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Transformative Teaching

Focus on Pedagogy 2022
Strengthening Education for Sustainable Development: A Digital Escape Room for Teacher Education
V. Henke et al.
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


University teacher education aims to impart central competencies with regard to the later (self-)responsible, reflective, and professional actions of teachers in schools. The teaching of specific professional knowledge in relation to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the university is fundamental for future teachers (Hellberg-Rode, Schrüfer, 2020). Against this background, a digital Escape Room (BNERoom) for student teachers on ESD is to be developed, tested with students and scientifically evaluated as part of a scientifically supported project at the TU Dortmund in 2023. The project initiates an interdisciplinary exchange between students of all teaching professions, tests an innovative Escape Room on a sustainability goal (SDG 10: Less Inequality), and scientifically accompanies the negotiation processes of the students. In the seminar, student teachers first pose their own disciplinary questions on sustainable development, and discuss them together. In a second step, they can follow this up by designing didactic settings in schools in which they enable students to participate in dealing with tasks of sustainable development (Rieckmann, Holz, 2017). At the same time, students expand their competencies in the use of digital media (Schiefner-Rohs, 2020). Thus, digital formats, such as a digital BNERoom, can increase the motivation of students to deal with the learning object independently, collaboratively and digitally. During the lecture, the project, the associated seminar conception, and parts of the storyboard will be presented.


Dr. Vanessa Henke was seconded as a teacher in higher education to the Chair of Primary School Research at the University of Cologne from 2011 to 2019. She completed her doctorate on the transition between daycare and elementary school in 2019. Between 2019 and 2021, she was back in teaching service. Since August 2021 she has been working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for General Didactics and School Pedagogy at the Technical University of Dortmund. Her work and research interests relate to educational transitions, inclusion and education for sustainable development.

Dr. Lena Tacke is a research assistant at the Institute for Catholic Theology at TU Dortmund University. She studied Catholic theology and German language and literature in Münster and Zurich, received her doctorate in 2018 with a dissertation on didactics and theology of images, and is a trained teacher. She taught the subjects German and religion at different types of schools in Germany. Today, she trains prospective teachers of religion. Her focus is on religious education in contexts of plurality, language education and education for sustainable development.

Dr Stephanie Spanu studied social pedagogy and psychology for the teaching profession at vocational colleges. She completed her doctorate in 2019 at the interface between subject didactics and early childhood education. She currently holds the professorship for childhood research and family education at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences. At the same time, she is habilitating at the Institute for Social Pedagogy, Adult Education and Childhood Education at TU Dortmund University. Her main areas of work are: Education for Sustainable Development, Gender and Social Justice and teaches in the in-service degree programme Social Pedagogy.