Critical Education Research

The working group takes as its starting point a threefold critique: a critique of the current transformation of the education system, which preaches inclusion and practices selection, celebrates excellence and spreads uniformity; of the dominance of an evidence-based empirical education research, whose investigation of social reality leads to its effective normalization; and finally a critique of the rhetoric of a permanent educational crisis, which skillfully combines justified criticism of the commercialization of education and culture with the assertion of traditional privileges.

With this background, the working group analyzes and criticizes developments in the fields of education policy and education research in the national, transnational and international context after 1945, with a particular focus on the current structural dynamics of both fields. The working group examines these developments from a social-theoretical perspective, which ties in with IfS research and also includes various disciplines and research approaches from the social sciences and humanities. The theoretical and methodological approach of the working group focuses both on the subjective (psychological, affective, aesthetic, cognitive) and objective (institutional, economic, political, social) conditions of transformations as well as on their ideological legitimizations and epistemic forms of justification.

The working group understands itself as an open forum in which critical educational analyses and research can be publicly discussed. The working group consists of both IfS staff members and external participants. A colloquium (hybrid) takes place four times a year, in which the conception and results of research projects on critical education research as well as theoretical contributions on bildung, education and socialization are presented and discussed.

Alongside the Institute for Social Research, the working group is organized in its founding constellation by members of the Institute for Educational Science at the University of Wuppertal and the “Critical Education Research” network (Goethe-University Frankfurt, University of Mainz).

We look forward to the participation of further people interested!

Ricarda Biemüller (

Rita Casale (

Christina Engelmann (

Laura Hanemann (