Department Prof. Dr. Heinemann

The department addresses educational processes in a migration society characterized by social, cultural, gender and linguistic heterogeneity. Teaching and research concentrate in particular on pedagogical professionalization in the context of the opportunities and challenges of heterogeneous learning spaces. The focus is on out-of-school educational work, transitions from school to work, vocational training, adult education and higher education.
Head of department
Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann
Vice head of department
Dr. Franziska Bonna
Martina Klein



We work with a critical concept of diversity that a) considers diversity in the context of social relations of power and b) takes a look at the various relevant lines of difference (race, class, gender, sexual identity, ability, etc.) in their interconnectedness (cf. Crenshaw 1989).

Discourse: Structure - Institution - Involved Individual

We assume that the pedagogical actions of individuals are influenced by institutional/organizational or structural and discursive conditions. Discriminatory practices of individuals must therefore always be considered within the system as a whole. Individuals (the pedagogical professionals) are always part of the system and thus involved in the prevailing discourses. But by getting to know reflexive-critical approaches, there is the possibility to change one's own pedagogical actions in such a way that inequality in the educational system can be reduced.

Awareness-Building as a Lifelong Process

In both teaching and research, we assume that the development of discrimination-critical and difference-sensitive awareness is a dynamic, lifelong process. Therefore, we do not believe in the possibility of producing ready-made toolboxes that can turn attitudes developed over decades upside down within a few teaching/learning units. We therefore set impulses, offer irritations, create utopias and educate the joy of one's own thinking, of one's own educational process.


We believe that the integration of digital tools can enrich independent further learning and deepening of critical thinking impulses. In addition to the exclusive moments that come along with it, which make it difficult or impossible for people to access content, digitization on the other hand also opens up access for many others in the first place. Especially for those who, if they had had to work on the content in 'presence', would not have been able to make this presence possible (e.g., due to their own time commitments at work, family commitments, lack of mobility, their own language competence in the German language of science, which requires a slowing down of the mediation process, or simply because the presence rooms would not be accessible without barriers, etc.).


Social (local) conditions cannot be thought of without global contexts. The topics of our department are closely connected with processes of globalization and are being worked on in universities and NGOs all over the world. We consider it essential to counteract a nationalism in research methodology and the narrowing of the epistemes to the nation of Germany. To this end, we actively integrate the perspectives of our colleagues from the global South and other contexts in which research on education, inequality and difference is conducted.


Our research primarily aims at the professionalization of pedagogical specialists within the context of our guiding concept.

The focal points of our department are

  • Out-of-school educational work,
  • the transfer from school to work,
  • vocational education,
  • adult education
  • and higher education.

Members of the department


  • WB-Deutschkurs – Accompanying scientific research on the pilot project "German course for people with cognitive disabilities in the state of Bremen”
    Life span 01. September 2022 to 31. August 2023
    Dr. Franziska Bonna , Marija Cubalevska
    The project "WB German Course" provides scientific support for the ongoing pilot project "German Course for Cognitively Impaired People in the State of Bremen", which is directed to employees in workshops for people with disabilities. In the context of the accompanying research, the German courses are evaluated and a modified teaching structure is tested in order to be able to optimize content and methods with regard to a participatory teaching structure. The recommendations for action resulting from the accompanying research are designed to support the institutions offering the courses in achieving the objective of greater participation of the students in the whole of society.
  • ZEBO: Collaborating with socio-economically disadvantaged parents in vocational orientation
    Life span 31. March 2022 to 31. October 2022
    Marija Cubalevska , Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Julia Tietjen
    Parents and guardians are the most important reference persons for many young people in phases of professional orientation. Nevertheless, decisive inequalities and uncertainties are emerging in the cooperation between schools and parents. Socio-economically disadvantaged families in particular are prematurely overlooked. After the previous project "BOGyO - Berufliche Orientierung für die gymnasialen Oberstufen" (Professional Orientation for Upper Secondary Schools) made a further contribution to the systematic improvement of Bremen's PO structures, the project is now being deepened in order to be able to better organize the active cooperation with socio-economically disadvantaged parents on the part of the schools.
  • DUBB – Digitalization and Inequality in the Context of Vocational Education and Training in Bremen and Bremerhaven
    Life span 01. January 2022 to 31. December 2023
    Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Verena Honkomp-Wilkens , Prof. Dr.-Ing. Maren Petersen
    In the project "Digitalization and Inequality in the Context of Vocational Education and Training", vocational education and training is used as a lens with which inequalities arising from digitalization processes can be identified simultaneously at various levels of society, in order to clarify questions about the origins and formation of precisely these inequalities and to develop recommendations for action.
  • JoinMe2 – Promoting Inclusive Education at Tertiary Level
    Life span 01. September 2020 to 01. October 2023
    Dr. Franziska Bonna , Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann
    The JoinMe2 project aims to (further) develop the competencies of teachers at universities with regard to an equal and diversity-sensitive approach to students. For this purpose, the attitudes of teachers and students towards different aspects of diversity will be investigated by means of a questionnaire survey and country-specific overviews of the current state of research will be compiled. Subsequently, training materials for the development of a difference-sensitive attitude and critical diversity competence will be created and tested. During the entire project period, an online portal will also be developed, which will contain a literature and material database that teachers and students can access on a long-term and sustainable basis.
  • SteBs – Structural development in vocational teacher training
    Life span 01. March 2020 to 31. December 2023
    Dr. Claudia Fenzl , Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Prof. Dr. Falk Howe , Lisa Meyne , Myrthe Reinsberg , Michael Sander , Dr. Andreas Saniter , Saman A. Sarabi , Nils Weinowski
    The SteBs project pursues the overarching aim of structurally strengthening and further expanding vocational teacher training in Bremen and thus contributing to the Bremen vocational training dialogue. On the basis of a cross-phase and cross-subject cooperation between the actors involved in vocational teacher training, concepts for the promotion of professional competence in line with the didactical paradigm of a complete action of teachers are developed and tested.
  • TiQusA – Transculturality in the Neighbourhood and in Social Work
    Life span 01. December 2019 to 31. August 2020
    Sarah Ahmed , Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Saman A. Sarabi
    TiQusA includes three sub-projects, in which further training concepts will be developed for the areas of youth welfare, living together in the neighborhood and working with young people.
  • BoGyO – Scientific project support for professional orientation in upper secondary school
    Life span 20. June 2019 to 31. July 2021
    Prof. Dr. Alisha M. B. Heinemann , Dominik Schütte , Lisa Vogt
    Many high school graduates are spoiled for choice after graduating from high school. Hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of courses are open to them. It may be difficult to make the right decision. School as a central location for the early career orientation of young people faces the challenge of actively helping to shape the individual professional orientation process of students.