Education, 33(4), 492-514. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2017.1362718

*Schmidt, Th., Smidt, W. & Roux, S. (2018). What do pedagogues in daycare do? Empirical analyses of the occupational activities of pedagogues in children’s daycare centres in Germany. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 26(3), 446-460. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2018.1463910

* Smidt, W. (2018). Early childhood education and care in Austria: Key challenges and education policies. Early Child Development and Care, 188(5), 624-633. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2017.1403431

* Smidt, W., Kammermeyer, G., Roux, S., Theisen, Ch. & Weber, Ch. (2018). Career success of preschool teachers – The significance of the Big Five personality traits, locus of control, and occupational self-efficacy. Early Child Development and Care, 188(10), 1340-1353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2017.1314275

Smidt, W. & Lehrl, S. (Eds.) (2018). Teacher–child interactions in Early Childhood Education and Care classrooms: characteristics, predictivity, dependency and methodological issues. Research Papers in Education, 33(4) [Special Issue]

Smidt, W. (Ed.) (2017). Contemporary issues in early childhood education in Germany. London: Routledge.

* Hachfeld, A., Anders, Y., Kuger, S., & Smidt, W. (2016). Triggering parental involvement for parents of different language backgrounds: the role of types of partnership activities and preschool characteristics. Early Child Development and Care, 186(1), 190-211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1007370

Smidt, W. (Ed.) (2016). Contemporary issues in early childhood education in Germany. Early Child Development and Care, 186(1). [Special Issue]

* Smidt, W. (2016). Occupational activities of nonacademic and academic pedagogues working in the field of childhood education - an Investigation of differences and predictor variables. Early Child Development and Care, 186(1), 2-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2015.1005613

* Smidt, W., & Rossbach, H.-G. (2016). Educational process quality in preschools at the individual child level: Findings from a German study. Early Child Development and Care, 186(1), 78-95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2014.913585

Smidt, W. (2015). Educational processes in early childhood education: activities of target children in preschools. In W. Schnotz, A. Kauertz, H. Ludwig, A. Müller, & J. Pretsch (Eds.), Multidisciplinary research on teaching and learning (pp. 3-18). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

* Smidt, W. (2015). Big Five personality traits as predictors of the academic success of university and college students in early childhood education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41(4), 385-403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2015.1080419

* Smidt, W., Kammermeyer, G., & Roux, S. (2015). Relations between the Big Five personality traits of prospective early childhood pedagogues and their beliefs about the education of preschool children: Evidence from a German study. Learning and Individual Differences, 37(1), 96-106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2014.11.002

* Smidt, W., & Roux, S. (2015). How extraverted, open, agreeable, conscientious, and neurotic are prospective early childhood pedagogues? A comparison with the German Socio-Economic Panel. Early Child Development and Care, 185(5), 766-778. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2014.957691

* Lehrl, S., Smidt, W., Grosse, Ch., & Richter, D. (2014). Patterns of literacy and numeracy activities in preschool and their relation to structural characteristics and children’s home activities. Research Papers in Education, 29(5), 577-597. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2013.792865

Smidt, W., Lehrl, S., Anders, Y., Pohlmann-Rother, S., & Kluczniok, K. (2012). Emergent literacy activities in the final preschool year in the German federal states of Bavaria and Hesse. Early Years - An International Journal of Research and Development, 32(3), 301-312. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2011.642851


Main Research Areas

Professionalization in early childhood education

Leadership in early childhood education

Academic success and career success of early childhood pedagogues

Personality traits of early childhood pedagogues

Educational quality in preschool and family

Early Literacy in early childhood education


Research Projects

10/2018 – 09/2020: Principal investigator of the project „Quality of Children´s Interactions in Preschool“ (funded by the Austrian
                                   Science Fund, FWF, https://pf.fwf.ac.at/en/research-in-practice/project-finder/41723)

09/2018 – 08/2021: Principal investigator of the project „Leitungsqualität in Kindertageseinrichtungen [Quality of Leadership in
                                   Preschools]” (together with Dr. Thilo Schmidt, University of Koblenz-Landau; funded by the Federal Ministry
                                   of Education and Research, BMBF, Germany)

10/2017 – 06/2018: Principal investigator of the project „Qualitätsindikatoren von Waldkinderbetreuungseinrichtungen in Tirol
                                   [Quality Indicators of Forest Day Care Centers in Tyrol]” (funded by the Federal State of Tyrol and the Vice
                                   Rectorate for Research at the University of Innsbruck)

2013 – 2015:            Participating scientist of the project „Teaching and Learning Processes” (funded by the German Research
                                   Foundation, DFG, http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/person/230656202)


Reviewer for Scientific Journals

British Educational Research Journal

Early Child Development and Care

Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

Education Inquiry

European Sociological Review

European Early Childhood Education Research Journal

International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy

Journal of Education for Teaching

Journal for Educational Research Online

Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology

Research Papers in Education

Teacher Education Quarterly

Teaching and Teacher Education


Functions in Scientific Journals

Editorial Board: Early Child Development and Care, Frühe Bildung

International Advisory Board: Research Papers in Education

Guest Editor: Early Child Development and Care, Research Papers in Education


Member of Scientific Organizations

Board member of the commission Early Childhood Education (PdfK) in the German Educational Research Association (DGfE)

Austrian Association of Research and Development in Education (ÖFEB)

European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)

European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA)



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