Teaching Qualitative Methods in the Age of Bologna. A New Didactic Approach for the Social Sciences
How does the process of standardizing academic degrees throughout Europe (the so-called Bologna reform) mediate the teaching of qualitative methods in undergraduate courses? Are there ways of ensuring that contextualized teaching modes for qualitative methods are included in highly structured curricula that result from the Bologna reform? In the first part of this study, we analyze how the Bologna reform mediates the teaching of social sciences methods at undergraduate level. We reviewed the curricula of 48 Bachelor programs in sociology at German universities and found that about three quarters of the study programs do not involve contextualized teaching modes for qualitative methods. We found it necessary to develop and implement a new teaching format for qualitative methods that would take the new study conditions into account. In the second part of the article, we present and discuss the merits of a teaching format that we introduced into the undergraduate program of the sociology department of Heidelberg University: an intensive and highly structured qualitative research project.