My main areas of research include the following:

Constructivist Religious Education Didactics

The constructivist paradigm has been recognised in the field of educational science. What does it contribute to the field of religious education pedagogy? Here, I am particularly interested in those perspectives of the discourse in religious education pedagogy that are inspired by system theory, and have been publishing the “Yearbook of Constructivist Religious Education” (“Jahrbuch für konstruktivistische Religionsdidaktik”) since 2009, in collaboration with Gerhard Büttner, Hans Mendl and Oliver Reis.

Empirical Classroom Research

How can we improve our understanding of what happens in “typical” religious education classes? And what does it mean if we approach classroom practice with normative expectations, with predefined notions of what constitutes “good” religious education in schools? I am currently pursuing these questions in an ongoing DFG project themed “Child theology and classroom practice” (cf. the article of the same name in theo-web 2014).

Child and Adolescent Theology

The subject-oriented approach has been firmly established not just in the field of religious education pedagogy, but also in educational science and teaching methodologies. Child and adolescent theology provides principles for which the subject-oriented model is constitutive. But how does the change of perspective that focuses on children resp. adolescents affect the discourse in religious education pedagogy (e.g. the understanding of theology and the question of truth) and specific classroom processes? Annual conferences on child and adolescent theology provide an academic forum for these questions.

The Competence-Oriented Approach

Does something like “religious competence” exist and how can it be defined? How do competencies position themselves in discourses on religious education pedagogy? I addressed these subject matters in detail in the monography “Introduction to Religious Education. Competence-Oriented Didactics” (“Einführung in den Religionsunterricht. Eine kompetenzorientierte Didaktik”, Stuttgart 2015 (in collaboration with Gerhard Büttner and Veit-Jakobus Dieterich).

Bible Didactics

The Bible addresses primarily adults, and its texts originated a long time ago. Nevertheless, Bible didactics claims that (selected?) biblical texts are also relevant for children and adolescents today. How can this claim be fulfilled with regard to Bible didactics? Using the Gospel of John as an example, I reflected this question vis-à-vis secondary education (“The Gospel of John in Religious Education. Information, Suggestions, and Materials for Classroom Practice”; “Das Johannesevangelium im Religionsunterricht. Informationen, Anregungen und Materialien für die Praxis”, Stuttgart 2007).