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Special-Needs Education (Teaching Degree)

Taught in German. All language subjects are also taught in the respective language; almost all English courses are taught in English. The degree programme in special-needs education, or 'L5' as it is known, prepares students for teaching at German special-needs schools as well as at primary schools and, in their chosen teaching subject, at lower-secondary schools.

Overview

Number of enrolled students

772 students are enrolled in this degree course (as of winter semester 2016/17).
Overview

Overview

The degree programme in Special-Needs Education, or 'L5' as it is known, ends with the first state examination.

In Germany, teacher-training policy falls within the remit of the federal states' own education authorities. Because of this, programmes of study in the different states can vary in structure and content, particularly with regard to the number, range and combinations of school subjects in which teachers are trained. For those requiring information on teacher-training degrees and comprehensive teacher-training programmes which are run in Germany as a whole, the German Education Server provides a useful website.


An interest in the chosen courses' content and in particular working with children is expected. Openess, stability and self-reflectivity are further characteristics of this profession. The variety of subjects in the teaching degree programmes demands flexibility and an interest (depending on the chosen subject) on questions concerning natural sciences, languages and arts, as well as social-  and educational sciences

 

Prerequisites

Applicants must have an Abitur (German school leaver’s examination for university entrance) or equivalent in order to apply for teaching degree programmes leading to a state examination (NO university of applied science entrance qualification). Several subjects of the various teaching degree programmes require subject-specific prerequisites such as aptitude tests or specific language requirements.

Composition of Degree Programme

Degree

Degree

First state teaching examination

Duration of studies

Duration of Studies

The standard duration of this degree programme in primary education is four and a half years (9 Semesters).

Composition of the Study Programme

Composition of degree programme

The programme consists of

  • the four education and social sciences: sociology, political science, psychology and pedagogy;
  • special-needs subjects: two special-needs areas of focus as well as special-needs psychology, diagnostics, inclusive education and learning, remedial teaching German/Mathematics, medical foundations and skills for everyday life at school. 
  • one teaching subject
  • a practical training semester (internships at schools including preparatory and follow-up classes)

Students of Special Needs Education (l5), who started their courses of study before the winter term 2014/15, need to complete an orientation-  and a work placement, as well as a school based study (instead of the practical semester). More on this...

Education and social sciences

The study of education and social sciences in this degree programme covers such areas as locations of education and development (e.g. family upbringing, school upbringing); learning theory; the social coexistence of pupils, parents and teachers; and the basics of democracy. These disciplines are constituent parts of this degree programme because teachers are not only there to impart knowledge. It is also their duty to fulfil an important role in children's social development. In order to do this role justice, they must be able to understand and evaluate the structures and processes at play in school and in society as well as in a class and within the development of an individual pupil.

  • Pedagogy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Political Science

More information on the contents of the foundation part of the programme can be found in the module plans and descriptions.

Special-needs subjects

Students in Giessen can choose their two areas of focus from the following special-needs subjects:

  • learning impairment
  • intellectual development
  • impairment of emotional-social development (this area of focus can only be chosen as a second subject) 
  • impairment of speech and talk

Students of learning impairment will teach children and young people who have learning difficulties.

Students of intellectual development will teach children and young people the severity of whose mental handicaps prevent assisted-learning schools from being able to provide enough support, but who can be given practical training to manage their day-to-day lives.

Impairment of emotional-social development will see graduates teach children and young people who resist or close themselves off from socialisation at school to such an extent that they disrupt or endanger their own development and that of their fellow pupils.

Impairment of speech and talk is aimed at all those who suffer from the long-term disruption of their language learning or use of spoken and written language due to limits on their control and use of the mechanisms involved in speech (central nervous system, articulatory organs) and are therefore not only at a disadvantage in day-to-day life and their social and communicative environments but also have problems in their mental development or well-being as a result of the limitations to their participation in their community.

 

More information on the contents of these areas of focus can be found in the module plans and descriptions.

Subjects

Teaching subjects

Students must choose one of the following subjects:

  • Work Studies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • German
  • English 1
  • Ethics                       
  • Geography
  • Protestant Theology 4
  • History
  • Catholic Theology 4
  • Art 2
  • Mathematics               
  • Music 2
  • Physics 3
  • Politics and Economics
  • Sport 5

Key

1 See language requirements.
2 See aptitude test before commencement of studies.

3 See preliminary course.

4 For teaching the subject Protestant Theology/ Catholic Theology and in order to hold denominational classes, a teaching permission for the subejct Religion is required (as it is the case with all other confessions).

5 A sport-practical aptitude test does not take place, but you have to prove your sports capability through a  certificate of health issued by a physician, which you have to present already upon registration. A corresponding form can be found here.

Students who choose chemistry, history, physics or politics and economics as part of a degree in special-needs education at JLU are warned that - depending on the area of focus they choose - it may not be possible to prevent timetabling clashes. Information on the contents of each subject can be found in the module plans and descriptions.

Intermediate assessment for all teacher-training degrees

Intermediate assessment

In all our teacher-training degree programmes, students face intermediate assessment after the first half of the minimum duration of their studies (4th semester). This does not involve them sitting in an exam; instead, each students' intermediate grade is derived from the accumulated grades achieved in modules amounting to a specified number of credit points. In very exceptional circumstances based on valid reasons, students have the possibility to face the intermediate assessment until the end of the 6th semester.

This intermediate grade and the first school placement are intended to confirm students' aptitude for their chosen profession. It follows that continued failure to pass the intermediate assessment and the first period of school-based study by the final deadline will result in students' loss of permission to proceed with their chosen degree. Assessment webpage of the Centre for Teacher Training

First State Examination and Teaching Practice

First State Examination and Teaching Practice / Working as a trainee teacher

  • The teaching degree progamme ends with the first state examination. More on this…
  • After the first state examination, students undertake the second phase of school-based study, known in German as 'Vorbereitungsdienst', 'Referendariat' or 'Ref'. More on this...

Application

Commencement of Studies in the Winter Semester

Commencement of studies

Only possible in the winter semester

Entrance Requirements L5

Entrance requirements

  1. Applicants must have an Abitur (German school leaver`s examination for university entrance) or equivalent in order to apply for teaching degree programmes leading to a state examination (NO university of applied science entrance qualification). More on this...
  2. Several subjects of the various teaching degree programmes require subject-specific prerequisites such as
  3. Students of Special Needs Education (l5), who started their courses of study in the winter term 2014/15 or later, need to complete a practical semester. The hitherto required orientation- and work placements are no longer necessary.
Note:
Students of Special Needs Education (l5), who started their courses of study before the winter term 2014/15, need to complete an orientation- and a work placement, as well as a school based study (instead of the practical semester).
Application limited internally only winter semester

Application for admission and registration

  • The intake capacity for the subject areas of electrical engineering and metal engineering of this degree programme is limited internally by the university. Admission is decided by the university following the guidelines of the Hessian admissions policy. More on this...
  • The intake capacity for the subject areas of agricultural economics, nutrition and home economics is not limited.
  • Applications must be received by the JLU Student Secretariat by 15th July. More on this...
  • Special regulations apply to foreign applicants or those who gained their university-entrance qualifications abroad. Read more...
First State Examination and Teaching Practice

First State Examination and Teaching Practice / Working as a trainee teacher

  • The teaching degree progamme ends with the first state examination. More on this…
  • After the first state examination, students undertake the second phase of school-based study, known in German as 'Vorbereitungsdienst', 'Referendariat' or 'Ref'. More on this...

Further Information

Contact

Contact
ZfL- Centre for Teacher Training

Centre for Teacher Training (ZfL)

  • Examinations Office
  • School-Based Study

Office hours and a list of the advisors can be found on the website of the Centre for Teacher Training (ZfL).

Central Study Advisor
Wiebke Blumenthal, M.A.
Central Student Services

Directions and welcome desk