At the Friedrich Schiller University, our team is responsible for the domain-specific education of future teachers of L1 German in secondary school. At the bachelor’s level, students receive an introduction to teaching German literature and language (L1) as well as an (optional) introduction to children and youth literature. During the students’ five-month teaching practicum, which occurs in the fifth or sixth semester, our team offers a seminar to accompany and reflect their school experiences. Within their master’s studies, students can then choose among so-called ‘cooperative seminars’. In these courses, which are a special feature of our university, both experts from the field of either linguistics or literary studies cooperate with researchers from L1 language and literature education. The aim of these courses is to work on a topic that is relevant for teaching German language or literature by linking it to current research methods and discourses of the respective discipline. Finally, there is a course that prepares students for their final examination by reviewing selected topics of L1 language and literature education. Optionally, students can write their final thesis in our field; this includes the opportunity to take a tutorial on academic writing and present their projects in our research colloquium.
In general, our courses can be characterized not only as research-based but also as research-oriented: We want our students to feel self-confident in dealing with recent theoretical and empirical studies, which we believe is a central prerequisite to reflect on one’s teaching abilities critically in comparison with the latest state of the art. Moreover, we try to incorporate topics into our courses that are highly debated in both the scientific and popular-scientific discourses, such as the heterogeneity of the students or digitization, so that the students can develop their own research-based opinions on these issues.