Study seminar

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A study seminar is an institution where prospective teachers in Germany complete their second phase of teacher training . They are called trainee teachers or trainee teachers. In the state of Hesse, the term “teacher in preparatory service (LiV)” was introduced for reasons of gender-sensitive language. In the new federal states, the second phase of teacher training is also known as the preparatory service. The corresponding teaching facilities there are simply called training centers.

For the former training of elementary school teachers, see teacher seminar .


Depending on the type of school and the federal state, the duration of the training is 12 to 24 months. The aim of the training is to develop a professional ability to act and reflect as a teacher on the basis of a scientific university degree. The training often follows the model of a “reflective practitioner” ( Donald Schön ). Reflection and action skills include a number of sub-skills that enable the teacher to properly and responsibly meet the professional requirements in the following job-specific functions according to the mission statement of the KMK (Bremen Declaration 2000): teaching, educating, diagnosing and promoting, advising , Measuring and assessing performance, organizing and managing, evaluating , innovating and cooperating. In many federal states, training is based on specified skills and standards that are to be acquired and proven in the course of the preparatory service.


In legal terms, these are institutions assigned to schools and their respective organizational forms, which are subject to the supervision of the state and are bound by instructions, in contrast to universities , for which the constitutional guarantee of freedom of research and teaching applies. The full-time staff consists of subject managers who represent the various subjects (including study leaders ) under a seminar leader . These are promotion offices, the selection of applicants is made by the school supervisory authorities or, if there is a state institute for teacher training, by its management. The seminars are held at their locations separately according to the type of school . The trainee lawyers usually belong to the study seminars, not to their training schools.

In Bavaria in particular, training through seminar schools and deployment schools is regulated differently.


An evaluation of the job-specific professionalization in the context of the second phase of teacher training has so far only been carried out for limited areas. A scientifically based empirical overall investigation of the efficiency of the 2nd phase is still pending. Nevertheless, the study seminars are currently the only institutions in teacher training in which the latest pedagogical and didactic knowledge is systematically transferred into a practical review and methodical application. The 2004 OECD education report therefore attests to the second phase that it provides “a unique opportunity for 'learning on the job', ie to acquire and develop teaching skills in everyday school practice”.

A number of study seminars have developed innovative, competence-oriented training concepts. B. the study seminars Paderborn and Koblenz, as well as dedicated to the internal design and effectiveness of teacher training with projects for evaluation and action research. B. the study seminar Leer.

Since the 2nd phase of teacher training takes place on the one hand in the seminar work in the study seminar (main seminars, specialist seminars), and on the other hand is carried out by the respective training school and the specialist colleagues working there (in NRW also training coordinators), the candidate teachers can also face different areas of tension Rediscover claims and objectives. The structurally determined dual role of trainee teachers as learners and teachers demands demanding balancing acts and role distance. The study seminars have developed modern andragogical training concepts (e.g. the “independent learner”); Nevertheless, the preparatory service is structurally characterized by an ambivalence between the self-responsible learning of the trainee teacher and external assessment by the seminar trainer.


The establishment of study seminars for the second phase of teacher training is unique in Europe and can only be explained as the result of a long historical process. While elementary school teachers were trained up until the Weimar Republic (and, depending on the country, beyond) at teacher seminars and for applicants without a high school diploma at upstream preparatory institutions , teachers at higher schools went through an academic degree. Friedrich Gedike began the practical training of teachers at the grammar school in Berlin in 1787 (foundation of the seminar for learned schools ), Wilhelm von Humboldt introduced the examen pro facultate docendi in 1810 as part of the Prussian reforms . In 1826 Prussia introduced a year of educational probation under the supervision of the school director, still without an examination. In 1890 the second phase of training became a permanent institution in Prussia and lasted two years. Instructors were special practitioners in the colleges of high schools. Since 1898, examination regulations have uniformly regulated the authorization to teach in at least one subject of the upper level and two other subjects (academic status of the " senior teacher "). A ten-country agreement in 1904 transferred these regulations to the northern and central German states as well as Baden and the realm of Alsace-Lorraine . From 1917, at the instigation of Karl Reinhardt, the second year was also a seminar year, but ended at another grammar school as a seminar school. The 2nd state examination consisted of two teaching samples and a pedagogical examination. From 1924/25 the examination was transferred to a "district seminar ", which was subordinate to the administrative district , and which basically already had the current organizational form of the study seminars. At the same time, the seminar leaders were appointed as educational experts to relieve the previously often called principals, and the subjects specialized Fachleiter introduced instead of mere mentors in schools. This reform by Hans Richert was primarily intended to objectify the assessment criteria through centralization and to support a limitation of the number of assessors to be employed .

In Bavaria and Württemberg , the second examination became compulsory in 1912 and 1898, albeit after only one year of training. In the Nazi state , the seminar time was shortened to one year throughout the Reich in 1940 and training was strictly standardized.

For the Federal Republic of Germany , the KMK resolution of May 20, 1954, Principles of the Pedagogical Examination for Teaching at Gymnasiums with Section 3: “Study seminars are set up for training; their organization is left to the federal states. ”The preparatory service had to last two years, the directors of the study seminars were not headmasters. However, the special forms of the federal states were retained, such as the seminar high schools in Bavaria. The principles for the pedagogical examination for the teaching post with the same date stipulated two teaching samples, a written term paper and an oral examination on pedagogical topics.

The grammar school training model of a preparatory service at study seminars was not transferred to all teaching posts until the 139th session of the Conference of Education Ministers on October 9, 1970 in Frankenthal (Palatinate) . Since then, the preparatory service for all trainee teachers has been carried out at “special training institutions”. At the end of the 1970s, a single-phase training was tried out for a while in Lower Saxony, in the administrative districts of Oldenburg and Osnabrück, which concluded the entire training with an exam. A similar single-phase training was carried out in the GDR.

Study seminars in the federal states

  • In Baden-Württemberg there are 35 seminars for the training and further education of teachers, 14 of them for elementary schools, secondary schools and secondary schools in Albstadt, Bad Mergentheim, Freudenstadt, Heilbronn, Laupheim, Lörrach, Mannheim, Meckenbeuren, Nürtingen, Offenburg, Pforzheim, Rottweil, Schwäbisch Gmünd and Sindelfingen, four for secondary schools in Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Ludwigsburg and Reutlingen, five for high schools in Esslingen, Heilbronn, Karlsruhe , Rottweil, Schwäbisch Gmünd and Tübingen, three with a department each for high schools and special schools in Freiburg, Heidelberg and Stuttgart, one with a department for vocational schools and grammar schools in Weingarten, three for vocational schools in Freiburg, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart and four pedagogical seminars for the training of specialist teachers for music-technical subjects, subject teachers and technical teachers special education in Karlsruhe (music-technical subjects and special education) , Kirchheim / Teck (musical and technical subjects), Re utlingen (special education) and Schwäbisch Gmünd (music-technical subjects and special education).
  • In Bavaria , 67 of the Realschulen and 81 of the Gymnasien are seminar schools. In Bavaria, every holder of a 1st state examination for a teaching post has the right to admission to a study seminar.
  • In Hesse there are five study seminars for vocational schools (Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Gießen, Kassel, Wiesbaden) and 15 study seminars for elementary, secondary, secondary and special schools (Darmstadt, Eschwege, Frankfurt, Friedberg, Fritzlar, Fulda, Gießen, Hanau, Heppenheim, Kassel, Marburg, Offenbach, Rüsselsheim, Wetzlar, Wiesbaden) as well as ten study seminars for grammar schools (Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Fulda, Gießen, Heppenheim, Kassel, Marburg, Oberursel, Offenbach, Wiesbaden) for the second phase of teacher training.
  • In North Rhine-Westphalia there are 46 study seminars at 38 locations for the second phase of teacher training . Since August 2011, these training centers have been called centers for practical school teacher training . After the Second World War , the regulations relating to teacher training from the time of National Socialism were repealed and the regulations from 1917 were reinstated. This initially included sticking to the historical separation into one year of training in an institution seminar. and a year in a study seminar .
  • There are 54 study seminars in Lower Saxony , 18 of which are for the grammar school sector.
  • There are 24 study seminars in Rhineland-Palatinate , including 6 study seminars for the grammar school sector.
  • In Saarland 4 Studienseminare exist. One for elementary and special schools (primary level and inclusion), one for secondary and comprehensive schools (secondary level 1) and one for grammar schools and comprehensive schools (upper secondary level)
  • In Saxony , the teacher training centers are located in the State Office for Schools and Education in Chemnitz with a branch in Annaberg-Buchholz, Dresden with a branch in Löbau and Leipzig. The training is carried out with the training objectives: teaching post high school, teaching post high school, teaching post primary school, teaching post special education or teaching post at vocational schools. At the two branch offices in Löbau and Annaberg-Buchholz, only elementary school teacher training is possible.

Training content

According to the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of December 16, 2004 on standards of teacher training (educational sciences), the main contents of teacher training in phases I and II are:

  • Education and upbringing - Establishing and reflecting on education and upbringing in institutional processes
  • Occupation and role of the teacher - teacher professionalization; Occupational field as learning task; Dealing with job-related conflict and decision-making situations. This also applies to training at universities of teacher education.
  • Didactics and methodology - design of teaching and learning environments
  • Learning, development and socialization - learning processes of children and young people inside and outside of school
  • Achievement and learning motivation - motivational basics of performance and competence development
  • Differentiation, integration and promotion - heterogeneity and diversity as conditions for school and teaching
  • Diagnostics, assessment and counseling - diagnosis and promotion of individual learning processes; Performance measurements and performance reviews
  • Communication, interaction and conflict management as fundamental elements of teaching and education
  • Media education - dealing with media under conceptual, didactic and practical aspects
  • School Development - Structure and History of the Education System; Structures and development of the education system and development of the individual school
  • Educational Research - Aims and Methods of Educational Research; Interpretation and application of their results

Design of teaching and learning environments

In the evaluation of teaching quality in Germany on a regular basis to the 10 Characteristics of good teaching of Hilbert Meyer directed. A similar list is available from Andreas Helmke . However, these are only general characteristics for all subjects. In addition, there are still subject-specific characteristics for good math or history lessons. The characteristics are:

  • clear structure
  • content clarity
  • prepared environment
  • Variety of methods
  • climate conducive to learning
  • meaningful communication
  • individual support
  • intelligent practice
  • transparent performance expectations
  • high proportion of real learning time

Standardized evaluation sheets from school authorities for classroom visits can more or less reflect these criteria. A standard work is also the frequently published “Lesson Preparation Guide” by the same author.

According to Nele Schubert, criteria for a good teaching culture are still :

  • Encouragement (the teacher perceives each student)
  • Communication (feedback culture)
  • Participation (hands-on theater)
  • organization

According to the publication Vocational Quality in Saxony which is school quality by following criteria:

  • School culture
  • Management & leadership
  • cooperation
  • professionalism

Profession and role of the teacher

Class management is an important topic here . It is about the smooth running of lessons and dealing with disruptions. The criteria for efficient class management (Jacob S. Kounin) are:

  • Omnipresence of the teacher
  • Smooth running
  • Group activation
  • Programmed fatigue prevention

The programmed avoidance of fatigue is achieved by making the lessons more rhythmic, i.e. changing from

  • Concentration and relaxation
  • Rest and exercise
  • Individual work and cooperative phases

The actions of the teacher himself, the pupil or the environment come into question as the cause of disturbances . When it comes to avoiding disorders, a distinction is made between prevention, intervention and post-intervention. Among other things, they have a preventive effect

  • The lessons run smoothly and well rhythmically
  • Activation of all students
  • Establishing class rules and enforcing school regulations
  • Establishing rituals
  • Friendly, determined and consistent behavior by the teacher
  • Praise and support the desired behavior

Interventions are small and large direct interventions by the teacher as soon as a disturbance occurs. These include signals via facial expressions and body language, warnings or the threat or imposition of penalties. Post-operations are follow-up measures such as one-on-one discussions with the student, discussions with parents and regulatory measures.

Learning processes of children and young people inside and outside of school

The developmental psychology of young people is an important basis for teaching . The remodeling processes in the brain during puberty and the resulting emotional instability combined with behavioral problems are relevant . Furthermore, the work of the following scientists is often considered:


  • H. Lenhard: Second phase at study seminars and schools. In: Sigrid Blömeke , P. Reinhold, G. Tuoldziecki, J. Wildt (Hrsg.): Handbuch Lehrerbildung. Westermann / Klinkhardt, Braunschweig / Bad Heilbrunn 2004, pp. 275–290.
  • H. Lenhard: The second phase of teacher training. A model with a future? In: Pedagogy. 57, No. 11, 2005, pp. 46-49. Also in: V. Huwendiek, H. Kretzer (Hrsg.): Strengths and future viability of the second phase. Special seminar 2005/2006, pp. 9–15.
  • Ewald Terhart (ed.): Perspectives of teacher training in Germany. Final report of the commission appointed by the Standing Conference . Weinheim, Basel 2000.
  • Johann Sjuts, Detlef Ehrig: The research-based study seminar - the independent study seminar? Findings analysis of a study seminar for quality development . Leer 2007.


  1. Before the reform of civil servant careers, the term “ trainee lawyer ” was used in the strict sense only for candidates who were preparing for a career in the higher service ( high school , vocational school , comprehensive school with upper secondary level). The term “ trainee teacher ” or “ trainee teacher” was used for trainees at elementary schools , secondary schools , secondary schools and special needs schools in the higher service (see also trainee teacher training ).
  2. a b LaSub: training centers. Retrieved August 18, 2020 .
  3. Bremen Declaration: Tasks of Teachers Today - Experts for Learning
  4. Preparatory service for teaching at grammar school. Retrieved July 21, 2020 .
  5. Preparatory service for secondary school teachers. Retrieved July 21, 2020 .
  6. Study seminar Paderborn
  7. Study seminar Koblenz
  8. Study seminar Leer
  9. ^ Hans Heinrich Mandel: History of high school teacher training in Prussia Germany 1787-1987. Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-7678-0723-8 , pp. 53-92.
  10. ^ HH Mandel: History of high school teacher training in Prussia Germany 1787–1987. 1989, p. 188 f; Cf. Jörn Schützenmeister: Professionalization and polyvalence in teacher training. 2002.
  11. Overview of the seminar locations. March 16, 2005, accessed April 28, 2020 .
  12. Seminar schools in Bavaria: Realschulen ( Memento from August 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), Seminar schools in Bavaria: Gymnasiums ( Memento from March 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  13. Admission and training regulations for teaching at grammar schools, especially Section 5
  14. ^ List of study seminars for vocational schools in Hessen
  15. Study seminar for vocational schools in Darmstadt
  16. ^ Office for teacher training in Hessen
  17. Study seminars in North Rhine-Westphalia
    “The preparatory service for a teaching post is to be performed in schools and at state centers for practical school teacher training. It has a duration of at least twelve months and is based on the desired teaching post. " Law on training for teaching posts in public schools (Teacher Training Act - LABG) of May 12, 2009 (GV. NRW, p. 308) § 5, para. 1. ( Memento from October 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Karl-Friedrich Hillesheim: Teacher training in North Rhine-Westphalia as reflected in the training and examination regulations since 1945. In: Perspektiven der Lehrerbildung . LIT-Verlag, Berlin 2010, pp. 35–52.
  19. Hans Lohmeyer (Ed.): The study seminar. Verlag Mortiz Diesterweg, Frankfurt am Main 1959, Volume 4, Appendix.
  20. Study seminars Lower Saxony (as of 2006)
  21. Study seminars Rhineland-Palatinate (as of 2010)
  22. ^ Saarland: teacher training | In: Retrieved August 25, 2016 .
  23. Standards for Teacher Education: Educational Sciences (PDF) December 16, 2004. Accessed January 30, 2020.
  24. 10 Characteristics of good teaching by Hilbert Meyer - Lüneburg study seminar for the teaching post for special education. Retrieved on July 20, 2020 (German).
  26. ^ Nele Schubert: The class teacher book for elementary school . Beltz, 2012, ISBN 978-3-407-29222-3 .
  27. Communication and public relations department: School quality in the Free State of Saxony: Description of criteria. Retrieved July 20, 2020 .