How is the study program for teaching at grammar schools structured?

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The basic modules (module 1-3)

Divided into three main historical periods, Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Times, the three foundation modules will provide you with insights into the characteristics of the epochs. You will deal with the different source genres and their interpretation.

In the foundation modules, you will become familiar with the most important period-specific reference works and source collections. On the basis of scholarly literature, you will learn basic features of different forms and theories of historiography, such as structural and cultural history. In the application-related modules of the module you will practice the independent reproduction and correct citation of scientific literature and historical sources as well as target-oriented bibliographizing. This will enable you to develop a historical question and to evaluate and critically interrogate sources and literature with regard to this question. 

Information on current courses offered in the foundation modules:

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The didactics and practice modules (4-7)

Modules 4 to 7 are characterized by an intensive practical orientation and are designed to provide you with current scientific models and content of history didactics. Aspects of content are linked with didactic issues, which enables you to prepare and teach historical topics in a meaningful and target group-specific way.

In Module 4, you will become familiar with fundamental questions and categories of history didactics such as "historical consciousness" and "historical culture". You will work with relevant subject didactic questions and categories on selected examples and develop the ability to (de-)construct as well as to criticize historical formations of meaning. You will deal with current research controversies in the science and didactics of history and reflect on the extent to which the examination of the past and its representations plays a role in life-world orientation. In doing so, you will learn to question how history can be instrumentalized for current (political) perspectives.

Information on current courses in module 4

In Module 5 you will deal in depth with epoch-specific as well as cross-epoch problems, reflecting on the possibilities and limits of communicating historical knowledge. In this context, you will grasp the significance of history for the present and in this way develop a deeper understanding of the continuity and discontinuity of historical processes and problems. By means of problem-oriented subject-didactic and epoch-specific questions, you will expand your competence in the scientific examination of questions of historical learning and thinking. You will review, analyze and interpret relevant sources as well as subject-specific and subject-didactic research literature and compile the state of the art of scientific research discussion. In doing so, you will fathom the conditions of past and present formations of judgment in a methodologically guided manner on the basis of specialized, epoch-specific as well as epoch-spanning research problems.

Information on current courses in Module 5

Through a critical approach to sources and research literature, you will be enabled to understand historical contexts and processes and to view and interpret them from different perspectives. You will learn to make a differentiated assessment of the informative value of historical material in response to specific questions and to develop suitable historical forms of presentation and documentation for a professional and non-specialist audience. In doing so, you will acquire skills in analyzing forms of documentation and mediation of history (exhibitions, documentations, presentations, monuments, etc.) for a broad non-scientific audience and deconstructing them in relation to the sources used and the narratives chosen in order to derive techniques of mediation and presentation. Together with local actors, you will learn to present historical contexts in a comprehensible and interesting way for a broad public audience as well as to practically apply appropriate forms of documentation (text, comic, audio or photo reportage, video, web portals, blogs, forms of creative writing, photographic documentation, and the like). In short, you will learn the skills to independently develop projects to mediate between science and the public.

Information on current course offerings in Module 6

In this module you will gain your first practical experience (School Practical Studies II) as a prospective teacher. During one semester, you will participate for two to three hours in the history lessons of a school assigned to you. In parallel, you will attend an accompanying seminar in which you will reflect on and situate collected experiences and learn about the relevance of theory and practice. You will gain an insight into the complexity of lesson preparation and design, an insight into the possibilities and limits of teaching historical knowledge, as well as a deeper understanding of the interaction of subject-specific scientific, subject-specific didactic and pedagogical aspects in the classroom. They learn about the theory-based planning, design, implementation and evaluation of historical learning and furthermore deal with (self-)images with regard to the role of the teacher.

Information on current teaching offers in module 7

Practice and mobility

In the L3 study program, you will complete an orientation internship, a company internship, and the practical school studies I and II.

Further information on the internships can be found on the pages of the Hessian Teachers' Academy and the Department for Practical School Studies of the University of Kassel

As part of your teacher training program, you have various opportunities to complete parts of your studies abroad. During an internship (orientation, company internship or practical school studies), a study visit abroad or as a foreign language assistant, you will acquire organizational, personal and intercultural skills. You can also deepen the focus you have set in your studies. There are numerous ways to go abroad: For example, you can make use of already existing Erasmus+ cooperations of the History Department or gain practical experience at foreign schools through the DAAD exchange service.

Explanation of your study achievements

The core study of educational and social sciences is, parallel to the chosen teaching subjects, a compulsory subject for all teacher training programs at the University of Kassel. It provides basic knowledge in the horizon of childhood and adolescence, of school and teaching and their development. It also deals with the overarching political, historical, cultural and philosophical aspects of the work as a teacher. The main goal of the core studies is the ability to reflect and act in the pedagogical practice field of school and teaching. The core course offers historical, pedagogical, political science, psychoanalytical, psychological and sociological approaches and reflections related to the activities of teachers.

Further information about the core study can be found here

The coursework to be completed in the teaching degree program can "classically" consist of a presentation, thesis paper, review, participation in student projects, group leadership, an exam, and the like. They may also include new audiovisual and digital formats such as podcasts, posters, or blogs. As part of your practical school studies, you will also be given observation tasks and prepare observation protocols, lesson plans, your own teaching experiments, learning diaries, and the like. Your examination performance will primarily take the form of homework, internship reports and evaluations of lesson observations. However, creative performance assessments, such as the portfolio, also come into play here, preparing you in a practice-oriented manner for your future work as a history teacher.

The standard period of study for the teaching profession at Gymnasiums (L3) is four and a half years. The course of study is completed with the First State Examination, the overall grade of which is composed of a scientific paper as well as oral and written examinations. Admission to the First State Examination can be applied for in each case if the required achievements, which are specified in the module examination regulations, are proven.

Further information can be found on the website of the Hessische Lehrkräfteakademie.

Seminars offered by the chairs "Didactics of History", "History of Great Britain and North America" and "History of Western Europe" are sometimes held in English or French, so that you can acquire or develop not only content-related but also linguistic skills. This opens up the perspective of teaching bilingually in your future teaching profession. In particular, you can participate in the interdisciplinary project BIKA (Bilingual Kassel) and acquire a corresponding certificate.

Further information

Sample study plan

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