Studying Educational Science in Germany
An article by Antonia Kelloms. Cooperation from: Oliver Burgard
That is what it's about
Everything we learn in life can be a subject of educational science. It deals with educational processes from birth to old age. It is about all forms, methods and places of educational mediation, the focus is on day-care centres, schools, universities, companies, the social sector and senior citizens' homes.
During your degree course, you can specialise in one area, such as intercultural education or adult education, which is important for personnel development in business and the public sector, for example. Further focal points are the "pedagogy of early childhood", i.e. the years before school, and organisational pedagogy. This involves educational planning in society and politics and continuing education in companies.
Because of the breadth of the subject's content, graduates can find work in many industries: as the manager of a nursing home, as an educational planner in a government agency, as a project manager for e-learning in a publishing house. The topic of learning in later life has gained importance, says Manuela Pietraß, Professor of Educational Science at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich and President of the Education Science Faculty Day: "Adult education, and with it continuing professional development, are also important fields of work for graduates." Most people start working right after their bachelor's degree, but a master's degree increases the chances of getting a job that carries more responsibility and pays better.
This is how the course runs
Those who study Education Science (also called pedagogy) first deal with basic concepts such as education, upbringing and socialisation and with the associated theories. Students learn different approaches to educational science problems. They are taught how to analyse learning processes and plan teaching didactically, how to recognise learning problems and design appropriate educational plans. They also learn scientific methods such as interview, observation, survey and the analysis of research data. At most universities, students also gain insights into subjects such as psychology, sociology or law. From the third semester on, they choose one or two focal points. The end of the degree course is followed by a compulsory internship, for example in a kindergarten or a human resources department.
Typical questions raised within the subject
- How are the terms upbringing, socialisation and education defined?
- What opportunities and risks does digitalisation bring to education?
- How can inclusion be implemented in schools and in child and youth welfare?
- What contribution can youth welfare make to social integration?
- How can adolescents in educationally disadvantaged milieus be supported?
- How is it possible to keep people mentally active in old age?
The subject suits you,...
... you enjoy interacting with people, but are also interested in the background of learning processes. "In addition to working directly with people in an educational context, many graduates later deal with more abstract issues such as educational planning and organisation," Pietraß says. To do this, they need to know their way around data and numbers: "You can't get past statistics in college." Students learn to illuminate concepts of human behaviour and understanding and to consider different life situations.
Many believe that education is for prospective teachers. But really: There is more to teacher training than educational science. Anyone who opts for a degree course purely in Education Science deals mainly with education and raising children outside of school.
Is there a numerus clausus?
The majority of the degree courses have admission restrictions, often requiring grades in the two to three range.