Methods in the Center! Methods into the Center? Potentials and Limits of University Methods Centers for the Expansion of Qualitative Teaching and Education


  • Fiona Kalkstein
  • Günter Mey Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal



methods, methods centers, qualitative research, teaching-learning environments


The ability to use scientific methods in a valid manner requires skills on many levels. In Germany, until a few years ago only a small number of methods centers within universities existed. In the last decade, as a result of governmental funding programs to increase the quality of academic teaching, their number has almost tripled. In this article, we discuss how methods centers can contribute to both the development and practice of a qualitative research and the valid application of qualitative methods. For this purpose, we have examined the offerings and activities of 11 methods centers in Germany and Austria, mainly on the basis of their websites; in addition, we conducted interviews with members of the institutions. We discovered that university methods centers hold considerable potential to broaden and deepen qualitative methods education and teaching. When structural dimensions are taken into account, limitations also become  apparent; in particular, unclear perspectives for the scientific staff as well as limited course offerings due to temporary funding.


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Author Biographies

Fiona Kalkstein

Fiona KALKSTEIN ist Diplom-Psychologin und hat an der Universität Duisburg-Essen zu Vereinbarkeitspraxen von Mutterschaft und Beruf aus klassensensibler Perspektive promoviert. Sie war bis zum 31. März 2021 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin für Inhouse-Fortbildung und Methodenweiterentwicklung an der Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal und hat dort u.a. den Arbeitskreis "qualitativ_diskursiv" koordiniert. Sie bietet in unregelmäßigen Abständen Workshops und Seminare zur Grounded-Theory-Methodologie und zu feministischer/kritischer Psychologie an.

Günter Mey, Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal

Günter MEY ist Professor für Entwicklungspsychologie an der Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal, zudem ist er Privatdozent an der Universität Bayreuth und Leiter des von ihm 2005 mitgegründeten Instituts für Qualitative Forschung an der Internationalen Akademie Berlin. Er gehört dem Herausgebendenkreis von FQS an und ist Initiator des Berliner Methodentreffens Qualitative Forschung. An der Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal hat er 2017 den Arbeitskreis "qualitativ_diskursiv" initiiert. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte: qualitative Forschung und performative Sozialwissenschaft, Grounded-Theory-Methodologie, Jugendkultur und Transgenerationalität.



How to Cite

Kalkstein, F., & Mey, G. (2021). Methods in the Center! Methods into the Center? Potentials and Limits of University Methods Centers for the Expansion of Qualitative Teaching and Education. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 22(2).



FQS Debate: Teaching and Learning Qualitative Methods

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