General pedagogy

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Johann Friedrich Herbart, the founder of general education

The General Education is the one scientific sub-discipline within the pedagogy and educational science that deals with the theoretical foundations and basic concepts of education and upbringing busy. Her subject matter is also specific educational research methods and methodology as well as "cross-cutting issues that are important for all field, client or institution- oriented sub-disciplines". According to the German Society for Educational Science, this includes educational anthropology and philosophy of science as well as educational philosophy .


Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) is considered to be the founder of general pedagogy . He was the first to attempt - starting from the concept of plasticity - to theoretically justify the concepts of education and instruction . His subject was not this or that education, but education in general. Herbart also gave the subject its name with his book General Pedagogy Derived from the Purpose of Education, published in 1806 .

In 1947 Alfred Petzelt , a student of Richard Hönigswald , published a "Systematic Pedagogy", which aimed to reorganize pedagogy according to the rational concept of Neo-Kantianism . Theodor Ballauff followed him in 1962 . As Dietrich Benner has shown, the focus of systematic pedagogy is not on epistemological and research logic, but rather on “categorical determinations of the subject of theoretical and practical pedagogy”. Today, general pedagogy only identifies itself as "systematic pedagogy" in isolated cases. It has lost its status as a sub-discipline that is a fundamental part of pedagogy because the other sub-disciplines have become very independent in their theoretical and methodological orientations.

In the mid-1990s, a general “retreat” or “decline” of general pedagogy was noted in educational science. The background to this discussion is the rapid growth that all areas of education have experienced since the 1960s as a result of the expansion of the educational, educational and social system. The fragmentation of educational practice into a multitude of activities has resulted in a strong differentiation of educational science. As Dietrich Benner pointed out, educational practice today has neither a uniform task nor is there a systematically structured science that orientates and examines it. With the reception of postmodern philosophy within general pedagogy, the formulation of uniform educational goals was increasingly seen as neither possible nor helpful. On the one hand, general pedagogy has lost part of its main function, such as the precise definition of the content of the axiomatic terms for the subject , but on the other hand it has also gained space for theoretical reflection based on concrete pedagogical practice.

In 2010, Markus Rieger-Ladich describes the current situation in general education:

“The necessity of [general pedagogy] - such as reflecting on the forms of pedagogical action or problematizing socially relevant issues - is still not fundamentally disputed at the present time, even though it encounters much more difficult conditions than in the middle of the 20th century. [ ...]. Two strategies can currently be identified as a reaction: Michael Wimmer ( Pädagogik als Kulturwissenschaft , 2002) advocates understanding educational science as a cultural science. In this way, [general pedagogy] can be conceived as a discourse space that understands the loss of unity as an opportunity, sees conflict as a gain and cultivates deconstructive reading as a mode of reflection. Klaus Prange ( The Show Structure of Education , 2005) takes a different path: He ties in with Herbart's considerations in that he is also interested in a clear identifiability of educational practices and the independence of educational science. "

Dissemination and chairs

General pedagogy is primarily important in German-speaking countries, in Denmark ( Generel pædagogik ), Poland ( Pedagogika ogólna ), Russia ( Общая педагогика ) and Italy ( Pedagogia generale ). In most other cultures - especially wherever the distinction between upbringing and education stemming from German idealism has not prevailed - the theoretical foundation of upbringing is called “ educational theory ” or “philosophy of education”.

In Germany, there is a general pedagogy branch at most universities offering educational science. Examples: Annette Scheunpflug holds a chair for general pedagogy at the University of Bamberg . Hartmut Ditton and Rudolf Tippelt teach at LMU Munich . At the Karlsruhe University of Education she represents Rainer Bolle in the Institute for General and Historical Educational Science.

At the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt in Carinthia, there is a professorship in General Educational Science and Intercultural Education at the Institute for Educational Science and Research, which is currently held by Hans Karl Peterlini .


Individual evidence

  2. ^ Johann Friedrich Herbart: General pedagogy derived from the purpose of education . Röwer, Göttingen 1806.
  3. ^ Alfred Petzelt: Fundamentals of systematic pedagogy . W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1947.
  4. ^ Theodor Ballauff: Systematic Pedagogy . Quelle & Meyer, Heidelberg 1962.
  5. ^ Dietrich Benner: Systematic Pedagogy. Pedagogy and its scientific justification . In: Leo Roth (Hrsg.): Handbook for study and practice . Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich 1991, ISBN 978-3-486-03321-2 , p. 6 .
  6. ^ Ulrich Wehner: Education in the context of existential philosophy. A systematic investigation following Eberhard Grisebach, Otto Friedrich Bollnow and Theodor Ballauff . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2002, ISBN 3-8260-2225-4 , p. 170 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  7. Nadine Grochla: Education - Quality - Discipline. A study in the field of general education, empirical educational research and religious education . Lit, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-643-11140-1 , pp. 25th f . ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  8. Nadine Grochla: Education - Quality - Discipline. A study in the field of general education, empirical educational research and religious education . Lit, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-643-11140-1 , pp. 21st ff . ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  9. Dietrich Benner: General Pedagogy: A systematic-problem-historical introduction to the basic structure of pedagogical thinking and acting . 4th edition. Beltz Juventa, 2001, ISBN 978-3-7799-1518-8 , pp. 16 .
  10. Markus Rieger-Ladich: General Pedagogy . In: Stefan Jordan / Marnie Schlüter (Ed.): Lexicon Pedagogy. A hundred basic terms . Reclam, Stuttgart 2010, p. 23-25 .
  11. ^ University of Bamberg: Chair for General Pedagogy. Retrieved January 21, 2017 .
  12. ^ Karlsruhe University of Education: Institute for General and Historical Education. Retrieved on August 23, 2018 (German).
  13. ^ Website of the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Retrieved August 17, 2019 .