How school laboratories can promote teacher training

2023-04-05 Lüneburg/Bielefeld. Leuphana University Lüneburg is one of eight universities participating in a joint project managed by the University of Bielefeld, which aims to advance the further training of teachers in the so-called MINT subjects of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. At the centre of the intended development are school laboratories that have the potential to improve teacher training in the MINT area. The project, which has now begun, is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with more than 3 million euros.

School laboratories have not only proven to be enormously motivating for interest in MINT topics and ways of working, they have also been able to respond to the challenges of the digital transformation faster and more productively than other educational venues. The project participants want to take advantage of this to also use school labs as innovative places for teacher training and to build up digitalisation-related competences among teachers.

Professor Dr Simone Abels is involved in the project on behalf of Leuphana University Lüneburg. She is particularly interested in quality management in this context. Good practice examples from the school labs and teacher training courses created according to corresponding standards are to be exchanged between the participating institutions and further developed at the other locations.

Before participating in the training courses, the teachers will be asked about their wishes and expectations with regard to motivating, digital working environments in the MINT subjects and in physical education. After participation, they are asked to describe conditions for successful use of the learning experiences from their point of view. On this basis, strategies for a tailor-made design of further training will be developed.

In concrete terms, teachers will be shown on-site in the laboratories how to enrich their lessons with a wide variety of digital tools. These can be, for example, interactive explanatory videos, molecular dynamics simulations or digital learning platforms.

A total of 21 scientists are involved in the project. They come from the universities of Bielefeld, Paderborn, Lüneburg, Oldenburg, Kaiserslautern-Landau, Münster and Dresden as well as the Institute for Information Management at the University of Bremen. The funding began on 1 April and will last until 30 September 2025.