Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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Research Prof Dr Jörg Dinkelaker

Titel: Promotionskolleg "Vermittlung und Übersetzung im Wandel - Relationale Praktiken der Differenzbearbeitung angesichts neuer Grenzen der Teilhabe an Wissen und Arbeit" an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Laufzeit: 01.10.2019 bis 31.10.2022)

Gegenstand des Promotionskollegs sind veränderte Konstellationen und Praktiken der Vermittlung und Übersetzung angesichts der fortschreitenden Digitalisierung, Automatisierung und Globalisierung von Arbeitszusammenhängen. Vermittlung und Übersetzung werden dabei als zwei Modi des Umgangs mit Grenzen der Teilhabe in den Blick genommen und in transdisziplinärer Ausrichtung (Erziehungswissenschaft, Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Linguistik und Soziologie) im Kontext gesellschaftlichen Wandels empirisch untersucht. Im Horizont relationaler Vermittlungs- und Übersetzungsbegriffe wird nach Herausforderungen, Gelingensbedingungen und Grenzen der Ermöglichung von Teilhabe gefragt.

Weitere Informationen

Doing Life course in Educational Practices: Variations of referencing to life courses in adult education events (Duration: 01.01.2017 to 30.09.2018)

In this project we scrutinise the situated, collaborative generation of life course narratives in the context of adult education classes. By means of this empirical analysis we aim to develop a multi-level theoretical model of the social organisation of educational events. Our particular interest resides in identifying the ways in which adult education emerges via the entanglement of changing societal regimes as they determine and prescribe the life course and the specific, individual lives of the participants as they are narrated.


The history of adult education as reflected in the empirical analysis of prospectuses (Duration: since 01.10.2017)

In this project we trace the development of adult education in the former East German states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt before and after the caesura of 1989 by means of an analysis of prospectuses (“Programme” and “Arbeitspläne”) issued by adult education centres (Volkshochschulen). Our chief source for the analysis of transformations from 1947 onwards is the online archive of the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE). We use prospectuses held by local archives in the region to trace the dynamics of institutionalisation in the period between 1919 and 1933.


  • Ebner von Eschenbach, M./Dinkelaker, J. (2020): Der Wandel im Anbieter-Adressat_innen-verhältnis an der Volkshochschule Halle im Jahr 1921 analysiert anhand der Umschlagseiten ihrer Arbeitspläne. In: Dörner, O./Dinkelaker, J./Grotlüschen, A./Käpplinger, B./Molzberger, G. (2020): Vergangene Zukünfte – Neue Vergangenheiten. Geschichte und Geschichtlichkeit der Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der Jahrestagung der Sektion Erwachsenenbildung der DGfE 2019. Opladen: Barbara Budrich.
  • Ebner von Eschenbach, M. & Dinkelaker, J. (2019). Arbeitspläne als Quellen zur Geschichte der Volkshochschulen in der Weimarer Republik. SPURENSUCHE. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Erwachsenenbildung und Wissenschaftspopularisierung 28, 77-89.

Participating in adult education: Processing relations between biography and culture in adult education events (Duration: 01.01.2010 to 15.06.2016)

This video-based study is centred on the comparative analysis of trajectories of participation in selected adult education classes and courses. The careful reconstruction of different ways of becoming, being and remaining involved in educational interaction leads to a theoretical reconsideration of how we might understand “participating” in educational settings. The research shows that participation is a form of social doing accomplished in interactive sequences of collaborative coordination and cannot be adequately conceived of as a merely individual phenomenon.


  • Dinkelaker, J. (2017): Reversible Selektivität. Zur videobasierten Rekonstruktion pädagogischer Interaktionen. In: Heinrich, M./Wernet, A. (Hrsg.): Rekonstruktive Bildungsforschung – Zugänge und Methoden. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 141-158.
  • Dinkelaker, J. (2017). Aufmerksamkeit in pädagogischen Situationen    Handbuch Schweigendes Wissen: Erziehung, Bildung, Sozialisation und Lernen - Weinheim: Beltz Juventa, S. 380-391.
  • Dinkelaker, J. (2016): Aufmerksamkeit als Kategorie einer Empirie pädagogischer Situationen. In: Meseth, W./Dinkelaker, J./Dörner, O./Kunze, K./Neumann, S./Rabenstein, K. (Hrsg.): Empirie des Pädagogischen und Empirie der Erziehungswissenschaft. Beobachtungen erziehungswissenschaftlicher Forschung. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt, S. 110-124.

Doctoral research projects

Stefan Bleses

Requirements and realities: Health promotion and pedagogical acts – the example of stress management interventions

Duration: 2016-2020

Supervisors: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Prof. Daniel Wrana (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

Employee absences due to mental health and behavioural conditions have more than doubled in the last decade. Employers are responding to this situation by initiating measures to promote workplace health as part of their occupational health management. However, cases of sick leave due to work-related mental health problems continue to increase.

This doctoral research project aims to explore, via the example of stress management schemes and interventions, the role of pedagogical acts in workplace health promotion programmes. The research pays particular attention to the conflict that arises betweenstatutory requirements and the day-to-day realities of workplace life.

I intend to generate new academic findings and knowledge by examining the as yet unstudied issue of work-related psychological stress and pedagogical approaches to the phenomenon via workplace-based interventions

Melanie Gabert

Title: Narration in andragogical educational contexts or storytelling in adult education: A study of stories and narratives used by adult educators in educational settings (working title)

Duration: 2018 - 2022

Supervisors: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Prof. Michael Müller (Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart)

This doctoral research project explores the didactic forms and functions manifested by the narratives adult educators use in the course of their work. It proceeds via the narrative analysis of data gathered using videography in a range of educational settings, taking account of didactic approaches in adult education. Alongside the content of the narrative and the observed form of its presentation, the research identifies the function or functions fulfilled by the narrative; put differently, it seeks to uncover, via an educator-focused narrative view of the material, the manifestation of didactical principles therein, taking a theoretically action-focused approach to this endeavour and proceeding from a pluralistic assumption as regards the principles potentially present. The narrative didactics of adult education whose generation is the object of this study will pursue the objective of theoretically undergirding the development of the field alongside producing recommendations from and for adult education practice on the basis of the empirically-derived premises to which the study will give rise.

Tina Helwig

Active involvement in social movements as an expression of civic education (working title)

Supervisor: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

The purpose most frequently ascribed to civic education is that of supporting people in accessing participation in the life of a society or of providing them with the knowledge they require in order to attain such participation. In some instances, the definition of civic education founds itself upon a desired objective, with societal participation as the ultimate and principal aim. These views of civic education generally place teaching and the associated didactic principles at front and centre, which may result in an increasing neglect of the circumstances in which learning takes place and of processes of knowledge appropriation. My doctoral research seeks to change the view, proceeding from the assumption that social movements act as spaces within which people effect a civic education that manifests in individuals’ active involvement in and commitment to the cause, without the overt application of pedagogy.

I draw on grounded theory for the systematic analysis of the qualitative data that underlie the study, both to enable the inclusion of the various types of data material available and to ensure the openness to the process and its outcome that we require in order to identify the presence of civic education outside conventional educational settings.

René Hornung

Title: Academia constructing interrelationships between pedagogical and police discourses (1970s-present)? Academic communication about pedagogy on the boundary between pedagogical and police communication: a view from systems theory (working title)

Duration: 2013-2020

Supervisor: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

Referencing the theoretical debate around the increasing overspill of pedagogical discourse in education studies, this thesis seeks to gain a more accurate picture of this phenomenon as it is currently in evidence across modern society and formulate the resulting implications for the academic study and practice of education. To this end, it attempts a nuanced construction of the relationship between pedagogical communication and communication taking place in other arenas, examining that relationship via the example of the police - a context of which the observation of pedagogical practices is aware, but of which research in this area has thus far neglected to provide a precise picture. The thesis therefore explores the construction in academic research of interrelationships between pedagogical and police discourses at the boundaries between the two types of communication, taking a historical, systems-based and empirical approach to the question. The fundamental theoretical concept undergirding the study’s qualitative research design, drawing on systems theory as proposed by Niklas Luhmann, reconstructs selected examples of academic text via methods adapted for the purpose.

Johanna Leicht

Title: The multimodal constitution and transformation of a lesson`s topic (working title)

Supervisors: Prof. Maria Hallitzky (Leipzig University), Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

In relation to the school classroom, both general didactics and the specialist didactics of the various school subjects seek to identify the content via which teachers and learners work towards a specifically communicated, intended learning output. Research has yet to establish how, and in which form, this content arises as the topic of a lesson as delivered and emerging in day-to-day classroom interaction. My research represents an attempt to fill this lacuna, approaching the question from the fundamental assumption that a ‘lesson topic’ in the classroom is not present a priori, but rather emerges in complex practices located between and among physical entities – bodies and objects. I thus conceive of a ‘lesson topic’ as a set of empirically reconstructed subjects of and from the social situation of the classroom, subjects which reference the content of teaching and learning as normatively defined in curricula. I will explore the modalities governing the emergence of such topics via the collection of video data in German lessons in year 10 and 11 classes and interaction analysis of the material, focusing on the multimodal nature of what takes place rather than its linguistic aspect alone. My ultimate objective is to describe, on the basis of this analysis, practices via which a lesson topic comes into being and undergoes transformations in the classroom.

Judith Mahnert

Title: Between a business head and a creative spirit: Observing subjectivations in entrepreneurs (working title)

Examiners: Prof. Christiane Thompson (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

My doctoral research project is dedicated to exploring, via theories of education, the routes people take to entrepreneurship, their performance of their roles as entrepreneurs, and the ways in which they manage, articulate and incorporate their self-employment and the launch of their business as facets of their relationships with their selves. The work takes an ethnographic approach via observation in various events, workshops and conferences with relevance to entrepreneurship, with the aim of identifying collective discourses and intercommunications around being an entrepreneur and particularly the individual and shared narratives that unfold in these discursive spaces. Focal themes emerging include success, modalities of entrepreneurship, and women as entrepreneurs. I propose that these observations are readable as self-directed adult learning processes and as documents contributing to an empirical science of the pedagogical.

Franziska Wyßuwa

Title: Talking about everything and nothing? What lifeworld-related statements and themes mean in teaching and learning interactions (working title)

This doctoral research project seeks to examine how CPD (continuing professional development) courses and events for education and pedagogical professionals relate to their participants’ lifeworlds. The subject of issues related to individuals’ lifeworlds and their occurrence in teaching and learning situations has appeared repeatedly on the agenda of educational conceptualisations and theoretical considerations in this area since the 1970s; the debate, however, has tended substantially in a prescriptive direction. This study, on the methodological basis of conversation analysis, intends to expose the ways in which CPD for education and pedagogical professionals may become an arena for ‘doing’ lifeworld orientation; it will proceed by reconstructing the practices, structural exigencies and communicative tasks concomitant to the real-world situation of talking about lifeworld matters in educational and pedagogical CPD.

The data corpus underlying the analysis comprises detailed CA transcriptions of audio-recorded CPD seminars for professionals in the fields of education and pedagogy (teachers, early years educators, youth/community workers), collected in three phases (2010, 2012, 2013). The data stem from seven one-day events variously lasting three to seven hours and one two-day course. I will conduct ethnomethodological conversation analysis on the data; proceeding first from the formal structures determining the interaction in each case, I will identify the interactional tasks underlying the communicative patterns in evidence and their contribution to the generation of knowledge.

The project’s central areas of interest are the ways in which CPD participants’ experiences and positionings become the subject of interaction and communication in the courses and events; the treatment of lifeworld-related experiences in these settings; and the consequences for conversational structures, the communicative tasks and problems that arise where interlocutors reference lifeworld-oriented themes.

Farina Wagner

Title: Processes of subjectivation in advisory services and settings around continuing education (working title)

Supervisors: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Prof. Daniel Wrana (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

My doctoral research, drawing on theories of subjectivation, analyses audio recordings of conversations within advisory settings around continuing education as processes of positioning.

In the context of the workplace, professional development and lifelong learning, advisory services on continuing education have the purpose of effecting change in clients’ relationships with their work by helping them make decisions coherent and contiguous with their lives to date. The relationships involved here are specific ones between the subject, the world of work, and that of education, co-generated in the situated dialogue between client and advisor, in the act of their speaking in and about positions towards, and in this context relationships with, their selves. The process of analysis seeks to identify the subject positions to which clients and advisors refer, which they explore and enter into negotiations around in their interaction; put differently, it attempts to pinpoint how specific advisory settings and encounters  around continuing education become the site of processes of subjectivation.

The thesis will analyse the character of the self-relationships thus observable as discursive events in process and subjects of negotiational interaction via an identification of subject positions and positionings. The empirical reconstruction thus enabled draws on the analysis of positionings within narrative analysis of ‘small stories’.

Habilitation research projects

Dr Malte Ebner von Eschenbach

Knowledge production practices in research on adult education: A genealogy of recursions, from the mid-niineteenth century to the turn of the millennium (working title)

Supervisor: Prof. Jörg Dinkelaker (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)

An established element of the academic discipline of adult education is the matter of how its collective knowledge has developed. At the latest, this sub-discipline of education studies had begun by its emergence in the 1950s, in the context of overarching education reform, to turn increasingly towards the systematic generation of insights for its store of specialist knowledge. This said, reflection on the emergence of these insights has been in progress for much longer, dating back to the beginnings of the Enlightenment or even earlier, and is in evidence in the broad range of discourses from philosophy, theology, sociology, education and other areas which, each in their specific context, explore the development of knowledge on adult education.

Research into adult education, whether it undergirds its findings by theoretical or empirical means, is certainly part of the furniture of adult education as an academic discipline. This notwithstanding, we remain, ‘due to the “young academic” age of adult education […] [without] a comprehensive history of the discipline’ (Ciupke et al. 2002, 25) which might, inter alia, examine ‘issues of the development of [the subject’s] theory prior to 1933’ (ibid.); matters are no better for the period after this date. The research memorandum from which these quotations are taken, on the state of historical research into adult education, and its associated summary of the present-day situation point to the existence of a research lacuna on adult education in terms of its academic historiography. Almost two decades after the memorandum’s publication, the essential accuracy of its findings stands, despite the appearance, in the intervening period, of introductions to the subject, textbooks and a handful of studies approaching adult education from a historical perspective.

It is against this backdrop that my research project will explore knowledge production practices in research on adult education in the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth, illuminating a variety of logical structures driving this production. It is not the intent of this work to create a chronological list of research into adult education to the end of retracing linear developments; instead, it will employ the method of historical epistemology to produce what I will term a genealogy of recursions structured by situations of epistemic rupture yet to be identified. Its point of departure in this context will be reflection on knowledge production practices, that is, the act of reconstructing processes of attaining, undergirding and revising insights in adult education and pedagogy, on the basis of the assumption that the rationales for validity proposed for each of these insights emerge within these practices of knowledge production themselves. Systematically centring these practices is one of the project’s strategies for providing a view on the processes via which academic knowledge production in this field occurs and takes shape.

The significance of historical epistemology to the research proposed here further relates to two substantial aspects of the work. First, I proceed from the assumption that the conditions within which an insight or specific knowledge becomes possible – or not – are contingent in nature, subject to historicity and contextuality; second, I assert that the development of specific academic disciplines and the accumulation of knowledge and insights within them do not proceed as linear evolution, but rather behave in a discontinuous, ‘revolutionary’ manner. The conception of academic ‘progress’ underlying this research therefore rejects the teleological model in favour of an identification of knowledge accumulation or development in liminal situations of transition or rupture between ‘paradigms’, ‘epistemes’, ‘styles’ or similar entities. I attempt to pinpoint, highlight and define such settings of epistemic rupture and relate them to one another genealogically, and in so doing make a decisive turn away from the concept of a chronological development of the field. In this spirit, the notion of a ‘genealogy of recursions’ transcends its originary remit of serving to historically reconstruct the development of research in adult education via casting light on and pinpointing ‘epistemic ruptures’, and proceeds to invent a history, in the sense of genealogy as critique, that writes the past with its back turned to the future (as in Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on Klee’s ‘Angelus Novus’). My intent is therefore for my project, in relation to practices of knowledge development, to contribute substantially to research on the basic principles of adult education as an academic discipline. In pointing to moments where an ‘epistemic chrysalis’ is shed, I simultaneously attempt to provide new impetus to both the historical dimension of academic work on adult education and the epistemological dimension of basic adult education research.

Dr. Franziska Endreß

Titel: Wissen im Wandel. Bild, Bildung und Lernen Erwachsener in der frühen Neuzeit

Projektbeteiligte: Franziska Endreß, Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Jörg Dinkelaker

Betrachtet man Lernen als lebensbegleitendes Phänomen, d.h. als Merkmal des ‚älter Werdens‘ im Allgemeinen und des alternden Erwachsenen im Besonderen, kann für jeden historischen Zeitraum die Frage gestellt werden, durch welche besonderen Lernerfordernisse und -möglichkeiten, sowie durch welche besonderen Konstellationen der Verhältnisse von Wissensvermittlung und Wissensaneignung er sich auszeichnet. Anders formuliert stellt sich die Frage, durch welche Interaktions- und Kommunikationsmittel, an welchen Orten, in welchen Situationen von welchen Personenkreisen welche Inhalte und Formen gelernt und gelehrt werden.

Das Projekt fragt nach Bildern der frühen Neuzeit – insbesondere des entstehenden Kunstbildes – als Medien an der Schwelle zwischen Bildproduzenten und Bildrezipienten, Bildvermittlung und Bildaneignung, Selbst und Welt. Bilder werden in diesem Zusammenhang als Ausdruck und Mittel der Transformation von Selbst-Weltverhältnissen und damit als Bildungsmedien in den Blick genommen. Im Sinn Max Imdahls vermitteln Bilder die Welt ikonisch, d.h. durch ihr spezifisches Wechselspiel von Inhalt und formaler Gestaltung; insbesondere durch die planimetrische Komposition, die szenische Choreographie und die perspektivische Projektion.

Der Humanismus der Renaissancezeit, die Durchsetzung des Buchdrucks mit beweglichen Lettern ab 1450 oder der Beginn der Reformation um 1517 werden als charakteristisch für den Beginn der frühen Neuzeit genannt. Sie bringt die kopernikanische Wende, die Entfaltung naturwissenschaftlich-empirischen Denkens und – in Hinblick auf das Bild – einen Bewusstseinswandel, der den Beginn des Zeitalters der „Kunst“ markiert. Dabei prägt die Verbindung von bildender Gestaltung und geometrisch exakter Herstellung nach den Gesetzen der Zentralperspektive das zeitgenössische (Selbst-)Verständnis des Künstlers. Während die Wut der Reformatoren das „alte“ Kultbild trifft, emanzipiert sich das „neue“ Bild nicht nur vom Gottesdienst sondern auch vom (bloßen) Kunsthandwerk (Belting, 2011, 510 f.). Künstler wie Da Vinci oder Dürer sehen sich gleichzeitig als Poeten und Naturwissenschaftler; zeitgenössische Veröffentlichungen, z.B. das 1435 erschienene „De Pittura“ des Humanisten und Mathematikers Alberti, werten die Malerei zu einer Wissenschaft unter den Artes Liberales auf. Der durch die Gesetze der Zentralperspektive disziplinierte Blick des Bildherstellers, kann als Ausdruck eines spezifischen sich herausbildenden Selbst-Welt Verhältnisses interpretiert werden. Im Bild zeigt sich nun auch dem Betrachter die Welt vermittelt durch die mathematisch-exakte, auf die Gesetze der Optik verpflichtete Konstruktion.

Darüber hinaus interessiert die zeitgenössische Darstellung des Lernens und Lehrens Erwachsener im Bild. Das Forschungsinteresse betrifft im Einzelnen (1) Bilder, die eine explizite didaktische Funktion besitzen (z.B. Lehrbuchillustrationen), (2) Bilder die keine explizite didaktische Funktion besitzen, denen aber eine kommunikative Dimension eignet (Kunstwerke, Titelseiten, Illustrationen wissenschaftlicher Veröffentlichungen u.a.) sowie (3) frühneuzeitliche Bilddarstellungen lernender Erwachsener. Daneben sollen die textförmigen Kontexte dieser Bilder Berücksichtigung finden, sowie zeitgenössische bildtheoretische Schriften, die Themen der Bildgestaltung, der bildenden Kunst und der medialen Funktion von Bildern behandeln. Im Fokus stehen neben der Interpretation von Einzelbildern auch implizite und explizite interpiktoriale Wechselwirkungen und Bezugnahmen.

Dr Maria Kondratjuk

Perspectives on boundaries and discourses around transdisciplinarity in educational science

This Habilitation project, consisting of various discrete publications, seeks to examine three to four divergent and yet linked sets of issues under an overarching thematic and theoretical umbrella, opening up a meta-perspective on the separate sub-projects via borrowings from and extensions of critical theory (specifically, in this case, critical educational studies and critical science research/science studies). In this way, the work will attempt to critique and reflect upon theories, methodologies and programmatic conceptions held and advanced by the field.

1. Transdisciplinarity in educational science

The principal focus in this sub-project lies on the transcending of boundaries (between disciplines, fields of study, points of view, etc.) and on attempts to define the constitutive core of educational science and to delineate a theoretical and methodological common ground for academics in transdisciplinary research contexts. The potential for acts of translation to serve as a basis for the attainment of a shared understanding is of special interest here.

2. Boundary-work in educational science

This part of the research seeks to pinpoint where exactly, in the transdisciplinary landscape, the boundaries lie; that is, for instance, where disciplines set their boundaries to others. It endeavours to explore the ways in which boundaries come into being and the process of boundary-drawing by educational studies, neighbouring disciplines, schools, traditions of theory and thought, etc., through discursive and other means. The research will examine potential or impending engagement with boundaries and the ways in which they are transcended via phenomena such as transdisciplinarity, alongside the use of boundary objects in translational processes and in the negotiations via which the lines are drawn.

3. Discourses in educational science: the example of qualitative research

How do discourses come into being, and which objects and subjects do they generate, specifically in educational science? The chief interest of this part of the research is in the retracing of discursive trajectories that uncover the emergence, the push towards prominence and the fall from discursive grace of topics within the discipline, responses to these topics, and the status of qualitative research in the field. The aim of the project is to present an exemplary case study of academic boundary-work.