Competences in Analysing the Effectiveness of Primary Science Instruction: A Theoretical Model and its Empirical Assessment (ViU-EarlyScience)

Basic data for this project

Type of project: Participation in BMBF-joint project
Duration: 01/07/2009 - 30/06/2012


This project focuses on how competently teachers (and prospective teachers) analyse classroom situations in terms of the two quality criteria "cognitive activation" and "classroom management". The goal is to develop a video-based instrument for diagnosing this competence and to find out (a) how this competence develops during the course of teacher training, (b) how to promote it, and (c) how it relates to further domains of professional knowledge. The project will study students attending German and Swiss higher education institutes in order to gather findings on teacher competences and their acquisition during the initial phase of the very different teacher training systems of these two countries. A further goal is to set up a video portal containing clips of typical classroom situations when teaching science at primary school supplemented by, among other things, background information and expert ratings.As a first step, we construct the instrument (recordings, technical processing, pilot tests, and validation) along with tests assessing different domains of teachers' professional knowledge. Then, data from students and teachers at German and Swiss higher education institutes will be collected and analysed. Further major stages will encompass the measurement of baseline analytical competence in German and Swiss university students at the beginning of their studies and the launch of a video portal.The instrument to be developed in this project is intended to be applied in further empirical research on teacher training. It will also be possible to use it to evaluate the development of competences and teaching programs in larger cohorts. Cross-national comparisons of the results of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies will deliver new empirically based findings on relevant teaching competences and their acquisition during the initial phase of teacher training. Such findings are much needed in the current discussion on study reforms and can be used for the further development of the German teacher training system. In addition, the video portal will be a useful tool in both initial and in-service teacher training.

Keywords: classroom situations; cognitive activation; classroom management