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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Science - Department of General Education/Philosophy of Education

Translations of Pedagogical Classics:


German Educational Theory: The Human Science Tradition.

Malte Brinkmann & Norm Friesen, eds.


Contemporary and historical German-language contributions to humanistic educational theory and research are arguably as important as those in other areas of the human and social sciences. For example, the notion of humanism itself has been redefined by Heidegger, and theories of interpretation and communication are unthinkable without figures like Gadamer and Habermas. But where in educational theory and research are German contributions like those made to communication, hermeneutics and philosophy and theory more generally? Forceful critique and penetrating analyses are as integral to German scholarship in education as in other areas. Moreover, scholarship in German has benefitted through close and sustained contact with multiple currents in continental theory. However, unlike the work of Heidegger or Gadamer, German contributions to educational theory are forgotten, ignored or unknown in the English-speaking world. Where some names might be recognizable — Humboldt, Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, Dilthey or E. Fink, for example — their writings on education are largely untranslated, with the significance of such texts to broader and current educational developments being ignored. In the case of more recent contributors, for example, Günther Buck, Wilfried Lippitz or Käte Meyer-Drawe, their names, works and potential significance are all unknown. The proposed two-volume collection addresses this significant gap in the Anglo-American educational literature. By providing sources relevant to work in curriculum and instruction, and history, philosophy and comparative studies in education, it will significantly expand and further internationalize humanistic educational theorizing and scholarship in education. It will accomplish this task by providing accessible modern translations (generally the first and only available in English) of both historical and contemporary German works. It will also introduce and contextualize these texts and their authorship through brief inter-chapters written by the editors or by invited experts. The two volumes proposed reflect the wealth and importance of the material available, with the first focusing on 19th and early 20th century works, and the second on those appearing after the Second World War.


Editors’ Introduction (15 pp)


Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (30 pp)

Speech Concluding the School Year on September 29th 1809

Speech Concluding the School Year on September 2nd 1811


Schleiermacher, Friedrich (75 pp)

Theory of Upbringing. Lectures from 1826.


Humboldt, Wilhelm von (5 pp)

Theory of the Bildung of Humanity


Herbart, Johann Friedrich (50 pp)

Outline of Lectures on Pedagogy (selections)


Pestalozzi, Johann Heinrich (25 pp)

Letter from Stans


Nietzsche, Friedrich (50 pp.)

On the future of our Educational Institutions

On the Use and Abuse of History for Life


Dilthey, Wilhelm (30 pp.)

On the possibility of a universally-valid pedagogical Science (selection)