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Photo: Paderborn University

| Press release

Teaching psychology: a new subject for teacher training at Paderborn University

Beginning in the winter semester 2022/23 – apply by 15 July

Working with students to analyse how prejudices emerge, examining misperceptions in the classroom, and jointly discussing psychological diagnoses: from the 2022/23 winter semester onwards, teacher training students at Paderborn University will be able to adopt psychology as their teaching subject. The new course of study offers preparation for teaching psychology in secondary schools or vocational colleges. Paderborn University is therefore one of just two sites in North Rhine-Westphalia where prospective students can study this teaching subject. Over the course of six semesters, students not only gain psychological knowledge and skills, but also actively examine the question of how to teach psychology in schools. Applications for this restricted bachelor’s degree programme, beginning in 2022/23, can be submitted between 1 June and 15 July. Further information is available on the study offer website of Paderborn University or on the websites of Paderborn’s field of psychology. Paderborn University will also offer an associated Master’s programme from the winter semester of 2025/26.

Teaching psychology in schools

How does our perception work? How do children and young people develop? What constitutes successful learning? These and other questions are the focus of the new subject area. Students will examine general, social and developmental psychology questions from fundamental research, as well as taking an application-oriented approach to aspects of educational and clinical psychology and of work and organisational psychology. Course director Professor Heike M. Buhl explains one key goal: “It is important to us that studying psychology as a teaching subject is considered to be teacher training – focusing on a strong interlink between the science of psychology and the subsequent requirements of school practice. Our classes therefore take the school context specifically into account, and we are continually developing our contacts with experts and psychology teachers.”

Research on current topics

The researchers at Paderborn’s field of psychology are examining numerous current topics: “The research priorities in the field of psychology are diverse, ranging from fundamental research to topics such as awareness through to applied research in the field of digital education for students”, explains Professor Ingrid Scharlau, who is responsible for various areas including research into psychology teaching methodology. The new course of study will also seek to boost empirical research into psychology didactics. Future students will be able to participate in a variety of research work – whether as experiment participants, via final papers, or as student assistants.

More information

Psychology as a teaching subject will be studied at Paderborn alongside an additional teaching subject, as well as educational sciences. Prospective students who have any questions can contact the course advisors and lecturers Dr. Elena Bender and Dr. Justine Patrzek in advance by email, telephone or in person.


Heike M. Buhl

Prof. Dr. Heike M. Buhl

Pädagogische Psychologie und Entwicklungspsychologie

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Elena Bender

Dr. Elena Bender

Kognitive Psychologie

Fachdidaktik der Psychologie, Unterrichtsfach Psychologie (ab 2022/23), Bildungswissenschaften

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Justine Patrzek

Dr. Justine Patrzek

Kognitive Psychologie

Unterrichtsfach Psychologie

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