Lectures

The way of teaching pedagogy does not have to be limited to the lecture hall - it can be experienced in the whole world! Whether in the digital world or directly in the footsteps of thinkers - as part of practical philosophy, the possibilities are limitless!
In this regard, the content of my teaching reflects my research interests: 

  • the triad of ethics, economics and pedagogy
  • intercultural pedagogy
  • and the female thinkers of pedagogy


You can learn more about my teaching since the summer semester of 2019 here.

Blockseminar in Florenz

Winter semester 2021/2022

Would you like to listen to a podcast? Under this section you can listen to a selection of podcasts of the lecture "Classics of Pedagogy"!
(German only).

Lecture: Klassikerinnen und Klassiker der Pädagogik - die Bildung des Menschen (Classics of Pedagogy - the Education of Man)

If pedagogy wants to do justice to the fact that it is always associated with the question of education, it is important to consider that education is more than training: Education implies being able to question supposed certainties. This requires, however, to keep one's own perspective in mind and, from a broader horizon, to become aware of and reflect on the structures and roots of one's own patterns of thought and action, i.e.: to think historically. At the same time it becomes clear why the historical perspective is an indispensable basis of every intercultural pedagogy: in order to be able to perceive the patterns of thought and action of other cultures in their own structure, it is indispensable to take off one's own glasses or, in other words: to become aware of one's own patterns of thought and action. Committed to this basic idea, the lecture explores the question of how cultural, social, political, medical and religious ideas have influenced people's lives and ways of thinking in the period from the Renaissance to the present day and which approaches, but also problems, have developed in the pedagogical context.

Lecture: Das Bild des Menschen - Bildungsideale antiker und mittelalterlicher Pädagogik (The Image of Man - Educational Ideals of Ancient and Medieval Pedagogy)

In this lecture we will try to get an overview of the history of ancient and medieval pedagogy. We will place our starting point in the reconstruction of the past with the knowledge of today. An analysis of history is therefore never value-neutral and position-free. Since there are already countless accounts of the history of pedagogy that see themselves as a history of ideas, we want to sketch a history of pedagogy that, on the one hand, focuses on the influential thought leaders, since almost nothing of what is thought today was not thought long ago. On the other hand, the focus is particularly on the image of the human being. As a conclusion of such an attempt to create an image of man and to recommend it as a model to follow, Pindar's famous call to self-selection and self-realization would result: "Become who you are, learning!"
The lectures give an overview of the most important personalities and schools. In order to offer orientation in an increasingly globalized world, a global orientation of history (of pedagogy) is becoming more and more urgent. Against this background, we will take a look at the Arabic, Chinese, Jewish and Buddhist traditions. 

Seminar: Die Logik des gelungenen Lebens und die PädAgogie (The logic of the flourishing life and pedAgogy)

Tell them I've had a wonderful life.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein; 1889 – 1951)

 

The question of happiness - the flourishing life - of human beings, under the richly descriptive names of eudaimonia, eutychia, fortuna, beatitudo or Genuss, Freude, Glück, is a fundamental philosophical question.
After a long banishment from discourse, reflections on the good, successful or happy life are experiencing a renaissance today. In ancient times, only those who lived rightly and virtuously were considered happy, so there was an approximation between happiness and virtue. In contrast to such a "fulfillment happiness" linked to a preferred way of life, "happiness" in modern times was reduced to either the possession of external goods (wealth, power) or an internal "sensation happiness" (sensual sensation of pleasure).
In addition to the presentation of these philosophical-historical contexts, the following core systematic questions are central:
- Difference between happiness_having (eutychia) and being_happy (eudaimonia).
- Happiness as the highest goal or accompanying phenomenon of a certain life process
- Happiness as successful realization of desires, goals or life plans
- Relations between the concepts of "good life", "happiness", "meaning", "self-realization", "ethics" and "politics".
The seminar will clarify and elaborate basic conceptual aspects based on very different philosophies of happiness. Despite the individuality of our experience of happiness and its variable conditions, what general statements can be made about the logic of a flourishing life.

Block seminar: Ein (notwendiger) Dreiklang von Ethik, Pädagogik und Ökonomie (A (necessary) triad of ethics, pedagogy and economics) 

At the beginning and during the longest period of economic thinking, the Aristotelian triad was valid: economics was understood as part of politics and political economy, understood in this way, was in turn understood as part of ethics. Pedagogy could not be excluded from this triad.
The previous economic and political science has always tried to define its central concepts and goals without pedagogy. This endeavor is diametrically opposed to responsible self-thinking and has, for example, made economics the most powerful ideology globally in the first place. The seminar pleads for a constant awareness of the manifold interweaving of ethics, politics and economics and then to let this awareness flow specifically into the current theory and practice discussion on questions of pedagogy. Because: Not only Aristotle lived in a political era, also our present time is one of political confrontation as well as of ethical and economic course setting. Therefore, even today, there is no need for a conscious demarcation between the above-mentioned triad and pedagogy, but rather for a productive confrontation with the contradictions and challenges that come to bear in this relationship.
 Through group discussions, we will develop a distinct ability for criticism, especially self-criticism. Seminar participants should recognize developmental tendencies - especially against the background of changing social realities and economic problems. The definition and determination of basic common terms and categories enables us to think about the necessary relationship of pedagogy to ethics, politics and economics and to argue critically.

Seminar: Aufklärung, Bildung und Herrschaft. Beiträge zur vergleichenden Pädagogik (Enlightenment, education and rule. Contributions to Comparative Pedagogy)

"Enlightenment, in the most comprehensive sense of progressive thought, has always had as its aim the removal of fear from men and the establishment of them as masters. But the fully enlightened earth shines in the sign of triumphant disaster." (Horkheimer/Adorno 1969: Dialectic of Enlightenment. p. 9)
Horkheimer and Adorno formulated these words in 1944, before the end of the war. But the disaster of which they write is not only the Second World War. For them, Enlightenment and barbarism are related not so much geographically, like National Socialism and German idealism, but in terms of content: "What people want to learn from nature is to apply it in order to fully dominate it and people." (ibid. p. 10) In hardly any other discipline is the problem of this connection more evident than in pedagogy. The Enlightenment claim, formulated in a particularly relevant way by Kant, attempts to push everything animal-like back into the animal kingdom. Pedagogy, which refers to a corresponding image of man, tries, under the banner of reason and dignity, to eradicate all needs and urges from the child to be educated - sometimes in a cruel way.
In order to be able to master new challenges in times of profound national and international processes of social change, critical reflection on the history of comparative pedagogy is a necessary prerequisite. In addition to texts by Kant and Horkheimer/Adorno, we will examine in the seminar the connection between enlightenment and domination by means of the following authors, among others:
- Alice Miller and Katharina Rutschky examine "Black Pedagogy" in their texts, i.e. educational theories before National Socialism, some of which explicitly refer to Enlightenment writings.
- Caroline Sommerfeld-Lethen wrote her highly acclaimed dissertation on Kant's ethics on the one hand and now belongs to the far-right Identitarian movement, for which she has written a "fundamental" educational guidebook.
- Paulo Freire is the author of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" and thus the founder of "liberation pedagogy". In it, with reference to colonization contexts, he formulates the thesis that education serves primarily for social control, rather than for the promotion of maturity and self-determination. 

Audio sample

You would like to listen to my podcasts? Clicking on the buttons below will take you to my Soundcloud account! Here are two podcasts available for the lecture series "Classics in Education".  (German only)

Summer semester 2021

Lecture: Jaspers` Achsenzeit - Eine Reise durch die Geschichte der Pädagogik (Jaspers` Achsenzeit - A Journey through the History of Pedagogy)

In contemporary historical educational research, the study of antiquity and the Middle Ages occupies a marginal position. This rather reserved research interest is related to the fact that the specialized literature of educational science has its origins primarily in the 17th and 18th centuries.
This should not lead us to the erroneous conclusion that there are no points of contact between modern and pre-modern educational history. It is precisely in pedagogy that modernity preserves traditions of the pre-modern world and reworks them in a new form. This makes it necessary to seek out the precursors of modern educational practices and ideas in order to recognize their original meaning and historical form.
In this lecture we will become acquainted with worlds of life and thought from antiquity to the Middle Ages and focus on stories of impact.
We will be guided by Karl Jasper's assumption (Vom Ursprung und Ziel der Geschichte, 1949) that there are definable periods in human history in which basic categories of thought and mindset emerged simultaneously.

Lecture: Pädagogik - (k)eine Wissenschaft? Repetitorium zu Grundfragen der Pädagogik (Pedagogy - (not) a science? Repetitorium on basic questions of pedagogy)

The life-world phenomenon of "pedagogy" is probably as old as humanity itself. Humans are not only learners, but they are also able to pass on learned knowledge in a special way. These abilities explain the prominent position of humans compared to other living beings.
Pedagogy as a science is a rather young discipline. If we look at its development over the past 400 years, we can see that it has always strived for independence and differentiation from other disciplines. For a long time, pedagogical questions were regarded as a sub-discipline of philosophy and theology. In contrast, today empirical sciences such as neuroscience and psychology are also trying to clarify how learning and human development work through experimental research.
But how can pedagogy today be understood as a science guided by educational ideals and their principles?
Committed to these basic ideas, we travel through the history of pedagogy. A profound understanding of this history helps us to understand the current reality of education in the context of the humanities.

Seminar: Kritische Pädagogik und ihre Theorie (Critical pedagogy and its theory)

"It was barbarism against which all education goes. One speaks of the threatening relapse into barbarism. But it is not threatening, but Auschwitz was it; barbarism persists as long as the conditions that brought about that relapse essentially continue. That is the whole horror." - Theodor W. Adorno: Education after Auschwitz
The conditions that made Auschwitz possible were economic and political as well as social and individually psychological. In the seminar we want to focus on the individually psychological ones. For "the fact that there are people who at the bottom, precisely as servants, do that by which they perpetuate their own servitude and degrade themselves [...], against this a little can be done by education and enlightenment." (ibid.) Text passages from the transcripts of the Nuremberg trials, which provide insights into the deeds and psyche of the perpetrators, will help to make the incomprehensible scale of what happened more tangible. With Sigmund Freud's mass psychology and ego analysis and Alice Miller's In the Beginning was Education, the inexplicable is confronted with initial attempts at explanation.
In the further course of the seminar we will deal with approaches that try to rethink pedagogy and psychology under these auspices. We will read texts by Theodor Adorno, Klaus Holzkamp and Ute Osterkamp, Frigga Haug and news from the journal Pädagogische Korrespondenz, which is committed to the tradition of critical theory. If necessary, we will come to texts by Paulo Freire and Erica Burman, or by authors brought in by participants of the seminar. 

Seminar: Freundschaft eine ethische Notwendigkeit (Friendship an ethical necessity)

"Friendship in the first and proper sense is friendship between good people [...]" Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics; 1157a 30 
 
In Aristotle as well as in other great thinkers, friendship plays a prominent role in ethics. In Aristotle's case, it is hard to miss; about one-fifth of his major ethical work deals with it. Friendship, we know, is desirable for every human being and friendship is somehow necessary for human life. Friendship, we think, is something self-evident, something natural and without any ethical clarification. But how does it look if we think of the case of bad company that can spoil a good person. At this point ethical considerations intervene; for there seem to be good and bad friends - or not? What is a good friend and what is a bad one? What role does friendship have in the good life, do I still need friends? How can another person be valuable without serving only as an instrument for one's own happiness (contrast pair egoism/altruism)? And finally the question of all questions: What distinguishes friendship from love?
Our today's, modern concept of friendship, is rather limited to the private, connected with our thinking that friendship in the public-political area only causes mischief. In our seminar we want to rethink friendship (not only politically!). We will read and present reflections and theories on friendship and discuss them together.      

Colloquium: Theoretical work - BA/MA Colloquium       

Winter semester 2020/2021

Would you like to listen to a podcast? Under this section you can listen to a selection of podcasts of the lecture "Jaspers' Achsenzeit"!
(German only).

Lecture: Jaspers` Achsenzeit - Eine Reise durch die Geschichte der Pädagogik (Jaspers` Achsenzeit - A Journey through the History of Pedagogy)

See summer semester 2021.

Lecture: Pädagogik - (k)eine Wissenschaft? Repetitorium zu Grundfragen der Pädagogik (Pedagogy - (not) a science? Repetitorium on basic questions of pedagogy)

See summer semester 2021.

Seminar: Philosophisches "Nach-Denken" über die Seele (psyche) (Philosophical "thinking" about the soul (psyche)

Hardly any other topic has been discussed so intensively in the last decades as the "body-soul problem". In order to understand man in his complexity, concrete answers are needed to the question of the relationship between body (animate body, especially brain) and soul (spirit, consciousness).
The essence of the human being is the spiritual and this cannot be attached to the body or matter alone. We do not experience ourselves alone as a material body, surrounded by other material bodies, but we experience ourselves above all as spiritual beings. As people who think, who have feelings and, who have consciousness. The soul, which animates the body, belongs to the principle of life, it "embodies" the striving for life. So, let's explore the question: What is the soul?
As a start we will deal with the book: The digital soul - Becoming immortal in the age of artificial intelligence (Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block), and reflect on the contents with the help of philosophy. Since ancient times, philosophy has made it its task to track down, interpret and understand the essence of the human soul. 

Seminar: Mythen - Denken im Namen der Kultur (Myths - thinking in the name of culture)

"That is why the friend of myths (μῦθος) is also in a certain way a pedagogue*, because myth contains wonderful things." 
Dozens of works on mythology appear every year. Film and television make use of many themes from ancient culture and turn them into frame plots of their scripts. The cultural dimension of myths becomes clear as soon as we realize how often we deal in everyday life with images, metaphors or concepts borrowed from myths. Mythology is not the work of a single author. There is not "one" book. There is no canonical or sacred text. We are dealing with a wide variety of stories written by storytellers, philosophers, poets, and perhaps educators. 
In the course of the seminar we will work out the hidden wisdom teachings of the myths. The should show us that myths are indispensable part of our culture. 
*Philosopher has been replaced by pedagogue - (Aristotle, Metaphysics 982b 18, 19)

Colloquium: Theoretical work - BA/MA Colloquium

Audio sample

You would like to listen to my podcasts? Clicking on the buttons below will take you to my Soundcloud account! Here are two podcasts available for the lecture series "Jaspers' Achsenzeit".  (German only)

Summer semester 2020

Lecture: Schön und gut - kalos kai agathos! Bildungsideale, Strukturen und Verortungen antiker und mittelalterlicher Pädagogik (Beautiful and good - kalos kai agathos! Educational Ideals, Structures and Localizations of Ancient and Medieval Pedagogy)

If pedagogy wants to do justice to its self-image associated with the idea of education and to its social task, it is important to bear in mind that education implies more than simply looking at facets of the levels of education: Rather, education requires becoming aware of the roots and structures of one's own patterns of thought and action and being able to view larger contexts from broader horizons. Knowing how and why one thinks the way one does, how and why one acts the way one does, i.e., thinking historically, is also essential to being able to encounter other cultures adequately. Only when one's own glasses are taken off, i.e. when one has become aware of one's own ethnocentrism, is it possible to perceive the other in his otherness and not merely to absolutize one's own. In the lecture, in which the worlds of life and thought of antiquity and the Middle Ages together with their impact histories extending to the present day are in the foreground, it should be made clear through the consideration of the roots and structures of one's own patterns of thought and action that historical learning is per se multi-perspective and interdisciplinary and aims at recognizing and acknowledging difference and diversity in living conditions and value concepts.

Lecture: Der Mensch Zweck oder Mittel? Grundlagen, Ansätze und Problemfelder pädagogischen Denkens in der Neuzeit (The human being: end or means? Foundations, Approaches and Problem Areas of Pedagogical Thought in the Modern Era)

If pedagogy wants to do justice to the fact that the question of education is always connected with it, it is important to consider that it must not be looked at according to aspects of usefulness, but according to what is simply meaning in itself.
Education implies being able to question supposed certainties. This requires, however, to keep one's own perspective in mind and to become aware of and reflect on the structures and roots of one's own patterns of thought and action from a broader horizon, i.e.: to think historically. We can approach historical educational research in a historical or theoretical setting. The first attitude is devoted to carefully recording and reproducing the teachings, schools, and directions that have been handed down. The question here is what each educator has taught. The second attitude examines each teaching for its truth and falsity in comparison with others. The question here is whether their arguments, their problem definitions and solutions lead to true knowledge. The two attitudes are not opposed to each other but complement each other. The theoretical evaluation of any doctrine presupposes that we have studied it historically and absorbed it correctly.
Committed to this basic idea, the lecture explores the question of how cultural, social, political and religious ideas have influenced people's lives and thinking in the period from the Renaissance to the present day, and what approaches, but also problems, have developed in the pedagogical context.

Seminar: Liebe-pädagogische Implikationen einer philosophischen Grundfrage (Love-pedagogical implications of a basic philosophical question)

To love and to be loved belongs to the basic features of human vitality! It is love which binds man to the community, to the cosmos and to the gods. It can embrace the like-minded as well as the enemies. It is able to direct the view away from the own to the other person, but also to the wisdom or to God.
In everyday language there is a multitude of meanings and contexts of the term love, which show the various references of this phenomenon to topics of philosophy, pedagogy, theology and anthropology. The complex theme of love is a basic motif of human existence, but it is also the bearer of conflict in human life. Its treatment allows an almost unlimited number of associations and contrasts. The arc of our seminar therefore spans three of its modes of execution and their aspects:
From Eros as the sensual desire and being caught in the sensual, often narrowed to self-centeredness, the errors and confusions, entanglements and conflicts, further over friendship (Philia) and its ethical content, up to Agape, the draft of an ideal, which is able to give human life a supporting and fulfilling meaning.
This seminar will therefore give an introduction to the philosophical treatment of the phenomenon of love on the basis of selected topics.

Colloquium: BA/MA Colloquium 

Winter semester 2019/2020

Lecture: Schön und gut - kalos kai agathos! Bildungsideale, Strukturen und Verortungen antiker und mittelalterlicher Pädagogik (Beautiful and good - kalos kai agathos! Educational Ideals, Structures and Localizations of Ancient and Medieval Pedagogy)

See summer semester 2020.

Lecture: Der Mensch Zweck oder Mittel? Grundlagen, Ansätze und Problemfelder pädagogischen Denkens in der Neuzeit (The human being: end or means? Foundations, Approaches and Problem Areas of Pedagogical Thought in the Modern Era)

See summer semester 2020.

Block seminar: In VERONA vor Ort: Interkulturelle Pädagogik und ihre philosophischen Wurzeln (In VERONA: Intercultural Pedagogy and its Philosophical Roots)

VERONA, rich in splendid examples of architecture from antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modernity, has a unique atmosphere that combines the rhythm of life of the people with millennial traditions. Education has undergone a corresponding development in all European societies, and Verona is no exception. Within the framework of intercultural pedagogy and educational research, we gain knowledge about the history of education and its pedagogical-philosophical roots. We think through the inner connection of ethics, pedagogy and politics as sub-disciplines of a practical philosophy.
On site, the participants give a presentation on a topic of practical philosophy proposed by us. This is followed by a discussion of two to three guiding questions. Afterwards, we listen to a literary text that makes us see the place anew, both in its past and in its present.

Seminar: Gut und Böse. Pädagogische Implikationen (Good and Evil. Pedagogical implications )

The educational goal of maturity presupposes that people are able to distinguish between good and evil and to act accordingly. But does man have this freedom? Can we assume that people are "responsible" for their actions? To explore these questions as far as possible, we try to look at good and evil in the mythological, psychological, biological, sociological, philosophical, and theological context of meaning. The ethical question of responsibility may thereby lead to the metaphysical question of the origin of evil. In the process, we may come to the conclusion in our discussions that "the riddle of man eludes scientific solutions. And yet these proposed solutions are not superfluous, for they lead into the riddle." (Annemarie Pieper 2008, p. 121).

Colloquium: Theoretical work - BA/MA Colloquium

Impressions from Verona

Summer semester 2019

Seminar: Zeit und Ewigkeit- pädagogische Implikationen einer philosophischen Grundfrage (Time and Eternity - Pedagogical Implications of a Basic Philosophical Question) 

"So what is time? If no one asks me, I know. But if I want to explain it to someone who asks me, I don't know" (Augustine). Time is mostly only the unconscious background of our life activities. Something that takes place in time captures our attention, but not time itself. Yet it can emerge as a phenomenon itself and become the object of reflection of adults, but also of children and young people. Then we quickly realize: it is not a "sun-clear self-evidence" (Heidegger). We can grasp it only in dialectical terms: 
- Is time endless or finite? 
- Is it cyclical or linear? 
- Do we experience it or do we imagine it? 
- Is it objective or subjective? 
- Does it pass or does it come into being? 
- (Can anything be done about the unchanging past?). 
- Can the temporal man recognize eternity? 
In this seminar, we will use philosophical and literary texts to individually search for traces of our temporality. We will also reflect on how children and young people experience and understand their time. Suggestions for teaching time and eternity will be made. 

Block seminar: In FLORENZ vor Ort: Geschichte neu gesehen-pädagogische Implikationen (In FLORENCE: history seen anew-pedagogical implications)

Together, we will visit places in FLORENCE that are steeped in pedagogical history. There the participants give a presentation (no more than two DIN-A-4 pages) on a topic of historical pedagogy proposed by us. There will be a brief discussion on two to three guiding questions. Afterwards we listen to a literary text that makes us see the place anew both in its past and in its present (there is a short discussion about it).

Seminar: Die praktische Philosophie und die pädagogische Praxis des Aristoteles. Grundzüge der Nikomachischen Ethik (Aristotle's practical philosophy and educational practice. Main features of the Nicomachean Ethics)

The Nicomachean Ethics does not develop an ethics of duty, ought or utility. It does not start from the question of what we should do, but focuses on what we strive for. According to Aristotle, the fundamental goal of all human beings is eudaimonia, a successful life. For him, the primary means of achieving this goal are the virtues, complex rational, emotional and social skills. These form the human being, give him room for self-shaping and self-development, they control his actions and thinking.

Using the Nicomachean Ethics, one of the most important works in the history of philosophy, we will trace in the seminar what exactly the good life consists of, what the virtues are and how they enable us - through education and formation - to live well. The focus will therefore be on the determinations of human happiness (eudaimonia), the conception of ethical traits (virtues), and the notions of choice and practical reason.

Colloquium: Theoretical work - BA/MA colloquium 

Impressions from Florenz