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Teacher Education: PORTAL Prize

Three projects from teacher education students will receive this year’s PORTAL Prize from the Center for Teacher Education and Education Research (ZfLB). The award honors particularly successful initiatives and projects under conditions that have radically changed due to the corona pandemic.

In the spring, schools and teachers had to quickly switch to distanced learning. The award-winning initiatives and projects by students show how it is still possible to hold lessons with innovative ideas, digital learning formats, and alternative concepts. The prize-winning concepts, that are endowed with 6,000 euros in total, span from distanced physics lessons to research videos on mathematical puzzles and reflection on your own window in art class.

First Prize of 3,000 Euros for Digital Math Researcher Day

Due to the pandemic-related contact restrictions, school pupils were unable to make use of the “Matelier” (math workshop) on offer at the University of Bremen in the summer semester. Three teacher education students developed the event formats, transferred them into a digital space, and thus initiated and successfully tested new forms of research-based learning. The project’s core is formed by digital lesson materials and motivating videos on the interesting topic of cryptography. The material is now available to all schools in Bremen and can be used freely.

Second Prize of 2,000 Euros for “Transport Safety” Concept from Field of Physics

Two students developed a multimedia lesson unit with digital work materials and real experiments for the practical study project on the topic of transport safety for distanced physics lessons. The materials address the aspects of the topic from a physics perspective and deal with stopping distances, use and effects of bicycle helmets, or crumple zones, for example. The produced autonomous learning materials provide guidance on physics experiments with day-to-day materials. Furthermore, school pupils can analyze self-recorded movement processes with digital tools.

Third Prize of 1,000 Euros for Art Project      

How simple tools can have a great effect is shown in this project for art lessons. Lessons have been moved to the pupils’ homes and therefore promote the transfer of art into day-to-day life. The core of the distanced lesson unit is an experimental workbook with the topic of windows. It includes materials and tasks that promote artistic and design-based reflection on windows as the subject. Windows as a source of individual handling of artistic strategies makes communication between pupils in a joint space of experience outside of the school possible.

Praise for Concepts Concerning Handling Conspiracy Theories and Tutoring Platforms

Alongside the three prizes, two “special mentions” were also given.

During the corona pandemic, conspiracy theories have been continually floating around in society. Students had the idea to use the handling of conspiracy theories as the starting point for an interactive lesson concept. The concept stemmed directly from the lockdown situation and is still of great relevance. The developed materials are also to be made available.

Many pupils and their families were overwhelmed by distance learning during the lockdown. Not all parents were able to sufficiently support their children in reaching ther learning goals. Via the Haydee tutoring platform, which students helped to create, mentors were found across Germany. Said mentors then provide individual support.

The Crisis as a Portal and Chance to Break New Ground

The name PORTAL Prize references the Indian author Arundhati Roy. She created the image of the corona pandemic as a portal through which we can drag our heavy burdens. However, we can also choose to leave them behind prior to passing through. “Using this crisis productively was the starting point for the initiation of the PORTAL Prize,” explains Professor Sabine Doff, scientific director of the Center for Teaching Education and Education Research (ZfLB) at the University of Bremen. “It is great to see how students have left behind their old expectations and have broken new ground. In the projects and initiatives, they have implemented what learning and teaching can mean in the future in an exemplary manner.” The feedback for the prize and the award-winning projects has made clear with which bravery, creative ideas, and great dedication the students have mastered the challenges. “That deserves recognition.”

Impulses for Lesson Development

With the award, the multi-professional jury from the fields of science, economy, and schools is setting the tone for the lesson development of the future. The jury, sponsors, and ZfLB wish to support dedicated students on their paths in this way.

The prize, which was awarded once this year, is being funded by the Senator for Science and Ports, the Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V., business resource management Bremen, and Alumni der Universität Bremen e. V.


Further Information: (in German only) (in German only)




Prof. Dr. Sabine Doff


Center for Teacher Education and Education research (ZfLB)

University of Bremen

Tel.: +49 421 218-68170

Email: doffprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de or portal-zflbprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

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