A total of approximately 200 school teachers from all over Baden-Württemberg have successfully graduated the new, Bologna-compatible adult education study programme in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics (IMP). It has been designed as a continuing education programme for school teachers in schools of general education who did not originally train as computer science teachers but who, due to a lack of trained staff, will be teaching the new special subject in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics (IMP) as well as the new elective subject in Computer Science in the future. The blended learning course is composed of e-learning and on-campus learning units conducted at the University of Konstanz and other locations in Baden-Württemberg and provides teachers the specialist knowledge and subject-specific expertise required to teach computer science at secondary school level.
In a ceremony held in Stuttgart on 10 July 2019, the 17 top-performing participants were recognized by state secretary Volker Schebesta MdL. They either scored the highest number of points in the final examination, which took place at the end of June, or achieved the most points over the entire duration of the course.
The IMP adult education study programme is offered by the Academy for Advanced Studies at the University of Konstanz and funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. Its scientific directors are Professor Michael Grossniklaus and Dr Barbara Pampel from the university’s Department of Computer and Information Science. There are approximately 200 places available each year for teachers of the following German school types: Gymnasium (secondary school), Gemeinschaftsschule (comprehensive school), Hauptschule (lower secondary school), Werkrealschule and Realschule (two types of middle school). Due to the high demand, 30 more places than originally planned were offered during the first year of the adult education study programme. Starting in September, the programme will also be made available to vocational teachers. A total of four rounds are planned up until 2021/2022. The adult education study programme will be continuously enhanced in close cooperation with the newly founded “Zentrum für Schulqualität und Lehrerbildung Baden-Württemberg” (ZSL, centre for quality assurance and teacher education in Baden-Württemberg).
The new special subject in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics (IMP) was introduced at Gymasium-level at the beginning of the current school year. Starting in 2019/2020, it will also be offered by Gemeinschaftsschulen. Also starting in 2019/2020, Hauptschulen, Werkrealschulen and Realschulen will offer the new elective subject in Computer Science.
Positive impact on university teaching
Students from the University of Konstanz’s Bachelor of Education in Computer Science programme have helped shape the IMP programme from the start: As tutors, they supervise the participating teachers during the on-campus learning units and via an online forum, mark and comment on the completed exercise sheets and provide feedback on the teaching content and the way it is communicated. They also take part in preparing video content and digitally available teaching materials. Conversely, the experiences garnered from the teacher education programme also feed into their own education as future computer science teachers, especially in respect to the didactics portion of the Bachelor of Education programme. “This close interaction between the adult education study programme, didactics and the “Grundvorlesung” (basic course) leads to synergy effects that are increased by the fact that everything is centrally organised. The teaching concept is easy to modify and transfer to other topics and disciplines, which in turn facilitates student-oriented, professional digital learning in academic disciplines that do not lend themselves to such formats as readily as computer science does”, explains Professor Michael Grossniklaus, scientific director of the adult education study programme.
In the future, selected content and the teaching format used in the context of the adult education study programme IMP will also feed into the University of Konstanz’s planned Advanced Data and Information Literacy Track for students from all disciplines. This track will teach key data analysis competencies and address important ethical, legal, social and theoretical aspects of data usage: How are computers programmed? How is data collected, analysed and used? What are the social implications of using data? By addressing these and other questions, the new practice-oriented track will qualify students for academically and socially relevant areas of data application.