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Nur Sitzungen am Veranstaltungsort 
Teacher agency in times of shifting boundaries: case insights from Argentina, Armenia and Germany
Mittwoch, 16.03.2022:
14:00 - 16:00

Virtueller Veranstaltungsort: Zoom Seminarraum 10

985 3744 2983, 819188
3. Interkulturelle und International Vergleichende Erziehungswissenschaft, 4. Empirische Bildungsforschung, 5. Schulpädagogik, Sektion 3, Kommission Vergleichende und Internationale Erziehungswissenschaft, Sektion 4, Arbeitsgruppe Empirische Pädagogische Forschung, Sektion 8, Kommission Sozialpädagogik, qualitativ, Englisch


Teacher agency in times of shifting boundaries: case insights from Argentina, Armenia and Germany

Chair(s): Sonia C. Schaefer (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany), Maria Belen Sanchez (Universidad de San Andrés), Hasmik Kyureghyan (University College London, Institute of Education), Zhanna Gevorgyan (Humboldt University of Berlin)

The four research projects reunited in this working group share a focus on the professional practice of secondary school teachers, each addressing a specific thematic area that is central to our times: digitalisation, gender sensitization, interdisciplinary curricula and self-managed professional development. They offer case insights from schools in Argentina, Armenia and Germany, displaying a common interest for understanding how teachers are able to do teacher agency in the contemporary world. From qualitative methodological perspectives, they aim at reconstructing teacher practice in the face of new demands and opportunities that imply the transcending of boundaries of the realm of the teaching profession.

The composition of this working group also serves as a platform for inter-cultural academic exchange, becoming an arena for exploring broader issues related to how teachers deal with shifting demands, redefine borders related to their profession and redesign their roles.


Beiträge des Panels


Shaping inclusion in times of digital education: teachers´ experience in Berlin schools

Sonia C. Schaefer
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

It has often been stated that Germany presents a comparative delay in its efforts to update its school system in terms of digitalisation. Still, it has long been on the top of the agenda, and fostered in the form of an extensive funding policy. Furthermore, the process of digitalisation in schools has been drastically boosted through the school closing measures taken during 2020 and 2021 to mitigate the COVID-19-pandemic effects. The sum of these events has significantly increased the relevance of researching digitalisation in schools, especially how teachers deal with the fast changing pace of demands and expectations placed on them and their profession, without neglecting already established demands such as ensuring inclusion and participation for all students. As teachers strive to adapt to the characteristics and conditions of digital education, the challenges and opportunities they face might tell us a lot about the way we understand education in general. For my doctoral thesis I conducted narrative interviews with 20 teachers at five secondary schools in Berlin, asking them about their experience related to teaching in the context of digitalisation and how they shape and understand inclusion. I will present first interpretive findings and - through the methodological lense of the praxeological sociology of knowledge and the documentary method - offer these case insights to contribute to the discussion around the redefinition of borders of the teaching profession.


Shifting boundaries in the secondary education curriculum: the enactment of interdisciplinary teaching in Buenos Aires schools

Maria Belen Sanchez
Universidad de San Andrés

Within a secondary education curriculum that organizes school knowledge into separate discipline-based compartments, the call for some degree of interdisciplinary teaching is widespread among curriculum reform policies in Argentina and worldwide. Enacting such changes implies challenges in terms of teacher preparation (which is discipline-based) and job structure (individual and subject matter-based). This paper explores how teachers addressed by these policies do interdisciplinary teaching, both inside and outside the classroom. That is, how school actors enact curriculum integration in terms of the organizational arrangements they make, the knowledge (re-)configurations they build and the teaching practices they design and develop, within schools already challenged by multiple demands and among the complex conditions in which teaching takes place nowadays. The presentation will analyse a set of 10 exploratory interviews conducted with teachers in Buenos Aires, in a pre-fieldwork exploratory phase. This is part of my doctoral research, based on the perspective of policy enactment, as opposed to the implementation perspective, focused on assessing correspondence or deviation between what the policy prescribes and what schools do. Instead, I am interested in understanding the interpretive processes involved in the enactment of interdisciplinary teaching, as well as their effects in terms of the type of knowledge and learning experiences made available to students.


Exploring teacher learning and professional agency in the context of a bottom-up professional development in Armenia: the perspectives and implications

Hasmik Kyureghyan
University College London, Institute of Education

This paper explores emerging bottom-up approaches to teacher professional development (TPD) offering depth by investigating how this ‘emerging new paradigm to teacher PD’ contributes to teachers’ learning and the extent to which it fosters teachers’ professional agency within the Armenian context of traditional approaches to teacher education. It is important when the learning needs are identified by the teachers as of importance to themselves as individual professionals which is often an overlooked aspect of PDs. Particularly in countries like Armenia continuous professional development is done through traditional approach ‘one size fits all’ standardised provision which does not take account of teachers’ existing knowledge, experience and needs. ‘Teachers’ professional agency is considered a capacity that prepares the way for the intentional and responsible management of new learning, both at an individual and community level. This concept includes using others intentionally as a resource for learning and, equally, serving as a support for them. While within this study the agency is seen more than a capacity, the capacity is important in enabling agency to emerge. The paper will analyse semi-structured interviews conducted with teachers who took part in the bottom-up TPD as presenters.


The teaching of gender-sensitive sexuality education: the case of Armenian public schools

Zhanna Gevorgyan
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

Over the last several years, a paradigm shift in gender politics has led to many countries incorporating gender discussions into their sexuality education curricula. This paper offers a detailed investigation of the provision of sexuality education in relation to gender by focusing on the discourses and perspectives of teachers at Armenian public schools. Although this research focuses on Armenian sexuality education, it provides a foundation for discussing the crucial but challenging questions sexuality educators are dealing with worldwide. It examines the unique hurdles to exploring gender sensitive issues in a country where traditional gender roles predominate.

One of the main objectives of this research is to detail how sex educators in Armenia respond to discrepancies between the mainstream beliefs which reinforce unequal gender relations in society, and the course content of equal gender roles they are obliged to teach. This qualitative study used participant observations at two Armenian public schools during January and February 2018, when the subject of “Healthy Lifestyle” is taught. The data was analysed using documentary method - a well established method in the analysis of group and classroom discussions. This answered the research questions: How is knowledge of gender produced? How do physical educators deal with the traditional gender roles when teaching gender-equal lessons?