Training for Teaching Art at Lower & Intermediate Secondary Schools

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

In lower and intermediate secondary school teacher training, 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 and L3) 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 lower and intermediate secondary 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 specializing in education sciences and a second 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 addition, specific presentation forms and techniques relevant to teaching in lower and intermediate secondary schools are developed.

Subject content studies aim to enable students to practise and reflect on 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 education approach. It deals, in particular, with children's and adolescents' aesthetic practice.

Foundation Studies

Foundation studies take place in the 1st and 2nd semester together with students from the other teacher training programmes and Fine Arts in the foundation class. Students conclude the foundation studies programme by giving a presentation of one of their own artistic works. Over and beyond work in the foundation class, two classes in subject didactics and subject content studies are compulsory, as are two introductory courses in the workshops and one field trip.


Aesthetic practice:

  • Development of students' own artistic 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 artistic works
  • History of art based on selected epochs and examples

Subject didactics:

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

Main Studies

In the main studies (3rd to 6th 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 and study workshops, together with students from the programme in teacher training for grammar schools (L3) and that in Visual Arts. The artistic aim of the main studies can be summarized as reflected artistic activity: artistic activity integrates aesthetic rationality and methodological awareness, creative processes and methods of technical craftsmanship. In this respect, artistic activity is both education and training. The aim of the main studies is likewise to derive creative art-didactic possibilities from the students' experiences of 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 aesthetic practice
  • 2 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
  • Theory of children's and adolescents' aesthetic practice
  • 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 placement

First State Examination

With regard to the first part of the First State Examination, the term paper, you can choose between the subjects for which you have enrolled. If you choose 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' time for this.

In either case, you will still 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.