It is the main purpose of this book to give students and educationalists at university not only in Germany, but also in Anglo-American countries an overview about history, current theoretical debates as well as important fields of research of educational science in Germany. Therefore, the institutional conditions, considerable theoretic paradigms and approaches as well as main focuses of the German educational science will be outlined in the introduction. The contributions to the first main chapter of this book retrace the development of pedagogic thinking since the Age of Enlightenment in connection with the history of modernization of the educational system in Germany, including a discussion of challenges for educational science facing tendencies of Reflexive Modernization of relationships of formation and education. Other contributions give an introduction to the theoretical development of Critical Educational Science, that connects a critically oriented empirical research on education and a historical research on education and socialization focussing social contexts and everyday life to a critical educational theory.
Important fields of research within educational science will be outlined in the different parts of the second main chapter, which delineate historical lines of development, basics of methodology, fields of research, outcomes and prospects of qualitative educational research as well as biographical research. Additionally, history, theoretical references and fields of current research on childhood and youth within Germany will be resumed.