In Germany, discussions on the improvement of teacher education often focus on the relationship between theory and practice. Teacher candidates and their educators frequently argue that the university-based phase of teacher education, in particular, lacks practical relevance and covers content that is largely irrelevant to classroom practice. This criticism applies not only to subject-specific content, but especially to the broad pedagogical knowledge component of teacher education, i. e. the non-subject-specific knowledge communicated in courses such as educational science, psychology, etc. which is often perceived to be rather arbitrary and unsystematic. In response to this criticism, many teacher education systems have introduced new curricular frameworks designed to give a more practical focus to the university-based phase of teacher education.

The BilWiss project hypothesizes that the scientific background knowledge acquired in this phase is a fundamental prerequisite for later competence development. Specifically, it is part of a conceptual knowledge base that enables the acquisition, differentiation, and automatization of the procedural knowledge necessary for later classroom practice. At the same time it supports the development of frameworks of interpretation and professional skills repertoires which enable teachers to properly interpret and reflect on instructional and classroom events and thus inform their own professional development. As a consequence the BilWiss research program focuses on the assessment of broad pedagogical knowledge as part of the professional competence of teachers (candidates).

During the previous project phases “BilWiss” and “BilWiss-Beruf“, we developed and applied a competence test which assesses the broad pedagogical knowledge of teachers (candidates).

Currently, project phase 3 “BilWiss-UV“, is running. It focuses both on the validation of the competence test we developed and on the temporal development and merits of broad pedagogical knowledge.

Researchers: Christina MaurerKristin Wolf and Anna Hartl

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