Studying Educational Science
Educators deal with education issues in all age groups.
An article by Kathrin Fromm in collaboration with Lisa Srikiow
That is what it’s about
Education is not just limited to parents. Many great thinkers have written about education, from Plato to Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Theodor W. Adorno. If students pursue studies in Education or Education Theory (as the subject is also known), they first deal with basic concepts such as education, upbringing and socialisation as well as the respective theories. Students also look at various forms of educational activities, for example raising children, teaching, assessment and guidance and research methods used in the subject. Here they learn, for example, how to conduct a guideline interview or how education studies such as PIRLS and TIMSS work. They also look at methods for action, i.e. the tools of an educator. These include individual support, group work, family therapeutic measures or didactic approaches in adult education. At most universities, students are also given insight into related subjects such as psychology, sociology and law. A practical project or work placement in a kindergarten, the youth welfare office or services for the disabled, for instance, is also usually part of the academic studies. "Education is a highly heterogeneous field. In Munich, for example, completely different specialisations are offered than in Hildesheim. You should therefore get in-depth information about the locations before choosing a degree course," says the chair of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (German Society for Education Science), the Hamburg professor Hans-Christoph Koller. Starting in the third semester, students choose one, sometimes two areas of specialisation. A common specialisation is social education, which – similar to Social Work which is mainly taught at universities of applied science – primarily deals with people in problem situations. Other specialisations include adult education, early childhood or media education.
suitability, obstacles, misconceptions
Educators should enjoy working with people, but also be interested in theory. Because educational activities are not based on formulas that can be used over and over again – people and groups are too different. "To successfully adjust to new situations, you need a theoretical foundation," emphasises Hans-Christoph Koller. Many believe that Education is just for prospective teachers. But really: teacher training includes Education, but anyone who opts for a degree course purely in Education deals mainly with education and raising children outside of school. Also good to know: currently studies in Education with a specialisation in social education only lead to state accreditation as a social worker at a few universities. There are course entrance restrictions for most degree courses, often in the one or two grade range.