History of Education and Social Research  

History of education and social research work on issues of relevance to pedagogy and education on the basis of historical sources and a repertoire of methods taken from historical and social research. This includes discourse analysis, source critique and interpretation, oral history and biographic research. The focus in Innsbruck lies on childhood history and historical research on adolescence. In particular, we are currently working on the institutional history of extra-family pedagogical forms (residential child care and boarding school history) and on the transformation of welfare regimes. A second focus on site is the history of science. Here we mainly address the bio-socio-medical forms of knowledge formation, the medico-pedagogical field in its diverse applications and the normative connections to parts of present-day (social)pedagogy. The goal of the works is to make a sociology of science-praxeology contribution to the analysis of the structural transformation of the subject.

Ulrich Leitner and Michaela Ralser

Our Projects

  • International D-A-CH Lead Agency Project (FWF): Negotiating Educational Spaces in Residential Care 1970 - 1990. An Interdisciplinary Comparison of Transformation Processes in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Information at:
  • Habilitation project: Der Raum des Internats. Eine bildungshistorische Studie zur katholischen Anstaltserziehung am Beispiel der bischöflichen Knabenseminare in Tirol (The boarding school space. An educational history study of education at Catholic institutions based on the example of the minor seminaries in Tyrol). Information at: http://www.uibk.ac.at/iezw/internatsforschung/ 
  • In the past years, research was undertaken on the structural and social history of the large institutions of public residential child care education under the headings “Regime of care” and “Medicalised childhoods”: https://www.uibk.ac.at/iezw/heimgeschichteforschung/ 
  • Closely associated to this discussion is the research on early child psychiatry and healing pedagogy: in the form of the so-called Kinderbeobachtungsstationen (child observation stations) in Second Republic Austria. At the centre are the genealogy and epistemology of healing and orphanage pedagogy, amongst others. Information at:
    https://www.uibk.ac.at/iezw/forschungen-zur-kinderbeobachtungsstation/ as well as at: http://www.psychiatrische-landschaften.net/ 


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