Visualizations in German and Mathematics education (VisDeM) was an interdisciplinary doctoral program that pursued the overarching question of how abstract concept construction can be initiated and supported in learning processes by means of multimodal representations linked to individual subjects. The doctoral program was funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg.
The first funding phase of VisDeM examined the learner perspective in the individual subject didactics and developed a cross-project competence model for visualization competences. The second funding phase concentrated predominantly on learning processes in the classroom in the respective subjects. In this way, results of the first phase were tested in the field and the implementation in schools was examined. Several factors play a role here: first, the form of visualization is central (factual adequacy, appropriate didactic reduction); second, the function of visualization in the learning process plays an important role (visualization as a learning object, as a learning aid, or as a strategy); and third, the embedding within a multimodal learning scenario is important (which combinations and changes of representations are more conducive to learning or inhibit learning).
In each of the two funding phases, six scholarship holders and six seconded teachers worked on twelve sub-projects. In addition, one junior professorship dealt with overarching research questions. The design and methodology of the subject didactic research projects were supported by the Department of Educational Psychology. In addition, overarching questions were addressed from an educational sciences and an artistic-aesthetic perspective.