About the Graduate School

Welcome to the DFG Graduate School “Subject Specific Learning and Interaction in Elementary School”. The Graduate School is based at the Universities of Halle (Center for School and Educational Research, ZSB) and Kassel (Center for Empirical Teaching/Learning Research, ZELL). Funding for the first phase, 2022-2026, comes from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).

The work of the Graduate School focuses on investigatiing the social practice of elementary school teaching and the question of the qualities of subject-specific learning. The Graduate School’s research approach is different in that it systematically links different traditions of classroom research.  The combination of German and mathematics didactics with praxeological teaching research and teaching quality research allows a multiple perspective on teaching and interdisciplinary theory development.

Research Objectives

Firstly, the Graduate School aims to develop empirical studies on the practice of subject-related learning in elementary school classrooms. Thus, we can thoroughly investigate the significance of the interaction order for subject-related learning and the content-related quality of teaching. One key area of focus is the tension between the smooth flow of the teaching process and the potential for creating stimulating content. Against this background, the Graduate School offers a framework for doctoral projects that focus both on the reconstruction of the instructional order and its functioning, and on the subject-didactic demands on the instruction that’s being researched.

Secondly, the Graduate School wants to develop opportunities for comparative didactic teaching research (in German and mathematics, subjects which are central to elementary school) and combine them with educational science perspectives. The specificity or generalizability of individual didactic phenomena only becomes clear in dedicated comparative didactic teaching research, which has hardly been available to date.

The Graduate School offers a framework for such a comparative discussion in the form of workshops, national and international conferences, and joint publications.

Thirdly, beyond existing approaches, work is needed on the definition of teaching quality regarding the relationship between the order of interaction and subject-specific learning. From a theoretical and methodological point of view, we can explore new ways to observe and analyze learning as a social practice.


Prof. Dr. Georg Breidenstein

Institute for School Pedagogy and Elementary School Didactics
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Philosophische Fakultät III
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 31
06110 Halle (Saale)

Telefon: 0345 55-23902
E-Mail: georg.breidenstein[at]paedagogik.uni-halle.de
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Prof. Dr. Friederike Heinzel

Institute for Education Science
Universität Kassel
Fachbereich 01 – Humanwissenschaften
Nora-Platiel-Str. 1
34127 Kassel

Telefon: 0561 804-3619
E-Mail: heinzel[at]uni-kassel.de
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