History and Organisation of the Department of Education


The Department of Education or Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft is one of two departments (the other being the Department of Psychosocial Intervention and Communication Studies or Institut für Psychosoziale Intervention und Kommunikations­forschung) constituting the Faculty of Educational Sciences. Its history stretches back 60 years.

The Department was founded in 1959, then named the “Pedagogical Institute” after it had been spun off from the "Philosophical-Pedagogical Seminar" of the University of Innsbruck where courses on pedagogical and educational subjects were held in the framework of philosophy and theology. However, the very first lecture at the University of Innsbruck on questions of education under the title "Erziehungskunde" (Pedagogical Studies) dates from the winter term of 1806/07.

The foundation of the “Pedagogical Institute” lead to the constitution and consolidation of Educational Sciences at the University of Innsbruck as an independent academic field dealing with theories, practices and social conditions of education as well as with the scientific analysis of educational realities in various pedagogical fields of action. In 1963, the department was renamed the “Department of Education”.

Initially, the Department belonged to the "Faculty of Humanities" of the University of Innsbruck. In 2004, it became part of the newly founded "Faculty of Educational Sciences", which also included today's "Department for Psychosocial Intervention and Communication Studies" as well as the "Department for Teacher Education and School Research”. The present structure of the Faculty for Educational Science with two departments was created in 2012 when the Department for Teacher Education and School Research was moved to the newly founded “Faculty for Teacher Education”. As part of the reorganisation processes of the faculties, the Department of Education also underwent a process of reorganisation and definition of its subject matter. Today it is organized into six teaching and research areas and deals with fundamental theoretical and methodological questions of the field in recursive specialist dialogues between the educational sub-disciplines and areas of specialisation of general educational sciences, migration pedagogy and cultural diversity, historical and empirical research on education, inclusive education, political education, family research and pedagogy, and childhood, youth, and gender studies.


The six Teaching and Research Areas at the Department



Contribution to the Degree Programmes


The Department of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Psychosocial Intervention and Communication Studies, manages the bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and PhD programmes in Educational Sciences, offered at the Faculty for Educational Sciences.

In the bachelor’s degree programme, the Department is responsible for teaching and syllabi in the modules introducing the history, basic terms, central issues and theories of Educational Sciences and the modules dealing with theories of life-long learning and learning in institutions, social and historical changes in life courses, gender studies, inclusive education, migration pedagogy and cultural diversity. In the master’s degree programme, the Department’s staff are on the one hand responsible for the mandatory modules covering the history, the central issues, theory and methods of Educational Sciences as well as subject and social theories. On the other hand, they are in charge of the elective modules on issues of inequality and inclusion in education, childhood and family studies, body issues in education and culture, the relationship between migration and education, and issues of intergenerational relations and youth studies. Furthermore, the staff of the Department take turns participating in the modules of the PhD degree programme.

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