Subjective Theories of Teachers: Variations and Methodical Modifications of a Research Program

Katharina Kindermann, Ulrich Riegel


In educational research the "Research Program Subjective Theories" (RST), following GROEBEN, WAHL, SCHLEE and SCHEELE (1988), is well received. In this article we present an overview of its application in current studies that assess and analyze subjective theories of teachers. We demonstrate that the methodical procedure based on the RST can lead to problems when used in research practice. Thus, researchers often apply it only halfway, but they also come up with innovations and solution possibilities. We then present the so-called "Siegener Variante" that we developed to assess and analyze the subjective theories of teachers of religious education about field trips. The methodical alterations of the Siegener Variante particularly concern two foci. First, we advanced the structure-formation-technique by developing a flexible and individualized policy and documented the structure-formation-session using  hand-held cameras. Second, we present innovations concerning the analysis of the individual subjective theories, such as a cluster-map that summarizes each subjective theory in terms of content and appearance. Finally, we discuss to what extent these alterations meet the requirements of the RST.



"Research Program Subjective Theories"; structure-formation-technique; educational research; survey of teachers; Siegener Variante; documentation via camera; cluster-map


Copyright (c) 2016 Katharina Kindermann, Ulrich Riegel

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