Since October 2011 Monika Oberle has been a Professor (Junior Professor until October 2014) of Political Science/ Civic Education at the University of Göttingen. From October 2014 to April 2017 she was head of the Department of Political Science. She studied political science in Marburg, London and Berlin (achieving her Diploma at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University of Berlin), and from 2006-2011 she was a research assistant at Karlsruhe University of Education, where she completed her doctorate (2011, Politisches Wissen über die Europäische Union. Subjektive und objektive Politikkenntnisse von Jugendlichen, Springer VS). At the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy, she studied the Italian language and culture. For many years she worked as a trainer in extra-curricular, non-partisan civic education (target groups: school pupils and young adults).
Monika Oberle is spokesperson of the Society for Civic Education Didactics and Civic Youth and Adult Education (GPJE), member of the executive board of the Society for Empirical Educational Research (GEBF) and member of the executive board of the Political Science and Civic Education division in the German Political Science Association (DVPW).
Membership of other scholarly organizations:
- German Educational Research Association (DGfE)
- Working Group for Empirical Pedagogical Research (AEPF)
- International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economics Education (IACSEE)
- German Political Science Association (DVPW)
- German Association for Civic Education (DVPB; DVPB Lower Saxony)
Main areas of work
Professor Oberle`s research group is dedicated to the systematic empirical exploration of different factors in teaching and learning processes in civic education. The main approach is based on quantitative methods of empirical educational research; triangulations are carried out using qualitative methods. The research focuses on political competencies, how they are developed, and the conditions needed for this development in school pupils (or learners in extra-curricular civic education) and teachers. At present there is a special emphasis on civic education about the European Union.
Current research projects:
The chair of Political Science/ Civic Education cooperates with the chairs of Didactics for Biology, History, Geography and others in the common Schlözer Programme for Teacher Trainingfunded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Common projects are a) Education for Sustainable Development and b) Teaching of the interdisciplinary subject Social Studies.
In collaboration with the Georg Eckert Institute/ Leibniz Institute for International Textbook Research (Prof. Dr. Eckhardt Fuchs), the study "Textbooks as Mediators of European Integration? A Study on Civic Education in Schools" - focused both on the products and their effects - is examining, on the one hand, the representation of the European Union in secondary-school textbooks (2004-2014, throughout Germany), and on the other hand the use of textbooks in education about the EU in current civics teaching in Lower Saxony. Two doctoral positions were funded by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony, PRO*Niedersachsen programme, project homepage, final conference. [duration: 09/2013-08/2016]
Based on a pilot study, the effects and success factors of analogue and digital simulation games about the European Union are currently being examined at German secondary schools.
The Jean Monnet project "Simulation games for action-oriented teaching of the European Union in primary school" examines the effects and success factors of EU simulation games in primary school (4th grade, pupils` age about 10 years) (PEP project; funded by the European Union in Erasmus+; project homepage). [duration: 09/2015-08/2016]
A research project on the topic of gender and civic education is focused on gender-specific differences in political competencies among school pupils, paying special attention on their political self-concepts (1 doctoral project).
A follow-up study to the WEUS study examines the EU-related knowledge, attitudes, motivations and volitions of secondary-level students, taking into account subject teaching and teachers (WEUS-II).
In the Jean Monnet project "Continuing Education of Civics Teachers for the Sustainable Teaching of European Citizenship Competencies", continuing education courses for civics teachers were run throughout Germany and an accompanying study was conducted (PEB Project, funded by the European Union as part of the Life-Long Learning Programme; project homepage). [duration: 09/2012-08/2013]
A collaborative project with the Karlsruhe University of Education (Prof. Dr. Georg Weißeno and Dr. Eva Weschenfelder) explored the professional competencies of prospective and practicing civics teachers (PKP Study).