Review Essay: Teacher in Crisis? A Critical Examination of a Recent Study

  • Johannes Twardella Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Keywords: teachers, students, crises, teaching, documentary method, objective hermeneutics


For many students, learning is a crisis-prone process. By being confronted with something strange, they are in crisis. The role of teachers is both to initiate such crises and to assist in their solution. But even teachers can be in crisis during class. How do teachers experience these crises? How do they deal with them? And how are the teachers' crises related to those of the students? The educational scientist Jan-Hendrik HINZKE addresses these questions in a recent study.

HINZKE conducted a series of interviews with teachers and evaluated them using the documentary method. He presented the results as a typology. In the present essay, this study is summarized and critically discussed. For this purpose, a part of an interview is reanalyzed using the method of objective hermeneutics. It turns out that the teacher with whom the interview has been conducted does not experience her educational activities as crisis-critical. Rather, she understands them as actions, shaped by routines. Thus, HINZKE's findings that all teachers experience their actions as crisis, can be called into question. There are teachers who see their actions as a routine activity. At the same time, many teachers rarely consider the crises of their students.


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Author Biography

Johannes Twardella, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Johannes TWARDELLA ist Privatdozent an der Goethe-Universität und Lehrer an der Elisabethenschule in Frankfurt am Main. Seine Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind Unterrichtsforschung, Professionsforschung und Soziologie des Islam. In FQS veröffentlich hat er u.a. 2009 den Review Essay "Schwankende Gestalten drücken die Schulbank. Subjektanalyse im Anschluss an Andreas Reckwitz" (

How to Cite
Twardella, J. (2019). Review Essay: Teacher in Crisis? A Critical Examination of a Recent Study. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3).