Cooperative Graduate School Pro|Mat|Nat
High quality professional training and development of educational staff is the key to an excellent education for children of all ages. Therefore, the Graduate School Pro | Mat | Nat (Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Nature of Science - Educational Professionalism in Mathematics and Natural Sciences) aims at examining the effects of professional training and professional standards for educational staff in schools and daycare centers.
Professional educational action is determined by a complex interplay of different facets of expertise. General educational competencies and technical skills are of course important. Also, specific facets of professional competence play a major role ("pedagocial content knowledge"). Additionally, it is of particular importance to reflect the understanding of the discipline taught form a scientific perspective ("nature of science"). Teaching not only the subject, but also an understanding of the genesis, variability, and justification of scientific knowledge, as well as its importance for the various areas of social life is increasingly considered to be an important goal of education.
The graduate program aims at (a) analyzing the areas of pedagogical professional competence in its various facets as described above (e.g., subject-specific diagnostic and teaching skills, professional expertise, understanding the nature of science) and (b) identifying ways to optimize professional educational knowledge. Interdisciplinary teams of educational scientists, educationalists and psychologists investigate the subject-specific skills of teachers and educators in the domains of mathematics and natural sciences in terms of their structure, conditions for development, and effects. Taken together, the graduate program Pro | Mat | Nat aims at (1) painting a more nuanced picture of professional development as a central area of professional expertise, (2) developing appropriate instruments for its investigation, and (3) explaining relevant links between the various facets of competence and their effects. This research will provide an important empirical foundation for discussing the quality of professional development of educational staff.
Funding period: 01 August 2011 - 31 July 2014
Number of doctoral research scholarships: 11
Number of teacher delegations: 3