Who needs Pädagogik?

An international seminar on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th January, 2014, convened by Prof Gert Biesta at the Institute of Education and Society, University of Luxembourg.

Invited participants

Prof Dr Johannes Bellman, University of Münster, Germany; Prof Dr Viv Ellis, Brunel University, UK; Dr Wilna Meijer, University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Prof Dr Herner Saeverot, University of Bergen, Norway; Prof Dr Carl Anders Säfström, Södertörn University, Sweden; Prof Dr Christiane Thompson, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

The idea of Pädagogik as an independent academic discipline devoted to the academic study and the improvement of education emerged in the first half of the 20th century in a number of countries in Continental Europe. While the national histories of this process are significantly different in their detail – particularly with regard to the relationship between Pädagogik, psychology and the education of teachers – in many cases it resulted in a similar constellation that played an important role in the establishment of education as a field of research and teaching in universities in Continental Europe. The development in these countries was very different from how the field established itself in the English speaking world where, predominantly in the context of teacher education, the academic study of education emerged in the form of ‘educational studies,’ configured as the inter- or multi-disciplinary study of educational processes and practices.

In most countries where versions of Pädagogik were established and flourished the situation has changed significantly from the 1970s onwards to such an extent that in many cases Pädagogik has become quite marginal, both in its intellectual forms and in its institutional manifestations. This two-day international conversation seeks to explore (1) what has happened with Pädagogik in different countries, contexts and settings; (2) what the current dynamics within the academic study of education are in those countries, contexts and settings; (3) how we might evaluate these developments, particularly with regard to the question to what extent the marginalisation of Pädagogik should be seen as a positive development or a loss; (4) how, and to what extent and in what way it might be desirable to reconnect with what Pädagogik offered to educational research and practice; and (5) what intellectual, socio-institutional and micro-political challenges this brings into view.

Six scholars, from 5 different countries (Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK) with direct experience of the situation in a number of other countries, come together for a two-day exploration of these questions. The meeting will be organised around invited presentations, discussion, and workshops.

Poster for seminar.

Programme for seminar.