00 SES 08, Crossing Boundaries in Teacher Education in Germany
Internships are an integral part of the university phase of German teacher training. There, professional knowledge acquired at university (content, pedagogical and pedagogical content knowledge) is challenged by the requirements of teaching practice. This is also the case in Hamburg. During their studies at university, preservice-teachers complete two subject-related internships at school. Internships are accompanied by subject-related seminars at the university and “reflection seminars” conducted by the State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development. Students' transition from university to their internships at school are less smooth than desirable. Professional knowledge acquired during their studies is insufficiently connected with their practical knowledge. Scholars have repeatedly pointed to the problem that pre-service teachers have to cross a boundary between theory and practice, but an increase of practical school experience can hardly solve this structural problem. The reason for the border the teacher students experience is based in the fact that internships at school hitherto have not been sufficiently integrated into coordinated efforts towards professionalization of pre-service teachers. Internships at school often lack: - a cooperation between university and school, - continuous and competent advice given by mentors at school, - subject-specific discourses between preservice-teachers and mentors. The aim of the project ProfaLe is therefore to expand the cooperative relationships between all actors involved in teacher education. Learning opportunities were developed and field-tested towards a) increasingly shared perspectives among seminar leaders, mentors and pre-service teachers, and (b) an increased ability of pre-service teachers to perceive, interpret and reflect learning-relevant events in the classroom and to promote more informed decision-making. The basic challenge we address in this project is that pre-service teachers have to respond to different requests at the same time. Staff from university is asking them to apply a more theoretical perspective on specific situations in class, while mentors at school support them giving direct advise to immediate action-taking. As a result, pre-service teachers feel a tension between different requests. Using the subjects of German and mathematics as examples, the presentation will show subject-specific boundary objects that can be used in internship seminars to productively address the challenges mentioned through closer cooperation of university teachers with mentors at school. The evaluation of typical situations in subject teaching as well as the work with subject-specific case material are regarded as boundary objects among others.
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