Working Group on Civic Education Classroom Research

The working group on civic education classroom research has existed since the beginning of the 1990s. Its members meet for workshops on a regular basis in order to discuss subjects, methods and results of empirical classroom research. So far, sixteen workshops have taken place.

The aim of the working group is to discuss current empirical works on processes of learning and teaching in civic education.

The members of the working group and the workshop participants apply both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Data collection depends on interest and aim of the research. Individual researchers and research groups have worked on the following didactically relevant topics:

    • Differentiation of the term “learning” (counseling, social learning, political learning),
    • teachers’ and students’ every-day theories,
    • systematic examination of professional knowledge/competencies of students in teaching degree programs, teacher trainees and teachers,
    • use of politological categories,
    • interfaces in civic education lessons (e.g. introduction, presentation, meta-lesson, development of models).

Within the field of qualitative research, the following methods have been applied:

  • Interviews with students, teachers and teacher trainees (group interviews, intensive interviews)
  • Analysis of video sequences, transcripts and written lesson plans.

Within the field of quantitative research, IRT-scaling, regressions, multilevel analysis and intervention studies are executed.

So far, results have been presented in five publications (Henkenborg/Kuhn 1998; Richter 2000; Richter/Schelle 2006; Weißeno/Schelle 2015; Manzel/Schelle 2017). Furthermore, members of the working group have published numerous other works on these topics.

The meetings of the working group on civic education classroom research are designed in the form of workshops. In these workshops, participants exchange ideas, seek cross-disciplinary assistance for their own research areas and discuss unanswered questions and methodological problems. The workshops are open to all those already working on empirical research or preparing such work.

Current conferences

02.11.-03.11.2017, Leipzig University, Campus Augustusplatz, Workshop Invitation (German version)

Call for Papers and programs of the previous conferences

CfP April 2017 (German version)Program Conference April 2017 (German version)
CfP July 2015 (German version)Program Conference July 2015 (German version)


Prof. Dr. Carla Schelle Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft
Universität Mainz
Jakob Welder-Weg 12
D-55128 Mainz


Prof. Dr. Sabine Manzel
Universität Duisburg-Essen
Fakultät für Gesellschaftswissenschaft/Didaktik der Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstr. 12
D-45141 Essen