Horst Niesyto carried out several research and evaluation projects, including two major international projects (> VideoCulture and > Children in Communication about Migration). Within the framework of a socio-aesthetic approach, the focus was on investigations into socio-cultural differences in media socialisation, the development of visual research methods in qualitative research designs and the interpretation of young people’s own media productions (lifeworld-oriented image and film interpretation). A central concern was the promotion of theory-practice contexts and a related media-educational practice research.

A basic research-guiding assumption is the thesis:

„If somebody ­— in nowadays media society — wants to learn something about youth’s ideas, feelings and their ways of experiencing the world, he or she should give them a chance to express themselves also by means of their own, self-made media products“ (Niesyto 2000: 2).

This thesis has been proven in various studies and has become even more relevant due to the digital transformation and the publication of digital self-productions on Internet platforms. With regard to media educational practice, the research studies primarily contributed to the (further) development of an intercultural and milieu-sensitive media education.

In the field of theory construction, analyses and reflections on media self-socialisation, symbolic milieus of young people, digital capitalism, media criticism and concepts for action-oriented and critical media education should be mentioned above all.

The following projects were each carried out with external funding and had a special place in research and development work:

Media educational development project of several departments at Ludwigsburg University of Education and the Rosenstein-Primary School in Stuttgart. Students of the primary school teacher training courses created various concepts for a pedagogically meaningful use of digital media in primary school . The students could test the concepts in practice at the Rosenstein School and evaluate their experiences. Funding by German Telekom Foundation, Bonn.

Research project in context of a doctoral college at Ludwigsburg University of Education. The project tested and evaluated an online course „Media Didactics“ for student teachers. The overall objective was to familiarise students in the area of secondary school with media didactic principles and working methods in an e-learning context and to enable them to develop action-oriented and student-centred teaching methods using e-learning in exemplary selected content areas. Funding by the Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg.

CHICAM gave 10-14 year old children who lived in the context of migration or refugee in different European countries the opportunity to deal with their own life situation by means of photography, video and internet and to exchange experiences across national borders. The project had several main objectives, which were concentrated on thematic areas: Exploration of peer group relationships, the children’s experiences with school and family relationships, and the analysis of media productions, the associated processes and possibilities for intercultural communication. Participating were children and project staff from Great Britain (Coordination), Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden. Funding by EU, 5. Framework research programme.

International research project, which set out to explore the potential of audio-visual media production as a means of intercultural communication. The project investigated the ways in which young people from Germany (Coordination), Great Britain, Czech Republic, Hungary, United States produce, exchange and interpret video productions. One aspect was the question of elements of a transnational, audiovisual symbolic language. Funding by the Ministry of Education and the Arts, Baden-Württemberg.

The study focused on the area of > active media work on the basis of guideline interviews with 67 experts in Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz. The main interest of the study was to collect and evaluate previous experiences of media-educational offers and projects with children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and to use them for a conceptual development. Funding by the Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest (Baden-Baden). short info

Media education project in rural areas (Odenwald district/Südhessen). Adolescents and young adults had the opportunity to deal with everyday experiences in different areas of life within the framework of regional media work and to get to know media as authentic means of expression and to make them available for use in local and regional public spheres. Funding by Stiftung Deutsche Jugendmarke (Bonn). The project was the empirical background for the dissertation (Ph.D.), published 1991: „Erfahrungsproduktion mit Medien. Selbstbilder, Darstellungsformen, Gruppenprozesse“ (Niesyto 1991).

Literature references to the projects can be found under the given links. For projects CHICAM and VideoCulture there is English literature > Publications. There is also an article that presents the methodological foundations of the social-aesthetic research approach (Niesyto 2000) and refers to further research projects.

In connection with various research projects, qualification and doctoral theses were also created. A general overview of the doctoral projects accompanied by Horst Niesyto, including notes on the publication of the dissertations, can be found here.