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Studying Educational Science in Germany

Educational scientists are concerned with education in all age groups
An article by Antonia Kelloms

Studying Educational Science in Germany
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Education Science

That is what it’s about

Flight and migration also influence educational science: It investigates for example, how to help refugees get an education or a job. Another important topic is educational research. Here ways to reduce disadvantages as well as finding out under what conditions students learn well are examined. The subject of education is very diverse, the universities offer numerous subject areas that can be further specialized upon. Some focus on intercultural education, others on social education, which deals with people in need - similar to social work. Pedagogy of early childhood, i.e. the years before school, is another, recent focus. Those studying education have good job prospects: "The job market for educational scientists has never been as good as it is today," says Karin Böllert, a professor at the University of Münster and president of the Faculty of Education. The expansion of all-day schools and early childhood education has created many new jobs.

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This is how the course runs

Those who study education (also called pedagogy) first deal with basic concepts such as education, upbringing and socialization and with the associated theories. The students learn different methods of action - the tools of an educationalist. These include, for example, group work, family-oriented measures and so-called case-by-case assistance. The students also deal with the research methods of the subject. You will learn how to conduct a group discussion or find out how Pisa and other education studies work. At most universities, students also gain insights into subjects such as psychology, sociology and law. From the third semester on, they choose one, sometimes two focal points. The end of the degree course is followed by an approximately eight-week compulsory internship, for example in a kindergarten or with handicapped assistance. The students themselves select the topic of the bachelor thesis. Most bachelor graduates start working straight away. “For those that want a more responsible and better paid job, a Masters degree is recommended”, advises Böllert.

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Typical questions raised within the subject

  • How are the terms education, socialization and education defined?
  • How to implement inclusion in schools and in child and youth services?
  • What are the consequences surrounding privatization of schools and universities?
  • How do you teach adults to read and write that did not learn properly at school?
  • What opportunities does digitisation offer in education?
  • How can the day care expansion succeed?

The subject suits you,...

...if you enjoy working with people, but are also interested in the background, because educational action is not simply based on recipes that you can use over and over again - people, groups and situations are too different for that to apply. There are many models to learn regarding human behaviour. In addition, the framework conditions under which educationalists research and work are constantly changing, as is society. "Education is not for people who are not flexible," says Karin Böllert. Many believe that education is just for prospective teachers. But really: Teacher training also includes educational science (see page 34), but anyone who decides to study purely in the field of education focuses on training and education outside of school education.

Is there a numerus clausus?

The majority of courses have a numerus clausus.

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