Institute of Education

Allgemeine Pädagogik – roughly corresponding to what is called Foundations of Education in the English-speaking world – is entrusted with the reflection of basic theoretical questions. It deals with problems of a systematic nature that affect all sub-disciplines. In addition to work on the concept, the focus is on the critical examination of theoretical models and research methods. In this way, it contributes to sharpening the profile of educational science. The representatives of Allgemeine Pädagogik apply a systematic, historical and international comparative approach. In addition, they seek contact with neighboring disciplines and tap into knowledge stocks that are of interest to the pedagogical discourse.

This self-image also shapes the form of our scientific work at the University of Tübingen: The examination of social theoretical approaches is necessary because only the conceptual and theoretical permeation of pedagogical subject areas creates the prerequisites for reflective research, practical action and the critical analysis of current developments in the field of education.

Whether it is the results of international comparative studies or the discovery of cases of sexualized violence: These and similar examples make it clear that the educational sector is characterized by power structures and entangled in the reproduction of social inequality. We therefore do not consider educational practices in isolation from the prevailing social conditions. The transformations of the welfare state, the intensification of exclusionary processes, and the dominance of the logic of the economic do not remain external to the pedagogical field; and this is precisely what needs to be systematically taken into account when reflecting on educational processes.

From an educational theory perspective, we analyze the power-based constitution of pedagogical practices and work on appropriate theoretical approaches. In doing so, we focus on educational institutions (universities, schools, boarding schools, museums, etc.) with their specific practices of subjectivation. In addition, we conduct basic theoretical studies on the human condition and seek to stimulate disciplinary self-observation of the pedagogical discourse; to this end, we also turn to the disciplinary history of the education sciences.

Since the international education sector is also permeated by power structures, our interest is equally focused on the changes in pedagogical interactions under the conditions of globalization and the emergence of new educational regimes. We examine the relation between contingency and systematics in educational theories and practices, drawing on current transnational and transcultural theories. But we also address questions of the (historical) contexts in which new transnational actors emerged and analyze how supranational educational programs are implemented in different contexts. In this way, we not only focus on specific national, regional or local appropriation processes, but also on cultural idiosyncrasies and global constellations of actors as dominant "networks of power".

In addition to lectures on basic concepts and key questions of educational science, we offer numerous seminars in the fields of educational theory, educational history, educational anthropology, ethics and aesthetics. The offerings for students of the bachelor's and master's programs are supplemented by those designed for students of teacher training: In these, we make the school the subject matter and discuss theory models that provide challenging approaches to the analysis of school learning and educational processes.

We also understand the study program itself as an educational process. And this also applies to those who give lectures, offer seminars or supervise theses: they too must risk themselves again and again and do not remain indifferent to the topics they make the subject of their courses.


Allgemeine Pädagogik is represented in the following study programs at the Institute of Education:

Bachelor of Arts Educational Science (major and minor subject)

State examination in social pedagogy/pedagogy

Master of Arts Research and Development in Social Pedagogy/Social Work

Master of Arts: School Improvement and School Research

Master of Arts School Research and School Development


Since the winter semester 2017/18, the Department of Allgemeine Pädagogik has been offering the program "Education and Formation: Culture – Politics – Society" (M.A.).

Further details can be found in the respective examination regulations and module handbooks.