ERG SES G 09, Language and Education
Chinese language teachers in Germany are confronted with an instructional situation very different from what they have experienced in China. Most of the problems and challenges that they have to cope with relate to intercultural differences. In my research project, I therefore examine the transformation of the self-concepts and of the professional development of three Chinese language teachers in case studies at two Hamburg schools, contrasting it with the development of two English language teachers in China. The study includes a research on traditional school education in China on the one hand and on the development of the individual didactics of the teachers on the other. It further includes the possible future professional development
(1) Focusing on the intercultural differences between the people of the two countries (cf. Wang, Yihong, 2006) I ask how the three Hamburg teachers adapt to their new educational situation in Germany and what kind of transformation of self-concepts and world views they undergo.
(2) Secondly, I ask whether the biographical experience of teaching in China and in Germany has an impact on the individual didactics of these teachers.
(3) My third question is to be understood as consequence of the first two questions. It is my intention to describe Chinese language teachers’ individual didactics to find out what may improve their educational practice and what their future professional training may look like.
The traditional Confucian educational thoughts focusing on the teacher’s dignity and the students’ diligence are deeply embedded in Chinese didactics. In the traditional German didactics, however, the purpose of teaching is “Bildung”, i.e. the formation of mind, the cultivation of liberty and human dignity, and the development of individuality (cf. Hopmann, 2000). The German instructional circumstances thus foster processes of self-transformation in which these teachers seek to adapt to the German situation.
Within the framework of “Bildungsgangforschung” (research on learner development and educational experience and its didactics), I focus on the dialectical process of self-regulated development and sense construction of the students on the one side and the teachers’ professional development on the basis of their educational experience on the other side.
One of the central theses of “Bildungsgang” didactics is that successful sense-making functions like a filter with respect to the interaction of teachers and learners (Meyer, 2009, p.87). Therefore there are two pre-conditions for the sense-making construction of teacher-student interaction: One is to accept the learners’ biography, and the other is to successfully deal with development tasks of the students and the teachers. I therefore focus on the three core parts of “Bildungsgang” didactics: educational experience, developmental tasks and sense-construction of teachers and students.
Ewald Terhart describes different approaches to teacher professionalization, focusing on a functional structure, a competency structure and a professional biography structure. (Terhart, 2011, p.p. 205-210). Thus, in my case studies, I analyze the teachers’ professional competence development using four categories of developmental tasks as they have been constructed by the German educational researcher Uwe Hericks (2006): (1) Competence development, in particular in the subjects the teachers teach or want to teach, (2) transfer of the acquired knowledge in the instructional process, i.e. the teachers’ use didactic competence, (3) willingness and capacity to acknowledge the “otherness” of the students, i.e. their right to be different, and (4) development of interactional competence with respect to students, colleagues, principals etc. in the school as an institution.
Terhart, Ewald (2011): Lehrerberuf und Professionalität: Wandel der Begrifflichkeit-Neue Steuerung als Herausforderung: Pädagogische Professionalität. Beiheft 54 der Zeitschrift für Pädagogik. Weinheim: Beltz, 202-224. Meyer, Meinert A., (2007): Didactics, Sense Makingand Educational Experience. In: European Educational Research Journal 6 (2), 161-173. Meyer, Meinert A., (2009): A View on Didactics and Instructional Planning from the Perspective of Research on Learner Development and Educational Experience, In: Education & Didactique, 2010, Vol. 4, n°2, 87. Meyer, Meinert A., (2011): Professional Teacher Development and Educational Experience. In: Beyond Fragment: Didactics, Learning and Teaching in Europe, 404-442. Hopmann, Stefan, and Riquarts, K. (2000): Starting a dialogue: a beginning conversation between the Didaktik and curriculum traditions. In I. Westbury, S. Hopmann and K. Riquarts (eds.) pp. 3-11. Teaching as a Reflective Practice: The German Didaktik Tradition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Hericks, Uwe, and Spörlein, Eva, (2001): “Entwicklungsaufgaben in Fachunterricht und Lehrerbildung. Eine Auseinandersetzung mit einem Zentralbegriff der Lehrerbildung,” in: Hericks, Uwe et al. (Eds.) Bildungsgangdidaktik. Perspektiven f für Fachunterricht und Lehrerbildung. Opladen : Leske + Budrich, pp. 33-50. Hericks, Uwe, (2006): Professionalisierung als Entwicklungsaufgabe. Rekonstruktionen zur Berufseingangsphase von Lehrerinnen und Lehrern. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Schön, Donald A., (1983): The Reflective Practitioner - how professionals think in action. Basic Books. Tripp, David H., (1993): Critical incidents in teaching: the development of professional judgment. London: Routledge.
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