The Empirical Strikes Back: Post-pandemic Multi-sensory Implementation of Scientific Thinking Into Language Teacher Education


Educational policy makers in Germany assume that the pursuit of a compulsory Master of Education teaching degree leads to the development of scientific thinking and reasoning skills, and these skills are usually documented in the form of a research-oriented Master’s thesis (KMK 2004). However, because research skills are only one of the relevant competence areas that future teachers need to develop (KMK 2004), their instruction and practice can be perceived as unnecessary by pre-service teachers, especially in the face of the felt necessity to focus on practical teaching skills, subject related as well as pedagogical knowledge and competences (Niesen & Pfingsthorn, 2020). The recent Covid 19 pandemic has made these structural problems even more apparent in that it partly alienated students from regular university and empirical work. In this contribution, we demonstrate a holistic attempt to reintegrate pre-service teachers into a more strongly research-oriented, post-pandemic university teaching. This intervention encompassed a set of multi-sensory, group activities that supported basic scientific thinking and reasoning skills (e.g. standard normal distribution and the understanding of probabilities; drawing logical conclusions; sensory bias) and were conducted at the premises of the local science museum, the Universum Bremen, with the use of interactive exhibits. We discuss the extent to which this attempt managed to successfully strengthen scientific skills of pre-service teachers as well as contribute to their academic resilience in the aftermath of the pandemic. We suggest some implications of multisensory research-based teaching for teacher education programs.

Author Information
Joanna Pfingsthorn, University of Bremen, Germany
Tim Giesler, University of Bremen, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2022
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon