Jürgen Oelkers

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Jürgen Oelkers (born March 21, 1947 in Buxtehude ) is a German educational scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Zurich .


Oelkers studied education, German literature and history at the University of Hamburg and received his doctorate in 1976. He became a research assistant at the Chair for General Pedagogy at the University of Education in the Rhineland , Cologne Department (now University of Cologne ). In 1979 he became full professor for general education at the then Lüneburg University of Education (now university) and in 1987 full professor for general education at the University of Bern . From 1999 he was a full professor for general education at the University of Zurich until he retired at the end of the spring semester of 2012. He was Visiting Professor at Hiroshima University (2006).

Oelkers was chairman of the Hamburg commission for teacher training and advocates the extension of common learning up to the 6th school year, as well as a two-year preschool instead of kindergarten. From a liberal position, he distanced himself from the alleged advantages of reform pedagogy and debunked many myths about its content without, on the other hand, denying its achievements.

Research priorities


  • The mediation between theory and practice in German pedagogy from Kant to Nohl: an investigation into the history of ideas . Dissertation University of Hamburg, Faculty of Education, 1976, DNB 760685169 .
  • How to develop school. An educational policy analysis based on Pisa. Beltz , Weinheim / Basel 2002, ISBN 978-3-407-22141-4 .
  • Reform pedagogy. A critical story of dogma. 4th edition. Juventa , Weinheim / Munich 2005, ISBN 3-7799-1525-1 .
  • Comprehensive school in Germany. A historical analysis and a way out of the dilemma . Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 2006, ISBN 3-407-25401-6 .
  • Method and contexts: historiographical problems in educational research. with Rita Casale u. Daniel Tröhler, Wallstein, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-8353-0077-4 .
  • John Dewey and Education. Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 2009, ISBN 978-3-407-85886-3 .
  • Reform pedagogy. History of the creation of an international movement. Klett and Balmer, Zug 2010, ISBN 978-3-264-83849-7 (with CD-Rom containing the sources of reform pedagogy)
  • Eros and domination. The dark sides of reform pedagogy , Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 2011, ISBN 978-3-407-85937-2 .
  • Thilo Fitzner; Peter E. Kalb; Erika Risse, Hgg .: Reformed Education in School Practice. Julius Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2012 ISBN 978-3-7815-1848-3 , therein Jürgen Oelkers: Critical questions to the history of reform pedagogy. P. 38–62 Table of contents of the entire volume
  • Education, elite, abuse. The “career” of Gerold Becker. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2016, ISBN 978-3-779-93345-8
  • The new structural change of the public. Reflections from an educational perspective. with Ulrich Binder, Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2017, ISBN 978-3-7799-3638-1
  • Can you learn stupidity? Re-reading of an educational bestseller. (Ed., With Damian Miller.) Zytglogge, Basel 2018, ISBN 978-3729650015

Web links

Individual proof

  1. review in Taz , April 11, 2012, page 18. According to the reviewer Christian filler Oelkers is the only one of 35 authors, indicating that the "progressive education", Gustav Wyneken , a convicted and unrepentant Pädokrimineller has been.