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Ausgabe 28 vom 1. April 2009 (als PDF):

12. März 2009 – Meinert A. Meyer

What is »Bildungsgangdidaktik«?

Bildung has no simple, straightforward English equivalent. We define a person with Bildung as somebody who is competent to participate in the society he/she lives in and that he/she is capable and willing to take responsibility for himself/herself and for others. This means that Bildung is more than education, it is education in a humanistic sense. It aims at self-regulation and includes a moral dimension. Gang, the second part of the compound, means movement, walking, process, direction et cetera. In combining »Bildung« and »Gang«, the focus is on self-regulated learner development, based on educational experience. By adding the word »Didaktik« to the compound »Bildungsgang«, we relate Bildung to the theory of teaching and learning.

We translate the German compound that combines »Bildung« and »Gang« as »learner development and educational experience within the teacher learner interactional process«.

Bildungsgang didactics deals with a variety of topics:

Following Robert J. Havighurst, we consider children's and adolescents' developmental tasks a central concept in Bildungsgang didactics. We try to reconstruct developmental processes, and examine how learners acquire knowledge and competences, how they develop the ability to decide independently and to act as responsible persons in an increasingly complex and difficult world. We want to find out how young people view the educational situations they are exposed to, and what makes sense for them in these situations. Sense construction, therefore, is another central concept.

Our research is meant to improve both learning and teaching. That is why we include the professional development of pre-service and in-service teachers in regard to their biographical background and their understanding of classroom instruction.

The combination of the students' and the teachers' perspectives on teaching, learning and Bildung gives rise to our basic methodological research hypothesis:

If the sense constructions produced by the teachers are not identical with the sense constructions of the students, these different accounts of one and the same reality will materialise during classroom instruction. We will find a variety of processes where meaning is negotiated that give life to the instructional process. We assume that the systematic evaluation of the difference between the teachers' and the students' perspective on classroom instruction will allow for a reconstruction of the individual educational Bildungsgänge of the students and their teachers.


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