Fachdidaktik Deutsch | Reflecting German Lessons in Teaching Practicum. Facets of Professional Competence of German L1 Teacher Students
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Reflecting German Lessons in Teaching Practicum. Facets of Professional Competence of German L1 Teacher Students

An important question for research in teacher education is what competencies pre-service teachers have at different stages of their development. This PhD study, conducted by Anna Seeber, relates to this question and focuses on certain facets of professional competence of German L1 teacher students.

The project pays special attention to situation-specific competencies. Blömeke et al. (2015) characterize these competencies as a process that requires perception, interpretation and decision making in domain-specific situations. In addition to dispositions (e.g. cognitive characteristics), situation-specific competencies also influence teachers’ observable performance in the classroom (Blömeke et al. 2015). While there is considerable research on dispositions (e.g. COACTIV, FALKO), situation-specific competencies have been neglected in previous studies of teacher professionalization.

The method used in this project has the advantage that students can practice the situation-specific competencies without being directly involved in the concrete teaching situation (Winkler 2019): Teacher students of German (N=38) videotaped one self-planned and self-conducted lesson and shared it with peers via a digital learning environment. Using the learning platform, the teacher students gave written feedback (N=67) on their lessons to each other in small groups. At the end of the teaching practicum, the students reflected on their own teaching, taking into account the peer feedback they received.

When reflecting on the peers’ teaching and their own teaching, students use situation-specific skills to perceive and interpret relevant aspects of the teaching situation and to develop alternatives for action. These written documents serve as the data for this investigation. Using qualitative content analysis, this PhD project investigates which aspects of pedagogical content knowledge the students address when reflecting on their own and other students’ teaching and in which quality they reflect. The findings provide information on students’ learning status and suggest possibilities for improving learning opportunities during the teaching practicum.

This PhD project is part of the intervention study OVID-PRAX, which is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research.