(Full) Professor

May, Michael Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Michael May  

Research Areas

Classical Theories of Political Education

„situated learning“ und Competence Orientation

Right-wing Extremism and Civic Education

Normative Foundations of Civic Education

Pedagogical Frameworks and Theories of Civic Education


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Marianne Beyer: Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3
07743 Jena
Room 436
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 10-12 am    
Phone: +49 3641 9 45410    
Fax: +49 3641 9 45412    

Research Assistants

Benjamin Moritz

Student Assistants

Frederik Damerau

Ayla Evert

Jakob Simon


Lisa Bachmann

Hannah Jager

Janine Kleszewski

Janik Palm

Research Profile

In the center of research interests are learning situations that are typical for Civic Education at schools. These learning situations structure the learning process. Therefore, the chair „Didactics pf Politics“  uses challenging social and political problems like as well as actual data from Civic Education lessons to teach the students how to structure their lessons. For this reason we aim to reconstruct activities in the classroom, which are dependent on the pupils’ engagement in discussing political and social problems. In the research process, we use methods of interpretative social research.

Teaching Profile

The main aim of the chair is the professionalization of prospective teachers. We offer the following four modules which are obligatory for all students who want to become teachers:

    • In the basic studies (module PolDi 200) the students deal with issues relating to planning and designing political learning processes. Courses in this module focus on the history of civic education, objectives, content and methods of teaching politics, basic concepts of learning as well as on the teaching practice. It is of special concern for the courses to emphasize the importance of challenging social and political situations in the learning process. Concepts of situated learning, following John Dewey and Jean Piaget, receive special attention.
    • After the introductory module, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical phase (PolDi 300). At the end of this module, they spend an entire semester at a school and gain their first own teaching experiences. This internship is accompanied by courses at the university. Students finish this semester with a placement report.
    • PolDi 400 serves primarily to reflect on experiences gained during the internship and to expand the knowledge and skills in the field of teaching politics. Students reflect on their own role as a teacher as well as on typical problems in their teaching and develop a professional habit. In addition, they also get to know further, more complex methods of teaching politics to respond to the typical problems made when teaching.
    • In the last module of the curriculum (PolDi 500), the students deal specifically with issues of diagnosis and evaluation of learning processes, taking competency models such as the development of moral and political judgment into account.