Research Group

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Religious Education Empirical Teaching Research Group.

Since 2012, a religious education empirical teaching research group has existed at the Institute of Catholic Theology in the subject of religious education under the direction of Prof. Dr. Annegret Reese-Schnitker. 

Publications on the research project

Reese-Schnitker, Annegret / Bertram, Daniel / Fröhle, Dominic, Conversations in Religious Education. Insights - Insights - Potentials 2021 (forthcoming).

Görth, Martha / Fröhle, Dominic, "Ich hab da mal 'ne Frage" - Schülerfragen im Religionsunterricht, in: Katechetische Blätter. Zeitschrift für religiöses Lernen in Schule und Gemeinde 2/2019, pp. 106-110.

Ernst, Philipp, Between student orientation and instruction. What is to be paid attention to? In: Katechetische Blätter. Zeitschrift für religiöses Lernen in Schule und Gemeinde, 2/2019, pp.111-116.

Bertram, Daniel / Franzmann, Marcel, The Role of the Teacher in Instructional Discussions: Moderator - Motivator - Auditor, in: Catechetische Blätter. Zeitschrift für religiöses Lernen in Schule und Gemeinde 2/2019, pp.117-122.

Reese-Schnitker, Annegret / Fröhle, Dominic, Is Talking Really Only Silver? Insights into Videographed Conversations in Religious Education, in Pädagogische Stiftung Cassianeum (ed.), Dokumentation des 13. Arbeitsforum für Religionspädagogik, Munich 2018, 125-140.

Reese-Schnitker, Annegret, Interactive learning processes in the context of biblical learning. A sequential conversation fine-grained analysis, in Mirjam Schambeck, Ulrich Riegel (eds.). What Works in Religious Education. Wege und Ergebnisse religionspädagogischer Unterrichtsforschung, Freiburg 2018, 233-251.

Reese-Schnitker, Annegret, Gelungene Unterrichtsgespräche: Miteinander ins Gespräch kommen, in: Volker Garske/Thomas, Nauerth / Niermann, Anja (eds.), Vom Können erzählen: A Reader on Peace. Festschrift für Egon Reese-Schnitker, Annegret, Wie werden biblische Texte im Religionsunterricht 'eingespielt'? Insights into an empirical classroom research study. In: Klumbies, Paul-Gerhard / Müllner, Ilse, Bibel und Kultur. The Book of Books in Literature, Music and Film, Leipzig 2016, 221-250.

Reese-Schnitker, Annegret, Productive Interruptions in Classroom Talk. Typical patterns, stumbling blocks and learning opportunities of classroom talk - demonstrated by a case study. In: Katechetische Blätter 138 H. 2 (2013), 130-137.

Current research project: "Conversations in religious education".

In the Kassel teaching research project "Conversations in Religious Education", the initiation and design of conversation phases among children and adolescents in lower secondary school by teachers of religion is to be investigated. The focus of the analysis is the course of communication in class and its control by the teachers. Of particular interest is the form and structure of conversations in religious education. Conversation is the center of religious education, but so far there are hardly any empirical studies on the initiation and structure of such conversations by teachers or on their potential momentum. How do young people enter into conversations about theological questions in class, and how are these conversations initiated, shaped, and advanced by the teachers of religious education, or how are they managed in their course? Are there recurring difficulties that teachers, but also learners, have to deal with again and again?

The research project is concerned with taking a look at real religious education in order to make the concrete problems in practice tangible and workable.


On the basis of videotaped recordings of lessons in the subject of religion, it is to be recorded how teachers of religion stage classroom discussions on the central systematic-theological topics of the Trinity and eschatology and how these classroom discussions proceed in their dynamics. There are already 50 videotaped lessons available, and more lesson recordings are still being planned. The lesson recordings will be analyzed through a low- and high-inference rating process. Selected lesson discussions will be interpreted sequence-analytically through a case analysis. Content-analytical evaluation procedures are used for individual questions (such as the significance of media, feedback, questions in class discussions).

Aims of the research group

The research group pursues the primary goal of conducting the empirical classroom research study "Conversations in Religious Education" and using the findings to prepare future student teachers and teachers of religion for their communicative and didactic tasks. The results will be published.

secondary goal is to prepare the recorded lessons in religion for teaching in order to work with students on concrete teaching topics using videos. Working on concrete lessons means a special enrichment for university learning and teaching.

Due to the abundance of valuable material of religious education lessons, it should also be considered that these data are used for further empirical research questions, such as already in the dissertation project of Marcel Franzmann on "Geschlechterverhältnisse[n] in der Interaktion von Schüler_innenim Religionsunterricht". The material can also be used in smaller studies by students.  

Composition and working methods of the research group

Student assistants, research assistants and teachers of religion (the latter on a voluntary basis) work in the religious education-empirical teaching research group. The working group meets every four to six weeks for a working and coordination meeting and twice a year for a closed meeting. Twice a semester, religion teachers are invited to the large group meetings as experts in the field. Many evaluation steps (rating procedures, case analyses, evaluation of video material) are carried out in small evaluation groups.

Members of the research group

The members of the research group can be found under Team.

Members of the research group: More Infos