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State Teaching Award for Janina Kirsch

Baden-Württemberg honours successful teaching concept

State Teaching Award for Janina Kirsch

Janina Kirsch

Janina Kirsch, Teaching & Training Coordinator at the Bernstein Center Freiburg and lecturer at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg receives the Teaching Award 2011 of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, which is endowed with 50,000 EUR.

The state honours her teaching concept “Das menschliche Gehirn – Ein Mal- und Bastelkurs” (‘The Human Brain – A Course in Drawing and Handicraft’). Biology bachelor students encounter the neuroanatomy of the human brain in an active and hands-on way, helping them to learn more easily about its structure and complex function.

JK-Urkunde1.jpgThe State’s Teaching Awards are bestowed upon the winners on December 1, 2011, by Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, Theresia Bauer.

During the course, students create models of several brain areas with plasticine. Furthermore, they carry out small experiments to demonstrate the individual regions’ functions and take part in interactive exercises. During the run of the course, the whole brain is recreated from plasticine.

This concept works on three levels: Learning neuroscientific facts is experienced in positive ways, and the students break down the topic’s complexity on their own.

Interview1.jpgFurthermore, learning happens through several senses. Seeing, hearing, experiencing, and acting all support the ability to remember the facts without arduously learning them by heart.

At the end of each course day, the students can take their selfmade models of the brain home with them – exposing them to the brain’s structure again and again, which automatically makes them repeat the learned facts.

This course also won the university’s teaching award in June.

Press release by the University of Freiburg (in German) 

Interview with Janina Kirsch by echo-fm 88,4 (Freiburg's university radio station):
Online player
Direct download (mp3)


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