"The digital transformation plays a key role in the future of work and careers. A major concern in the context of research and teaching is to strengthen the attractiveness of vocational education and to enable new research approaches and perspectives on the further development of occupational profiles." So says junior professor Maren Baumhauer. She is the head of the Institute for Vocational Education and Digitalisation. The institute investigates the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation in the context of vocational education and training in order to prepare future teachers for this development. "One focus is to be on the accompanying research of new technologies. This includes the role and significance of AI-supported applications, for example, the use of language models such as ChatGPT. This opens up completely new perspectives on the design and reflection of teaching and learning in schools and workplaces," explains Prof. Baumhauer.
Professorship despite challenges
Maren Baumhauer was able to envisage a professorship as a career goal at a very early stage: "For me, working academically means absolute freedom and creative development opportunities within the framework of my professional activities. It was and is more challenging to create suitable framework conditions in the context of permanent fixed-term contracts in order to lose neither energy nor leisure for the academic qualification phases." She thus addresses a dilemma that applies to large sections of young academics. Nevertheless, the scientist was able to formulate and realise her professional career goal early on: After studying education at the University of Trier, Prof. Baumhauer earned her doctorate in vocational education at Leibniz Universität Hannover. She worked there as a research assistant in the vocational education team and also held a substitute professorship at the University of Osnabrück - before moving to the TU Hamburg. She associates great creative potential with the university location: "TU Hamburg offers an innovative, interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research environment with high performance and quality standards." Prof. Baumhauer will start teaching with a project seminar on the topic of "Profession, Work and Learning in Digital Change".
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