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Division of General Education

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Inka Bormann

Habelschwerdter Allee 45
Room JK 24/232
14195 Berlin
Mark Stefan

The Division of General Education deals with questions concerning how people relate to their environment and how these relationships are shaped from the perspective of the study of education. Subjects of inquiry include forms of knowledge regarding education and its production, alongside the processes involved in dissemination and forms of inclusion and exclusion of knowledge, topics, and players within the education system. Our goal is to achieve a systematic understanding of how expectations related to education, the performance capacity of the education system and its institutions, and the forms, production, and legitimation of knowledge change. At the Division of General Education, we reflect on these processes in a systematic manner, for example with respect to

  • innovative education concepts and understandings of education and their implementation (education concepts and understandings of education),
  • the knowledge regarding education that is considered to be relevant and institutionalized as well as the inclusion and involvement of new players (players, topics, and forms of knowledge in the field of education) and
  • management approaches in the field of education and their possible side effects (shaping the environment / social shifts).

In these activities, we consider processes involved in social shifts, such as those that become apparent in new configurations of private and government players in the education system. We also consider how this kind of shift is shaped and institutionalized within the education system, for example through education reforms, introduction of new management tools, education concepts such as those related to education for sustainable development or the relationship between parents and education institutions. These processes play out at the system and organizational level as well as the interaction level, and they are interrelated with understandings of education as such and what is expected of education institutions.

Depending on the line of inquiry, our research relies on a broad spectrum of data collection and data analysis methods. We work with methods of reconstructive social research, especially the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse and the Documentary Method, with various types of computer-assisted content analysis, and with univariate and multivariate descriptive and statistical methods of data analysis. In the process, we reflect on the avenue that has been chosen in each case to address the subject in terms of its theoretical and methodological implications.

In our teaching activities in the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs (programs in education and teaching credential programs), we focus on teaching students more about basic terms and about theories and methods used in thinking and research from the perspective of the study of education. Our goal is to help ensure that students can take a reflective approach to requirements and changes in future fields of activity and roles. To this end, we deal with current topics from the field of education, such as issues of trust, social inequality, education partnerships, and forms of new management within the education system.