Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Science - Department of General Pedagogy

Chair for General Pedagogy

Department Chair: Prof. Dr. Malte Brinkmann


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General Pedagogy deals with foundational-theoretical and empirical questions. Education is reflected upon as a phenomenon with a double function; it is experience-based pedagogical practice on the one hand and knowledge-based, scientific research on the other hand. Pedagogical theory and practice are analyzed  with regard to their conceptual, categorical, historical and cultural foundations as well as within their interdisciplinary and intercultural contexts. As a reflexive and critical discipline, General Pedagogy is operating in a comparative and mediating way, exploring the limits of other disciplines and at the same time systematically and productively involving other disciplines into its own endeavors.

Based on this theoretical-empirical mode of research, we at Humboldt-University are examining learning, educating and practicing as a form of learning in pedagogical settings. We are analyzing pedagogical situations under the perspective of shared attentionality and pedagogical showing and pointing. This approach can be considered as a phenomenological one in two respects: on the one hand, the “life-world” and the bodily experiences connected to it are taken as the starting point of research and on the other hand, the guiding subjective, social and scientific theories and models are subjected to a separate, interdisciplinary reflection (i.e. phenomenological reduction). The findings of analyses like the one described can then be made fruitful for a new, theoretical description of the phenomena. Theory thus is seen as the "resonance chamber", in which further pedagogical interaction is grounded. General Pedagogy is thus not only guided by theories, it also creates new theories.