Didaktik der Biologie (englisch)

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Competence orientation and task culture in biology lessons (DFG, 2012-2016)


involved persons:

LMU: Prof. Dr. Birgit J. Neuhaus, Petra Reinhold, Dr. Christian Förtsch, Dr. Lena von Kotzebue

The professional competencies of teachers are not confined to the professional knowledge that they acquire during their teacher training tenure but also include personal aspects like beliefs, motivational orientations, and self-regulative abilities (Baumert, & Kunter, 2006). Hence, the professional competencies of teachers consist of both cognitive and affective aspects.

Many of the empirical studies (e.g. COACTIV, ProwiN, TEDS-M) have been conducted to examine the cognitive aspect of teacher´s professional competencies, while the study LerNT will use instruments related to the affective aspect of the professional competencies There will be a focus on biology teachers’ attitudes and beliefs towards crosscutting concepts and scientific competencies.

The focus on teaching and learning crosscutting concepts in biology is particularly important, as there is variety of phenomena and individual facts which can be correlated and connected (cf. KMK, 2004). Also, as Blömeke et al. (2006) have already described for mathematics, the tasks in biology which focus more on competencies and also understanding of crosscutting concepts could become key elements of good teaching.

Until now, the analysis of written tasks in biology education relates partially to competencies and crosscutting concepts. The proposed study is an endeavor to build on the study conducted by Jatzwauk (2007). The study focuses on the use of tasks that check the students competencies and their understanding and awareness of the crosscutting concepts.

In this DFG (German Research Foundation) funded study, biology lessons in Bavaria in the 6th grade will be analyzed. The model-exemplar lessons from botany will be chosen for this video study to analyze general features of teaching quality in the classrooms. Furthermore the study will primarily focus on examining the tasks which are oriented towards general student competencies in science and also their understanding and awareness of crosscutting concepts.

Furthermore, in addition to the analysis as proposed above, the study will also endeavor to answer questions like.

Is there any correlation between (a) the beliefs, motivational orientations and perceived barriers of the teacher, (b) the use of tasks that are orientated on competencies and crosscutting concepts, and (c) the students’ performance in a standardized test (zentrale Lernstandserhebung) which is written in Bavaria at the end of the sixth grade? This test also includes tasks that are orientated on competencies and crosscutting concepts.

The results will be put into practice in form of handouts and teacher trainings.