My teaching assignments at PH Zurich consisted of seminars and workshops on German didactics (literacy) with a special focus on media education (usually taught by Prof. Dr. Doris Grütz).
My main areas of discourse were “Learning to read in primary school through comics”, “Multifaceted literacy competences”, “Usage of media education in the curriculum of primary schools and kindergarten education” and “Comic products for adults”. I found PH Zurich’s way of working in the field of literacy as well as the overlaps of many knowledge areas particularly interesting. Also the in-house library with access to a wealth of electronic and cinematic exercise material was very impressive.
Furthermore, getting to know the school’s research agendas was extremely enlightening. The focal points of the research as well as the administrative and strategic approaches and the structure of the research department were very interesting. Especially the modularly constructed structures which allow each lecturer a lot of space for individual work are remarkable.
This time – I am lucky to have been welcomed at PH Zurich several times already – I also had the chance to visit a secondary school in Uster, a town near Zurich. Each teacher has their own class for their subjects and the students are assigned these certain classes. I was invited to attend Mrs. Kelemen’s classes – two double periods of biology and math. The equipment of the school is very advanced with visualizers, beamers, whiteboards, maps and numerous realistic models for various subjects in each classroom. Classes are being taught very openly and interactively; the students are encouraged to speak a lot, although Mrs. Kelemen often summarizes and repeats what has already been said. During breaks I have the opportunity to communicate with other Swiss colleagues and learn about the Swiss performance assessment.
I was well supported by PH Zurich and exemplarily guided by Prof. Dr. Doris Grütz. Once again I was both personally and professionally respected and felt very welcome. Furthermore, I was able to gain a lot of insight and could take home new lessons learned.