Pathways to educational change revisited– controversies and advances in the German teacher education system

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This article contributes to the discourse of innovation and transfer strategies in German teacher education by (1) providing a conceptual analysis of prevalent approaches and (2) introducing a transdisciplinary perspective. The conceptual analysis indicates that top-down and bottom-up approaches lack either transformative momentum or scientific rigor. Collaborative approaches aim to mitigate this dilemma, but remain biased towards unidirectional innovation and transfer processes. In contrast, transdisciplinary approaches advocate for integrative and systemic pathways for educational change, which interlinks research and practice in teaching and teacher education. Illustrating examples from a boundary-crossing research and development project support this perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103140
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2020

Bibliographical note

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However, in addition to these reforms, a multitude of regional and local model projects involving researchers and practitioners alike have been facilitated too ( Nickolaus, Abel, & Gräsel, 2006 ). More recently, a nationwide funding program called the “Teacher Training Quality Campaign” (Qualitätsoffensive Lehrerbildung) was launched by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) (grant number: 01JA1603; Over two funding phases, the program facilitates 59 teacher educating universities with 500 million euros in total. Overarching issues include, for instance, the increase of the practical orientation, the enhancement of school internships and the development of professional advisory services ( BMBF, 2017 ).

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