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IZeF-RG Competence measurement

(Speaker: Prof. Dr. Johannes König)


The following projects are to be found in the IZeF-RG Competence measurement:

Over the past ten years, the competencies of teachers have increasingly become the subject of empirical research in education, for which an empirical compilation is of fundamental importance, for example

  • to test assumptions about the function of teacher education in preparing future teachers for their profession,
  • to analyse which competences are necessary on the part of teachers in order to maintain quality teaching and to support the learning and personality development of pupils, and
  • for the work on an empirically supported theory for the teaching profession and teacher education.

In addition, the importance of measuring the competences of prospective teachers is further reinforced through global developments such as a growing output management in educational systems, quality assurance measures as well as the internationalisation of tertiary education. Against this background, the IZeF-RG competence measurement focuses on two areas: (1) Projects that essentially work on conceptualisations for the professional competence of teachers, developing competence models and, based on this, aiming at a rating scale with the help of diagnostic procedures. (2) Furthermore, some of the projects also examine assumptions about the effectiveness of teacher education using approaches from competence measurement or analyse the significance of teacher education competences for the quality of their teaching and the learning on the part of pupils. The projects are based on an understanding of the professional competences of teachers as is currently widely used in empirical research in education: Teachers' competencies are defined primarily as the cognitive abilities and skills available to them or learnable from them that are necessary to solve certain problems and tasks in their profession. Competences represent constructs that can be operationalised and, thus, also measured by means of test instruments. Here, aspects of the professional knowledge of teachers play an important role, but also specific, situation-related characteristics, such as their professional perception of typical teaching situations and their ability to analyse and interpret such situations. However, not only cognitive characteristics, but also affective-motivational characteristics form the object of research, such as the motivation behind the teacher's occupation or the convictions of teachers with respect to teaching and learning at school. The competence characteristics defined in this way are always considered and justified within the functional context of successfully coping with professional requirements - especially with respect to teaching as the core activity of teachers.

FKS - Fachlich kompetent im Seiteneinstieg: Scientific accompanying study on prospective teachers of German and mathematics in the preparatory service in NRW

The scientific study "Fachlich kompetent im Seiteneinstieg" focuses on a format of lateral entry in the preparatory service in NRW, which is carried out for the primary and lower secondary school types as a part-time preparatory service according to OBAS (regulations for part-time training of lateral entrants and the state examination). Prospective teachers undergo a 24-month part-time preparatory service, which they complete with a state examination. The qualification pathway provides for the acquisition of a teaching qualification that is equivalent to the corresponding qualification pathway of an undergraduate teacher training course.
From an academic perspective, the overarching question is to what extent the two routes of qualification for prospective teachers - via undergraduate and non-undergraduate training - are comparable in terms of key aspects. The chosen study design includes a cohort of lateral entrants whose positions for part-time lateral entry begin on 01.05.2024. With a duration of 24 months (OBAS §7(1)), a state examination is planned by 30.04.2026. The cohort of prospective teachers in the undergraduate teaching profession who will start their preparatory service on 01.11.2024 and whose state examination is also scheduled to end on 30.04.2026 will serve as a comparison.
The focus is on a comparative analysis of possible differences in the skills development of lateral entry vs. undergraduate training, whereby the following questions are investigated:

  • Do lateral entrants differ in key aspects of competence at the beginning and in the further course of the preparatory service from teacher trainees in undergraduate training?
  • How do lateral entrants experience the change to school in terms of their personal development?
  • How do they experience in-service training as a learning opportunity for the teaching profession?

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

The project is located at the interface of the two IZeF research groups Language Education and Competence Measurement and is therefore listed in both places.

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Johannes König (University of Cologne)

Staff members: Sandra Heine (University of Cologne), Lilith Voeth (University of Cologne)

Cooperation partners: Prof. Dr. Petra Hanke (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Jörg Jost (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Gabriele Kaiser (University of Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Benjamin Rott (University of Cologne)

Funding: Ministry for Schools and Education of the State of NRW

Project duration: 2024 - 2026

TCM - Professional competence of teachers for effective classroom management

Classroom management refers to the instructional and organizational actions of teachers to create order and effective use of time in the classroom. Meta-analyses prove the positive effects of effective classroom management on pupils' learning outcomes. In Germany and Switzerland, as in other countries around the world, there are expectations of teacher education programs to prepare prospective teachers for the professional challenges of classroom management. However, those entering the profession are often very challenged: They report that classroom management is one of the greatest difficulties for them and that they do not necessarily feel well prepared for it. In this respect, there are high, sometimes unfulfilled expectations of teacher training. The project aims to generate new insights into "teacher professional competence for effective classroom management" (TCM).
Classroom management competencies of prospective secondary school teachers in selected regional contexts in Germany and Switzerland (including prospective primary school teachers with a teaching license for the 5th grade) are empirically investigated in order to contribute to the discourses of teacher education and career entry.

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) as part of a lead agency agreement between Germany and Switzerland. The comparative analysis, which is also extended to a regional context in Austria through cooperation, provides important additional insights into the effectiveness of teacher education.

The central questions are:

  1. What classroom management skills do teachers have at the end of their training and after entering the profession (i.e. one year later)?
  2. What learning opportunities did the teachers have with regard to classroom management during their training and what learning opportunities (e.g. support, challenges) does the entry into the profession offer?
  3. How do the learning opportunities both from the training and during career entry affect possible competence gains in classroom management?

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Johannes König (University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Christian Brühwiler (University of Teacher Education St.Gallen, Switzerland), Dr. phil. Lena Hollenstein (University of Teacher Education St.Gallen, Switzerland)

Participants: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Andreas Bach (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Andreas Bach (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria), Mag. Dr. Michaela Katstaller (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria), Irina Sachs (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria), Rector Prof. Dr. Horst Biedermann (University of Teacher Education St.Gallen, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Dominik Petko (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG) and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), lead agency agreement

Project duration: Start 2023

Project-specific preliminary work (selection of publications):

Affolter, B., Hollenstein, L., & Brühwiler, C. (2017). Learning opportunities in the career entry phase and the relationship with teachers' pedagogical-psychological knowledge. Contributions to teacher education, 35(3), 506-523. download

Brühwiler, C. & Hollenstein, L. (2021). The contextualized measuring of general pedagogical knowledge and skills: Understanding its transition to effective teaching practice. In Ulferts, H. et al. (Eds.), Studying teaching as a knowledge profession: Advancing the TALIS Teacher Knowledge Survey (TKS) assessment module (pp. 52-64). OECD Publishing, Paris. Download

Brühwiler, C., Hollenstein, L., Affolter, B., Biedermann, H., & Oser, F. (2017). What knowledge is relevant to teaching? Validation of three measurement instruments for the assessment of pedagogical-psychological knowledge. Journal of Educational Research, 7(3), 209-228. download

König, J. (2015). Measuring classroom management expertise (CME) of teachers: A video-based assessment approach and statistical results. Cogent Education, 2(1), 991178. download

König, J., & Kramer, C. (2016). Teacher professional knowledge and classroom management: On the relation of general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) and classroom management expertise (CME). ZDM - The International Journal on Mathematics Education, 48(1), 139-151. download

König, J., Ligtvoet, R., Klemenz, S., & Rothland, M. (2017). Effects of opportunities to learn in teacher preparation on future teachers' general pedagogical knowledge: Analyzing program characteristics and outcomes. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 53, 122-133. download


Teacher Education and Development Study - Inclusive Mathematics Education (TEDS-IME)

The Teacher Education and Development Study - Inclusive Mathematics Education (TEDS-IME) project is part of the BMBF's funding guideline Förderbezogene Diagnostik in der inklusiven Bildung. It aims to conceptualize, measure and promote the diagnostic and support skills of regular secondary school mathematics teachers in relation to inclusive education.

The project will develop innovative training and further education measures that will be implemented for three target groups with different levels of expertise (teacher trainees, trainee teachers, teachers). In order to measure the success of the training, specific measuring instruments for diagnostic and support skills relating to inclusive education in secondary mathematics lessons will be developed. Based on the evaluation results, handouts for training and further education measures will be developed and disseminated to enable implementation of the measures by third parties. The effectiveness of the intervention will be tested quasi-experimentally using a pre-post design with waiting control groups, which will be implemented in the federal states of Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia represented by the project management. The conceptualization of the further training and the competence measurement follow on from preliminary work from the TEDS research programme on the professional competence of mathematics teachers and are extended to include pedagogical knowledge for inclusive teaching and its testing.

The project is expected to make an important contribution to the further development of the professional competence of mathematics teachers with regard to inclusive education.

Further information can be found on the project homepage.

Project management: Prof. Dr. Johannes König (responsible for the Cologne site, network management, University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Gabriele Kaiser (responsible for the Hamburg site, University of Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Nils Buchholtz (project management, University of Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Benjamin Rott (project management, University of Cologne), Prof. Dr. Conny Melzer (project management, University of Leipzig)

Participants: Natalie Ross (University of Hamburg), Anton Bastian (University of Hamburg), Christine Hirsch (University of Cologne), Sarah Strauß (University of Cologne)

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Funding reference: 01NV2125A, -B

Project duration: 2022 - 2024

Project publications: No publications have yet been published as part of this project.

Future strategy for teacher training in Cologne: Quality assurance field of action

Quality assurance is one of four fields of action of the Cologne project "Zukunftsstrategie Lehrer*innenbildung Köln (ZuS) - Heterogenität und Inklusion gestalten" (Future Strategy for Teacher Education Cologne (ZuS) - Shaping Heterogeneity and Inclusion), which is funded as part of the "Qualitätsoffensive Lehrerbildung". The overall coordination of quality assurance is integrated into the IZeF. Quality assurance consists of four components:

  1. At an overarching level (macro level), a university-wide education monitoring (Bilmo) on teacher education at the University of Cologne has been carried out annually since 2016. The aim is to obtain a comprehensive picture of skills acquisition during the entire teacher training program at the University of Cologne as well as in the preparatory service and in the first years of professional life. The focus is therefore on a) recording the competence development of student teachers, trainee teachers and teacher candidates and b) recording learning opportunities as conditions for competence development. Thematically, the reference disciplines of educational science and subject didactics are taken into account in the surveys as well as a number of affective-motivational competence characteristics such as professional motivation and career plans, beliefs and attitudes.

  2. Specific, innovative measures are analyzed at a micro level of teacher education. The focus is on media-supported teaching-learning innovations, such as learning with teaching videos using the ViLLA database or teaching offers for acquiring digital skills. In addition, the coordination, mutual exchange and discussion of evaluations was facilitated at meetings of participating stakeholders from the ZuS team under the leadership of the Quality Assurance field of action.

  3. In order to be able to scientifically investigate specific innovations in the context of ZuS, new skills tests are being developed that can be used to record the specific skills of student teachers. The tests are used in various ways in educational monitoring (point 1) as well as in evaluations at the micro level (point 2) in order to assess learning outcomes in teacher training at the University of Cologne or to analyze the learning effectiveness of individual innovative ZuS measures. The focus is on the target dimensions of ZuS (inclusion, digitalization, language education) or goes beyond this and concerns, for example, research-based learning in the practical semester.

  4. Utilization and dissemination: The data collected is widely used by the quality assurance team, but is also made available to other interested parties on request. Results are widely disseminated. In addition to scientific publications and conference contributions, findings are published in press releases or reports.

Further information can be found on theproject homepage.

Project team: Prof. Dr. Johannes König (head of the field of action), Franca Cammann, Krisitina Gerhard, Dr. Daniela Jäger-Biela

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Press releases and information (selection):

Project duration: 2019 - 2023 (2nd funding phase)

Project publications (selection):

Cammann, F., Darge, K., Kaspar, K., & König, J. (2020). Research-based learning in teacher education. Acquisition and structure of application-related methodological knowledge as an aspect of student research competence. In I. Gogolin, B. Hannover, & A. Scheunpflug (Eds.), Evidence-based teaching in teacher education. Journal of Educational Science (Edition 4), 13-37.

Depaepe, F., & König, J. (2018). General pedagogical knowledge, self-efficacy and instructional practice: Disentangling their relationship in pre-service teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 69, 177-190. download PDF

Gerhard, K., Kaspar, K., Rüth, M., Kramer, C., Jäger-Biela, D. J., & König, J. (2020). Development of a test instrument to assess teachers' technological and pedagogical knowledge. In K. Kaspar, M. Becker-Mrotzek, S. Hofhues, J. König, & D. Schmeinck (Eds.), Education, school, digitalization (pp. 371-376). Münster: Waxmann. doi:

König, J., Darge, K., & Kramer, C. (2020). Competence development in the practical semester: On the significance of practical learning opportunities for the acquisition of pedagogical knowledge in student teachers. Journal for Educational Science (Edition). Download PDF

Kramer, C., König, J., Strauß, S., & Kaspar, K. (2020). Classroom videos or transcripts? A quasi-experimental study to assess the effects of media-based learning on pre-service teachers' situation-specific skills of classroom management. International Journal of Educational Research, 103 Download PDF

König, J., Jäger-Biela, D., & Glutsch, N. (2020). Adapting to online teaching during COVID-19 school closure: Teacher education and teacher competence effects among early career teachers in Germany. European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 608-622. download PDF

König, J., Doll, J., Buchholtz, N., Förster, S., Kaspar, K., Rühl, A.-M., Strauß, S., Bremerich-Vos, A., Fladung, I., & Kaiser, G. (2018). Pedagogical knowledge versus subject-didactic knowledge? Structure of professional knowledge in prospective German, English and mathematics teachers during their studies. Journal of Educational Science, 21(3), 1-38. download PDF

König, J., Gerhard, K., Melzer, C., Rühl, A.-M., Zenner, J., & Kaspar, K. (2017). Assessment of pedagogical knowledge for inclusive teaching in prospective teachers: Test construction and validation. Teaching Science, 45(4), 223-242. download