Improving teacher training using empirical methods

  • Claas Wegner Bielefeld University
  • Lars Wattenberg Bielefeld University
  • Dominik Gardow Bielefeld University
  • Alexander Maar Bielefeld University
Keywords: teacher training, classroom heterogeneity


This article investigates the participating students’ evaluation of a teacher training seminar about heterogeneity in the classroom at Bielefeld University, Germany. The evaluation made use of a short questionnaire and an end-of-term test of the students’ knowledge on the subject matter. The questionnaire is tested for objectivity, reliability, and validity and is shown to be a suitable tool. The test is shown to have certain weaknesses, but ways of improving it for future use are suggested. The method of evaluation used in this study can be adapted for other university courses. The importance of using empirical methods such as the one employed in this study for the improvement of teacher training is stressed. The seminar in question is shown to be largely successful and to contribute to the development of central diagnostic skills defined by the German conference of ministers of education.

Author Biographies

Claas Wegner, Bielefeld University

Prof. Dr. Claas Wegner is a senior teacher for biology and PE at a secondary school and professor at Bielefeld University in the Department for Biology Education. 

Lars Wattenberg, Bielefeld University

Lars Wattenberg is currently doing his Bachelor of Arts degree in British and American studies and history. He is a staff member of the Kolumbus-Kids project at Bielefeld University.

Dominik Gardow, Bielefeld University

Dominik Gardow received his Master of Education degree and is currently employed as a teacher. She is a staff member of the project Kolumbus-Kids project at Bielefeld University.

Alexander Maar, Bielefeld University
Alexander Maar is currently finishing his Bachelor of Arts degree in British and American studies and biology. He is a staff member of the Kolumbus-Kids project at Bielefeld University.
Manuscripts (Research or Theory)