10 SES 03 A, Reflexivity, Engagement and Becoming a Teacher
In the last decades, the German discourse on reforming teacher education has revolved around two conflicting poles: the enhanced integration of academic research and a stronger foundation in teaching practice. As a consequence various innovative models of cooperation between universities and other institutions have been established to combine the expansion of practical training with concepts of research-based learning or “learning through research” (Forschendes Lernen) (Fichten 2010). At the same time, this cooperation raises the question of the role of research in relation practical training within teacher education from the viewpoint of the different involved institutions.
Against this backdrop, different research teams at the Goethe University Frankfurt collaborate in the project “Level” – which is part of a larger initiative for the improvement of teacher education funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – to join the distinct phases and disciplines in teacher education. A central objective of this project is the collaborative development of a video-based learning platform to foster the professional vision of (pre-service) teachers with a specific focus on heterogeneous learning groups (Sherin 2001; 2002; Sherin/van Es 2009). In this context, our research team that consists of members of the didactic departments in the social sciences, geography, and history, addresses core principles of social science education like fostering autonomous and responsible judgment and participation (Arthur et al. 2008; Henkenborg 2012). With regard to this aim, we understand heterogeneous learning groups not only as a challenge but also as a resource for civic education (Gogolin 2013): Instead of problematising given differences in knowledge and abilities, we suggest to explore differences in students’ perspectives on and concepts of politics. With this intention, we examine the potentials of specific action-oriented instructional methods by analysing video recordings of simulation games which were implemented in (German) civics courses.
In the field of didactics of civic education, simulation games are considered as a very promising method to cultivate acts of autonomous and responsible judgment: during a simulation game students are encouraged to change perspectives so as to accomplish their learning tasks (Engartner et al. 2015). Analysing video footage of these simulation games thus allows us to address two objectives: First, we identify distinct student perspectives on and concepts of politics. Second, we explore the possibilities of fostering students’ competencies of political judgment (Müller 2016) by discussing and reflecting these perspectives and concepts in the final debriefing phase of a simulation game.
In our study, we use sequences of classroom videos to create learning units within the video-based learning platform so as to foster the professional vision of (pre-service) civics teachers. Given the lack of predictability as a specific challenge of simulation games (Leigh/Spindler 2004; Usherwood 2015), we understand the video-based learning units as an adequate instrument to train teachers’ attentiveness to students’ concepts in the course of the ongoing simulation process (Sherin 2001; 2002). This practice of video-based casework, on the one hand, is considered as an approach to link academic teacher education with concrete teaching practice. On the other hand, it also promotes a scientific-reflective habitus of (pre-service) teachers (Helsper 2003). Focusing on the latter, our paper reflects this development (a) by presenting examples of corresponding learning units and (b) by analysing the experiences and results of their implementation in teacher education.
Developing a video-based learning platform in teacher education needs some methodological considerations as regards the interpretation of video data (Rauin/Herrle/Engartner 2016). Even though videographic documentation finds its limits in the self-reflective processes of integrating new experiences, we still argue that reconstructive interpretative work on video data can enable a better understanding of (political) learning in classroom interaction. Following the principles of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (Breidenstein/Tyagunova 2012), we interpret role-taking during simulations and subsequent reflections in the phase of debriefing as acts of negotiating meaning on a given subject. Furthermore, we read them as processes of political learning (Jehle/Blessing 2014). Based on this kind of interpretative research, we aim to develop a learning platform which – by its very design – raises the awareness of (pre-service) teachers for these kinds of open learning processes and ensuing tasks of teaching. Since unpredictability is not only a characteristic of simulation games, but also a central element of pedagogical practice in general, the reflection of this aspect is an essential part of teacher education (Helsper 2003). In this context, we regard the learning platform as an instrument to facilitate video-based caseworks in order to foster the reflectivity of (pre-service) teachers in the sense of a professional vision. Against this backdrop, we introduce (pre-service) teachers to the basics of interpretative methods (Erickson 2006) so as to help them observe and analyse videotaped sequences of classroom interaction and to reflect on the multiperspectivity in situations of teaching and learning. While processing the learning units, the (pre-service) teachers also document constantly their observations and interpretations of the video sequence analysis. To evaluate their documentations, we developed a table format that allows us to differentiate between distinctive levels and degrees in the formation of a professional vision. This table classifies teachers’ responses within the learning units. In this way, we are able to assess if and how this approach of “learning through research” promotes a scientific-reflective habitus as a core principle of a professional vision.
Our paper addresses three objectives: First, we present examples of video-based simulation games to foster both the professional vision of (pre-service) civics teachers and their reflectivity in dealing with heterogeneous concepts introduced by the students within their performances. Second, while reflecting on this process, we discuss the specific potentials of this “learning through research” approach within teacher education. In particular, we analyse the observations and interpretations documented by (pre-service) civics teachers in the course of consecutive learning units. Third, in doing so, we shed light on the development of reflexivity as a constitutive part of a professional vision. The latter enables teachers to deal with heterogeneous students’ concepts of politics in the practice of civic education.
Arthur, James/Davies, Ian/Hahn, Carole (Eds.) (2008): The SAGE Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy. Los Angeles et al. Breidenstein, Georg/Tyagunova, Tanja (2012): Ethnomethodologie und Konversationsanalyse. In: Bauer, Ullrich/Bittlingmayer, Uwe H./Scherr, Albert (Hg.): Handbuch Bildungs- und Erziehungssoziologie. Wiesbaden: 387-403. Engartner, Tim/Siewert, Marcus B./Meßner, Maria Th./Borchert, Christiane (2015): Politische Partizipation ‘spielend’ fördern? Charakteristika von Planspielen als didaktisch-methodische Arrangements handlungsorientierten Lernens. In: Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 25, 2: 189-217. Erickson, Frederick (2006): Definition and Analysis of Data from Videotape: Some Research Procedures and Their Rationales. In: Green, Judith L./Camilli, Gregory/Elmore, Patricia B. (Eds.): Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research. Washington D.C., Mahwah: 177-191. Fichten, Wolfgang (2010): Forschendes Lernen in der Lehrerbildung. In: Eberhardt, Ulrike (Ed.): Neue Impulse in der Hochschuldidaktik. Wiesbaden: 127-182. Gogolin, Ingrid (2013): Chancen und Risiken nach PISA – über die Bildungsbeteiligung von Migrantenkindern und Reformvorschläge. In: Auernheimer, Georg (Ed.): Schieflagen im Bildungssystem. Die Benachteiligung der Migrantenkinder. Wiesbaden: 33-50. Helsper, Werner (2003): Ungewissheit im Lehrerhandeln als Aufgabe der Lehrerbildung. In: Helsper, Werner/Hörster, Reinhard/Kade, Jochen (Eds.): Ungewissheit. Pädagogische Felder in Modernisierungsprozessen. Weilerswist. Henkenborg, Peter (2012): Politische Urteilsfähigkeit als politische Kompetenz in der Demokratie – der Dreiklang von Analysieren, Urteilen und Handeln. In: zeitschrift für didaktik der gesellschaftswissenschaften 2: 28-50. Jehle, May/Blessing, Benita (2014): Using Classroom Recordings in Educational History Research. An East German Civics Lesson. In: Journal of Social Science Education 13, 1: 118-136. DOI: 10.2390/jsse-v13-i1-1273. Leigh, Elisabeth/Spindler, Laraine (2004): Researching Congruency in Facilitation Styles. In: Kriz, Willy/Eberle, Thomas (Eds.): Bridging the Gap. Transforming Knowledge into Action Through Gaming and Simulation. München: 309-317. Müller, Stefan (2016): Multiperspektivität und Reflexivität als Bezugspunkte politischer Bildung. In: zeitschrift für didaktik der gesellschaftswissenschaften 2: 108-118. Rauin, Udo/Herrle, Matthias/Engartner, Tim (Eds.) (2016): Videoanalysen in der Unterrichtsforschung. Methodische Vorgehensweisen und aktuelle Anwendungsbeispiele. Weinheim. Sherin, Miriam G. (2001): Developing a Professional Vision of Classroom Events. In: Wood, Terry/Nelson, Barbara S./Warfield, Janet (Eds.): Beyond Classical Pedagogy. Teaching Elementary School Mathematics. New York, London: 75-93. Sherin, Miriam G. (2002): When Teaching Becomes Learning. In: Cognition and Construction 20, 2: 119-150. Sherin, Miriam G./van Es, Elizabeth A. (2009): Effects of Video Club Participation on Teachers’ Professional Vision. In: Journal of Teacher Education 60, 1: 20-37. Usherwood, Simon (2015): Building Resources for Simulations: Challenges and Opportunities. In: European Political Science. Online publication: DOI: 10.1057/eps.2015.
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