Practical classroom training

“The course enables students to perform tasks such as autonomous planning, organising and reflecting on teaching and learning processes in RE (Catholic) in primary, lower secondary and pre-vocational schools, to take on educational responsibility in school, to assess and counsel pupils, to gain sensitive insight into the life-worlds of pupils, to contribute professionally to school development, and to analyse and develop their own classroom skills." (Curriculum 2008)

The core concern is the personal and professional development of the student. School experience serves, by example, to link theoretical and practical knowledge. This will be facilitated by theoretical and methodological analysis, pupil-centred classroom activities and subsequent reflexion.

Guidance helps to safeguard a balance between subject-oriented counselling and the self-directed development of an autonomous teacher personality.

What our school experience mentors say . . .

Claudia Auinger

RE teacher at Adalbert Stifter partner school (primary)

When I asked my RE class at the end of the school year what they had learned for life, they came up with answers like these: 

'The connection with God and Jesus is important for me.'

'The ceremony of penance and reconciliation taught me to open my heart to God. Then I feel better again; life is easier, I am free.'

'The RE lessons helped to foster a spirit of community in our class.'

'RE taught me how 'real' forgiveness and reconciliation work. This helps me every day with my friends.'

These statements show me, as a teacher, how important RE is and how formative for the children's lives. I am grateful and proud to be allowed to provide guidance for the children.

Claudia Freudenthaler

RE teacher at Adalbert Stifter partner school (primary)

'RE helps me to understand things I would not have noticed before.'
'Religion makes life easier.'
'Religion helps you to succeed in life.'
'I've learned reconciliation.'
'Religion helps me when I'm sad, angry or afraid.'
'I feel closer to God.'
'You feel that you are not alone.'

These are some of the anwers of primary school children when asked what religion had to do with their lives.

In RE there is enough time and there are enough opportunities to provide guidance to children along part of their life journey, to show an interest in them, to take their questions seriously and to support them in their spiritual search. Stories, songs, prayers and discussions are helpful.

This is what makes this task fascinating, enriching and fulfilling; not only for the children.

Mag. Maria Gebauer

RE teacher at Adalbert Stifter partner school (lower secondary)

As an RE teacher I would like to  . . . 

. . . invite pupils to engage in existential questions of life and help them find potential answers based on faith

. . . keep the religious dimension alive in everyday school routine

. . . perceived as a teacher who shapes her life based on a Christian view of the world and of humans

. . . deliver lessons in such a manner that many facets of life find room in them and can be discusses.

Mag. Maria Höglinger, Bed

RE teacher at Adalbert Stifter partner school (lower secondary)

'I view my career as an RE teacher as a vocation: I give guidance to young people who are searching  - searching for their identity, their faith and their place in life.

Especially today, I view it as an essential competence to be able to discuss things from different angles and with differing opinions. 

Values such as the meaning of life, community, God, conscience, religious wars, death . . . 

. . .  what other subject but RE gives you the chance to deal with these topics in detail and without any pressure from outside? 

Gaining knowledge is important - but just as important is the development of one's own personality, one's own views and one's own personal faith. That, too, is school, and I am grateful to be allowed to contribute my share.'

Rosa Zölss

RE teacher at Adalbert Stifter partner school (primary)

What my class thinks of RE? Here are a few answers from the last school year still in my memory:

‘RE is important. Mathematics is not so important; we only learn the times tables. But RE is important: we learn about Jesus and God, and we prepare for first communion.’ Discussion among second-year boys in the autumn of last year.

‘Religion is important for a good life.’

‘Religion helps me to learn about people from other cultures.’ – after a meeting with refugees in our parish.

‘Without religion life would be boring.’ – A child's comment after we had been looking up church feast days in the calendar.

School experience with a difference

Christiane Bubacz did her school experience during the winter term of 2016/17 at the Isaak Emil Lichtigfeld School in Frankfurt, a Jewish day school with a focus on a ‘trialogue’ of cultures (Jewish, Christian, Islamic). In the lower secondary school, Christiane had the chance to deliver four lessons on two different topics. On the third day, she participated in the Jewish social action project Mizvah Day. For one morning, the pupils provided social services for others. Ms Schönfels-Amar was her excellent mentor, and once again the two teachers came to the conclusion: There is a future for faith when and where it is part of a dialogue and a joint effort.