Head of the group: Dr. Miriam Samet
An invitation to participate in a research group
Jews, Innovative Education, and Nation Building: An Israeli Perspective on the German-speaking Sphere during the Late Modern Period
The late modern period brought with it the promise of a new type of education. A number of factors combined to induce thinking about the behavior patterns of young children and adolescents. Among these were the philosophical occupation with the cognition of the human brain; the establishment of psychology and the scientific study of mental development; the growing acceptance of the idea of civil equality; and the development of the nation state, all of which gave rise to ideologies and to practical suggestions for implementing them. Historically and in essence, the discourse and practice of education became one of the features of modernity. This trend did not bypass the Jewish world and the changes it demanded generated intra-communal and supra-communal initiatives designed to transform the nature of traditional education. Within these processes, we may turn our gaze toward the German-speaking sphere, which over the past 250 years has become the center of development of pedagogic ideas, teaching methods, and the institutionalization of the civil education system, and whose influence has spread far beyond its geographical boundaries.
The research group will address the importance of the German-speaking sphere to the history of education in general and to Jewish and Israeli education in particular. It will focus on trans-national aspects, local history, transfer of knowledge and its agents, the establishment of the professions, and the creation of professional and other networks and the links between their members. In its examination of these areas the group will bear in mind the methodology of Entangled Histories, which is nowadays a central element within the sub-discipline of the history of education. The perspective and the analysis which the entangled histories approach proposes seek to rise above the nation state mold that has dictated historiography over may decades, while taking note of all the contexts of nation building processes and revealing the hybrid nature of the creation of national institutions themselves.
We hereby invite both scholars and research students working on the German-speaking sphere from the beginning of the modern era to the present day, worldwide or in Israel, whose areas of research touch on issues of education, higher education, knowledge transfer, pedagogy and nation building, or processes of institutionalization (and change) in civil education systems to apply to participate in the group. The group meetings will be devoted to methodological discussions and to sharing participants’ research. Guest speakers will be invited with a view to acquainting the Hebrew-speaking research community more deeply with current work on the history of education and its links to the German-speaking sphere, and to work on a joint publication with them to be completed upon conclusion of the meetings. The group will meet once a month over a period of nine months, via Zoom, on Wednesdays at 9:30 am, beginning on November 25.
Postgraduate and doctoral students who participate regularly in the group will receive a token stipend from the Leo Baeck Institute.
If you wish to participate in the group, please submit a description of your research and a brief biography, no more than two pages in length, to: firstname.lastname@example.org