Teacher Training Education


Teacher Training Education at RWTH Aachen

Our current Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen opened on October 1, 1870 at the Königliche Rheinisch-Westfälische Polytechnische Schule zu Aachen with 32 lecturers and 223 students. 10 years later it was transformed into a technical university and received a rectorate constitution. In 1880 the university received the right to award postdoctoral degrees and in 1899 doctoral degrees, that is Dr.-Ing.

Teacher training education was assumed step by step beginning in 1921. Initially only teachers in mathematics, physics, and chemistry were trained for higher teaching, for Oberrealschulen, and for Realgymnasien. A plan existed since 1921 to introduce industrial teacher training in a seminar-like format at RWTH Aachen. However, things developed differently: Industrial teacher training took place at independent vocational education institutions up to 1960. Pedagogical training was then assumed by adjunct lecturers for pedagogy and professors of philosophy, who also had to represent psychology and pedagogy. This was conducted in the typical Philosphicum format till long after the Second World War. Teacher training was first firmly established at RWTH Aachen around the end of the Weimar Republic, after technical universities and universities were made legally equal and after an examination office had been established.

With the academization of industrial teacher training in 1960 in North Rhine-Westphalia and the establishment of the first pedagogic chair on May 1, 1961, teacher training at RWTH Aachen experienced a huge boost, reaching its peak in winter semester 1976/76 with 6033 teacher training students. This development was facilitated by two circumstances: the academization of industrial teacher training brought the establishment of additional chairs that were indispensable for teaching training; namely pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and political science. The close references of these disciplines to technology and to the natural sciences additionally legitimized their establishment and expansion. Additionally, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was founded in 1965, as a spin-off of the Department of Economic and Cultural Sciences in Faculty 1 (General Sciences). The subjects German studies, Romance studies, English studies, history, geography, and theology were added and expanded, so that from here on out, humanistic subjects could be studied at RWTH Aachen aside from natural science ones for teaching positions at Gymnasien and Realschulen. The regionalization of teacher training education and the establishment of its own academic degrees (Magister, Diplom) led to a relief of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn, resulting in an unexpected increase in the number of students in Aachen.

In 1975, teacher training education linked to school types, that is teacher training at Gymnasien, at Realschulen, at vocational training schools, in North Rhine-Westphalia was transformed into grade level specific training, that is primary, secondary level I, secondary level II. In combination with measures for the "Concentration and New Ordering of Courses of Study", students at RWTH Aachen have only been able to study secondary level II with or without vocational concentration since 1982; secondar level I can only be selected in combination with secondary level II.

A new teacher training examination regulation took effect winter semester 2003/2004, reintroducing teacher training linked to school types. At RWTH Aachen this meant teacher training for Gymnasien and Gesamtschulen and teacher training for vocational schools was once again available.

Since winter semester 2011/2012, there has been an adaption to the Bachelor/Master structure. The first enrollments for the Master of Education will take place winter semester 204/2015.