Contemporary Science in Teacher Education

Current chemistry research in teacher training studies in chemistry

Image: aus Nanome


Contact person: Dr. Mareike Frevert

funded by: Quality Initiative Teacher Education of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


Prospective chemistry teachers in Germany often study chemistry in much less depth in relation to the state of current chemical research. This is supported by the fact that various curricula and school contents of the subject chemistry do not go beyond the 1950s state of chemical knowledge. The suggestion for student teachers that this level already fills the subject of chemistry is thus reinforced. But in contrast, studies (Blömeke et al, 2008) show the relationship between a comprehensive and deep subject knowledge and a teacher's skills and abilities. It was found that the higher the subject knowledge of a teacher, the higher skills are shown when teaching.

Our research project focuses on incorporating current chemistry research into the chemistry curriculum and examining the resulting effects. The main research question is: Does the professional knowledge of student teachers change when they are exposed to current chemical research?

Lee S. Shulman's concept of teacher professional knowledge (Shulman, 1986) serves as the theoretical background for answering the question, and this project will be limited to subject knowledge and subject didactic knowledge as two major forms for professional formation. In addition to these, science understanding and beliefs about teaching and learning are added. All three categories will be examined with the help of competency-based theory (Baumert, Kunter, 2006). In order to build a bridge between current chemical research on the one hand and the aforementioned teaching-learning theories on the other, Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of science (Bachelard, 1987) is used.

In this study, a mixed-methods approach is used, combining quantitative methods (questionnaires) with qualitative methods (videography, interviews, portfolio) to obtain a broader base. Data collection will extend semi-annually for a period of three years.



Bachelard, G. (1987). Die Bildung des wissenschaftlichen Geistes. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag.

Baumert, J.; Kunter, M. (2006). Stichwort: Professionelle Kompetenz von Lehrkräften, Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft,(4/2006), 469-520.

Blömeke, S. et al. (2010). TEDS-M 2008Professionelle Kompetenz und Lerngelegenheiten angehender Mathematiklehrkräfte für die Sekundarstufe I im internationalen Vergleich. Münster: Waxmann.

Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher. Retrieved February 05, 2009 from