'Pedagogical'. Emergence, imposition, variance and transformation of a modern conceptual field (German states, approx. 1750-1850)


The project focuses on the emergence, spread, variations and transformation of a particular conceptual field, which is organized by the adjective “pedagogical” (including its negations, comparisons and composites) in the German-speaking world during the ‘bridge time’. i.e. during the breakthrough of modern concepts (ca. 1750-1850). Two preliminary findings substantiate the direction of the application. First, this central adjective for the fields of education emerged in German only in the course of the 18th century. Second, from the very beginning, there was an ambivalent use of this conceptual field. On the one hand, it was employed as a relational adjective implying “belonging to pedagogy”. On the other hand, it was used as a qualifying adjective describing a substantial trait of a phenomenon, like in the expression “pedagogical relationships”. In view of the historicity and variations of this central conceptual field, the project investigates the temporality, meanings and their differentiation as well as the upsurge of this conceptual field in the early phase of the formation of a disciplinary language for education. Particularly, the project focuses on the differing intensity and varying meanings of its use in texts for elementary and higher school teachers. The consolidation of this conceptual field will be analysed from the perspective of conceptual history based on a wide range of encyclopaedias, journals and books published for these different segments of the educational field. Conceptual histories have thus far focused on the analysis of nouns and their use. This project, however, looks for a conceptual field shaped by a group of adjectives. In this sense, the proposal aims at analysing the use of style-forming adjectives during the consolidation of distinct disciplinary languages. Finally, the project’s methodology adopts suggestions from the digital humanities in dealing with a large number of printed materials.


Principal Investigators
Caruso, Marcelo Prof. Dr. (Details) (History of Education)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Duration of Project
Start date: 03/2018
End date: 09/2021

Research Areas
Educational Research, History

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:44