Knowledge in Transition

This department researches knowledge presented in textbooks as an indicator and factor of social change. Textbooks and other educational media are a central instrument through which societies attempt to pass what they consider to be relevant knowledge on to future generations.

What is considered to be relevant scholastic knowledge when examining social change in various regions of the world? What do textbooks say about social pluralisation, political upheaval, religion or climate change? The department analyses the knowledge depicted in - or omitted from - educational media regarding the constancy or disruption of the social order when viewed in historical and international comparison.

What are the processes of negotiation, agreement and possibly dispute behind this knowledge, and who is involved? The department investigates how the knowledge presented in educational media is produced and appropriated in the context of the economy, the state and education policy. It focusses on the societal negotiation processes behind the production and application of the knowledge that is included in textbooks and the interactions between curriculum designers, publishers, authors, social interest groups and the pupils themselves. The department explores how knowledge systems change and are moulded to meet different requirements and expectations. The researchers draw on academic debates from many disciplines and, in turn, contribute to those discussions.