Training for Teaching Art at Upper Secondary/Grammar Schools

To be admitted to the study programme, students are required to pass an entrance examination

In upper secondary/grammar school teacher training (L3), you study art as your first or second subject.

You study art at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, which is part of the University of Kassel. This means that you mostly attend classes together with students of other teacher training programmes (L1, L2) and students of Visual Arts, Visual Communication, Product Design, and Art History and Theory.

The study programme is module-based. Modules usually comprise several classes in each of which credits need to be achieved if they are to count towards the module. Each module is concluded by means of a module examination. You collect your module certificates throughout the study programme, always enter them into HISPOS in the secretary's office and submit them to the examination unit of the office for teacher training when you register for the First State Examination. It is useful to use the academic studies booklet in terms of orientation and protocol for your own study programme. You will find the legal provisions in the University of Kassel's module examination regulations for the component study programme for teaching art at upper secondary/grammar schools and in the Lehrerbildungsgesetz (Act on Teacher Training)


The study programme is divided into two phases:

  • The 2-semester foundation studies and
  • the 4-semester main studies.

It is sub-divided into three major areas, which are integrated and studied in parallel:

  • Aesthetic practice: artistic work in the studios and creative/technological training in the study workshops
  • Subject content studies: art history/theory/psychology/sociology/philosophy
  • Subject didactics: history and theory of art tuition, methods of artistic and creative working, methods of conveying art and everyday culture in teaching.

In addition to the specialist study programme, provision is made for two placements in a school, one in the 3rd or 4th semester specializing in education sciences and a second in the 5th or 6th semester specializing in subject didactics. Both placements are accompanied by a preparatory and evaluative seminar.

Aesthetic practice focuses on the student's own artistic projects. In this area, appropriate media technology and design knowledge and skills are developed and creative behaviour that should lead to wide artistic productivity practised. In relation to the student's own artistic practice and beyond, specific presentation forms and techniques relevant to teaching in school are developed.

Subject content studies aim to enable students to practise, and obtain a theoretical basis for, their interaction with art and phenomena of everyday visual culture and to acquire autonomy and security of judgement.

The study of art didactics aims to provide an introduction to theories and methods of art tuition and to the history of the subject, as well as enabling students to develop their own specialism-based art-pedagogic approach. It deals, in particular, with children's, adolescents' and young adults' aesthetic practice.

Basic cours

The basic course takes place with the students from the basic liberal arts class during the 1st and 2nd semesters. The course finishes with the presentation of your own artistic work. Two courses in subject-specific teaching and the curriculum as well as introductory courses in the workshops are compulsory, in addition to the work in the basic class.

Aesthetic practice:

  • Development of students' own artistic and creative field of work in the studio of the foundation class
  • Introduction to media-specific methods of work and techniques Presentation and discussion of current artistic positions
  • Introductory courses in the study workshops

Subject content studies:

  • Introduction to art-historical and art-theoretical working
  • Analysis and interpretation of art works
  • History of art based on selected epochs

Subject didactics:

  • Introduction to the methodological reflection on the practical activity of art Introduction to methods of engaging with art and everyday culture
  • Introduction to teaching content and methods
  • Introduction to the theory and history of art tuition

Main studies

In the main studies (3rd to 8th semester), students are individually responsible for compiling their programme in line with the nature of the subject by selecting classes in all three subject areas from the available study contents (in accordance with the academic regulations) and determining selection, weighting and sequence in accordance with aspects related to school form.

Aesthetic practice takes place in the studios, together with students from the programme in Visual Arts. The artistic aim of the main studies can be summarized as reflected artistic activity, which integrates aesthetic rationality and methodological awareness, creative processes and methods of technical craftsmanship. In this respect, artistic activity is both education and training.

The study of the history and theory of art provides an introduction to the developmental history of art and visual culture, situates students' own artistic engagement and provides a background and orientation for its further development.

A further aim of the main studies is to develop creative didactic possibilities and decisions from the students' capacity for their own artistic activity. Artistic activity thus affects and extends students' own aesthetic experience and also trains the development of creative processes for teaching. Subject expertise is therefore applied to students' own artistic practice as well as to processes of translating this expertise into their teaching.


Aesthetic practice:

  • Independent artistic work (individual and group correction)
  • Creative/artistic exercises in different media: drawing, painting, sculpture, objects, print graphics, photography, video, theatre/action/play) in the area of art and also in the areas of design, architecture and environmental design
  • School-oriented practice
  • Introductory courses in the study workshops

Subject content studies:

  • Insights into art and cultural history from antiquity to the present day
  • Selected topics on art and artists of modernity and contemporary art
  • Methods of engaging with art and culture
  • Everyday aesthetics and youth culture
  • Aspects of the reference disciplines of art psychology, the sociology of art and perception and creativity theory

Subject didactics:

  • Didactic concepts of art as a subject and their history
  • Subject-specific teaching content and methods
  • Practice and theory of children's drawing, aesthetics of youth and adult culture
  • Reflection on artistic work processes
  • Topic-centred and task-oriented artistic work
  • Developing, testing and reflecting on teaching models in preparing and carrying out the school placements.

First State Examination

You normally complete the term paper, the first part of the First State Examination, in the subject of art. However, you can also write it in your second subject. In art, this work can relate to subject content studies, subject didactics (academic or artistic from a didactic perspective) or can be purely artistic in nature. You have three months to complete this assignment.

In either case, you will sit a written examination. This must have a scholarly orientation if you have previously submitted an art term paper. If you have written a scholarly term paper (no matter in which subject), it must be art-based (to be carried out within five days).

There is no oral examination.