About us

Historical Education Research and Democracy Education in Kassel is concerned with the development and conditions of education in the modern era. It examines the cultural, political, and social contexts in which specific, often conflicting ideas about education evolved and institutional orders were created, maintained, and transformed. In our research, we often employ a transnational perspective. From this point of view, Historical Education Research understands history less in terms of a 'classical' History of Ideas interested in 'canonical' texts and oriented towards great pedagogical ideas of the past. Rather, history of education is understood as a relational field, intertwined with other fields of society as well as with international spaces. Historical Education Research in Kassel is based on the assumption that the past is a central part of 'our' present. It is interested in how the formation of our present and its education-specific orders, institutionalizations and subjectivities came about historically, and designates them as historically contingent.

Historical education research in Kassel pays special attention to an advanced combination of the history and theory of education. It conducts source-oriented research in national and international archives and draws theoretical inspiration from approaches in cultural history and the history of knowledge as well as from science and technology studies and women's and gender studies. The thematic focus of our research lies, among other things, on processes of democracy formation in modernity, the disciplinary history of educational science between Weimar, Bonn, and (East) Berlin, university history, and the global transformations of education, teaching and learning, science, and universities during the Cold War.