New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Towards a New Scholarship of German Science Education

Tobias Schmohl, Hamburg Center for University Teaching & Learning (HUL) (Germany)


In Germany, there is much academic discourse on and scientific inquiry into pedagogical issues of science teaching and learning at the school level. Concepts like ‘Bildung’ (inquiry-based self-formation) or ‘Didaktik’ (instruction-based reflections on teaching) are almost directly associated with institutions or actors rooted in pedagogical departments. Unfortunately, those departments rarely focus on issues of science teaching and learning at the University level – and if they do so, they most often try to apply conceptions and models borrowed from upper or post-secondary education. The few research-based institutions that address specific issues of higher education are commonly fitted out so that they are nowhere near the impacts of research institutions covering teaching methodology in primary or secondary education, for example. Yet from an international perspective, the university as an institution does hold a great potential to improve educational practice in a systematic, cross-disciplinary and research-based way. Around the globe, more and more institutions rely on the notion of scholarship in this context: ‘The improvement of learning and teaching is dependent upon the development of scholarship and research in teaching’ (Prosser & Trigwell, 1999, p. 8). If incorporated at the heart of tertiary education, scholarship could contribute to develop new faculty in the German higher-educational sector.

Keywords: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Academic Development, Higher Education;


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