As demonstrated by the projects AMEISE and PlaNet-ET, the Institute for Informatics Didactics (formerly part of the Institute of Informatics-Systems, ISYS) has a strong history in academic teaching. Its members were also instrumental in establishing informatics as an area for the academic formation of informatics teachers for secondary schools.

With informatics becoming a topic in teachers formation, the institute on informatics didactics (IID, in German "Klagenfurter Informatik Didaktik, KID") has been formed. It focuses on didactical issues for university teachers, primary and secondary school teachers, both in general academic gymnasia as well as in vocational schools.

With ISSEP 2005, IID started an international conference series on Informatics in Secondary Schools: Evolution and Perspective. The following conferences have been organized in Vilnius, Torun, Zürich, Bratislava, Oldenburg, Istanbul, and Lubljana where IID members were still instrumental.

More than 20 years ago, Informatics has been introduced as compulsory subject in secondary schools in Austria. Since then, the discipline has witnessed dramatic changes in both technology and applications. These changes have to be addressed by teaching pupils, but pupils (and their teachers) must not be overwhelmed by waves of constant change.

Informatics didactics has thus a twofold mission:

  • to identify those topics that are fundamental for the education of young citizens in an information society, and
  • to determine how these topics are to be presented so that the necessary concepts can be easily grasped by pupils of a given age.

In the teacher’s formation curriculum, students have to combine two school-subjects with a common branch in pedagogy. School-informatics (“Informatik und Informatik-Management”) can be combined with any other school topics. Many students choose a combination with Mathematics or (due to historical reasons at this university) with Geography. But combinations with school-disciplines of philology are as welcome. Even combinations with subjects that are not offered at this university (natural science disciplines or Sport) are feasible.

Our research is of empirical as well as of conceptual nature. The ISSEP conference series, established by IID, provides us with contacts on a wide international level and allows synchronization of work across national boarders. On the local levels, experiments conducted by diploma students can, if carefully conducted, still contribute to clarify the relative merit of competing didactical approaches.

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Topic revision: r2 - 2015-12-14 - AndreasBollin
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