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Dr. Kathrin Viehrig's experience in teacher education and teaching philosophy

I have 10 years of experience in teacher education, teaching first teacher students for primary/ general secondary school (grade 1-10) in Germany and now teacher students and in-service teachers for general secondary school (grade 7-9) in Switzerland.

Selected aspects of my teacher education teaching philosophy

  • Research, reflect, redesign, repeat: I try to improve my courses each time around. I also think it’s important to model for students how research can inform teaching and that their voices are taken seriously.
  • Integrate hands-on models when possible: They don’t just help kids learn.
  • Integrate digital media: It’s really important in today’s society that teachers know what to do with that.and it offers a lot of possibilities to enrich teaching.
  • Use the chances of blended learning.
  • Work for the course and your professional development, but not only: For this class’ (or even just for the lecturer’s) eyes only assignments help students to e.g. try out things they wouldn’t otherwise and be more willing to reflect, so they’re definitely important. Yet, students spend a lot of hours working on these assignments and projects have shown that e.g. school students show better achievement when they’re doing it for something beyond their own classroom. Thus, I think teacher students should also at least sometimes experience that.
  • Look at things from more than one perspective.

In general, since coming to the FHNW, most of my courses have been Blended Learning courses or at least had some online learning component.

Geography

I have been teaching geography as a science courses in pre-service teacher education on both the Bachelor and the Master level and of course have also been an examiner. Course topics are/ were:

  • Introduction courses to Physical Geography, Human Geography and Human-Environment Interaction, Social Science Research Methods
  • Advanced courses in Human Geography, Climate and Vegetation, Sustainable Development, Urban and Rural Areas, Globalization, Political Dimensions of Geographic Issues, Field Work Project, Specific Aspects of geographic research and research methods

I’ve also been involved in field trips.

Bachelor and Master theses that I have or am supervising can be found here: list

Geography & social studies education

I have been teaching geography education and social studies education courses in pre-service teacher education on both the Bachelor and the Master level and of course have also been an examiner. Course topics are/ were:

  • Introduction to: geography education, social studies education from a geographical perspective, media in geography education, extended forms of learning and teaching & out of school learning locations,  understanding space in geography education
  • Advanced courses in Mastering the preparation of geography lessons, selected issues in geography education, the topic energy in society and education, bilingual geography education, interdisciplinary teaching (social studies) from a geographic perspective, aspects of geography education research,

Of course, I’ve also been involved in teaching internship supervision (and the respective accompanying seminars and case study supervision) as well as grading video portfolios.

I’ve been teaching a professional development course for teaching the new subject RZG (space-time-society, i.e. social studies), both alone and together with my history colleague Dr. Dominik Sauerländer. Besides this, professional development courses have covered topics such as teaching with geo-media and differentiated learning environments.

 

Bachelor and Master theses that I have or am supervising can be found here: list

Jewish studies/ ERG education

I’m also part of the teaching staff team for the new subject ERG (ethics-religion-community), focusing on Jewish studies as well as ERG education.

Course topics are:

  • Media in ERG education, Informal learning and out-of-school learning
  • Introduction to Judaism and Jewish Studies