About

The History of Education On Air podcast is a project started at the Department of History of Education at Humboldt University Berlin and the Research Library for the History of Education (BBF) Berlin. It was founded by Sónia Vaz Borges, Fanny Isensee, Daniel Töpper and Josefine Wähler.

Sónia Vaz Borges, Ph.D.
I am a militant interdisciplinary historian and long-time social and political organizer. I am also an enthusiastic traveler and an avid language learner.
My publications in German, Portuguese and English, include the essays 

Na pó di Spera: die koloniale Peripherie Lissabons, In Decolonize the city. Zur Kolonialität der Stadt – Gespräche(Unrast); On Space of imaginations and the space of memories: Remembering Conakry PAIGC headquarters (The Funambulist), and the book Na Pó Di Spéra. Percursos nos Bairros da Estrada Militar, de Santa Filomena e da Encosta Nascente (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian)

My new book Militant Education, liberation struggle and consciousness. The PAIGC education in Guinea Bissau 1963-1978 (Peter Lang) is already available. 

Fanny Isensee, M.A.
I am a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the History of Education Department at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. In my PhD thesis, I explore the emergence of age as a fundamental category of school organization in the United States in the long nineteenth century. The question I would like to contribute to is how the notion of age-grading emerged and why it has prevailed in the majority of school systems across the globe. I am also interested in exchange processes and the transfer of educational concepts between Prussia/Germany and the USA. As an avid (school) bus rider, I enjoy looking into the history of school transportation.

My latest publications include: 

Isensee, F. (2021). “Intelligence Tests were given in order to obtain a basis for classifying the pupils” – Die Reclassification Projects in New York City in den 1920er Jahren. In: Reh, S., Bühler, P., Hofmann, M. & Moser, V. (Hrsg.) Schülerauslese, schulische Beurteilung und Schülertests 1880-1980. Bad Heilbrunn: Julius Klinkhardt, 225-240.  

Isensee, F., Töpper, D. (2021). Institutionalisierung von Entwicklungsnormen im Elementarschulwesen –Schülerentwicklung und Jahrgangsgruppierung in Preußen und den USA im 19. Jahrhundert. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 2021 (2), 166-185.

Töpper, D., Isensee, F. (2020). From «School Buildings» to «School Architecture» – School Technicians, Grand School Buildings and Educational Architecture in Prussia and the USA in the Nineteenth Century. In: Historia y Memoria de la Educación 13 (2021), 375-423.

Isensee, F., Oberdorf, A., Töpper, D. (2020). Transatlantic Encounters in History of Education: Translations and Trajectories from a German-American Perspective. New York: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Transatlantic-Encounters-in-History-of-Education-Translations-and-Trajectories/Isensee-Oberdorf-Topper/p/book/9780367276775

Josefine Wähler, M.A.
I am a historian of education currently working as a research assistant at the BBF | Research Library for the History of Education, DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education in Berlin. I am also a Ph.D. candidate at the History of Education Department at Humboldt University Berlin. My research interests focus on contemporary educational and cultural history, particularly the materiality and practice of schooling and (further) teacher training, as well as on the history and practices of music education in East Germany/German Democratic Republic (GDR). My PhD thesis examines the origin, function, and use of a collection of state-initiated, prize-winning practice reports [Pädagogische Lesungen] written and presented by teachers for teachers between 1961 and 1989. Based on this ‘depository of knowledge’, which was intended to provide exemplary solutions and ‘concepts of good pedagogical practice’ for the successful shaping of the socialist educational process, I want to learn more about the entanglement of daily teaching practices, pedagogical science, and school policy in the GDR. 

My publications in German and English include the articles:

“Pacemakers report”: GDR pedagogical innovators and the collection of Pädagogische Lesungen, 1952–1989. In: Paedagogica Historica. International Journal of the History of Education, (11.08.2020 https://doi.org/10.1080/00309230.2020.1796720)

Wähler, Josefine; Hanke, Maria-Annabel, “Erfahrungen der Besten”. Die unikale Sammlung Pädagogischer Lesungen der DDR – ein Werkstattbericht. In: Medien-Impulse, (2018) 4 (https://doi.org/10.25656/01:19331)

Wähler, Josefine; Reh, Sabine. Das Zentralinstitut für Weiterbildung der DDR 1962 bis 1990/1991. Zur Geschichte der Weiterbildung von Lehrkräften, Erziehenden und Schulfunktionärinnen und -funktionären in Ludwigsfelde-Struveshof. In: Landesinstitut für Schule und Medien Berlin-Brandenburg (LISUM) (Hrsg.): Erziehen und Bilden. Ludwigsfelde-Struveshof: Landesinstitut für Schule und Medien Berlin-Brandenburg (2017), 131-166.

Daniel Töpper, M.A.
I am a research assistant and Ph.D. candidate at the History of Education Department at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. My Ph.D. thesis explores the history of grouping in Prussian elementary schools as a fundamental category of school organization. My academic interests also include small forms in the history of education, transfers of educational concepts between Germany and the USA as well as the history of sexual education in schools. I am currently also working at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Educational Research where – among other things – I coordinate events and workshops for early career researchers at Humboldt University

My publications in German and English include the articles:

Isensee, F., Töpper, D. (2021). Institutionalisierung von Entwicklungsnormen im Elementarschulwesen –Schülerentwicklung und Jahrgangsgruppierung in Preußen und den USA im 19. Jahrhundert. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 2021 (2), 166-185.

Töpper, D., Isensee, F. (2020). From «School Buildings» to «School Architecture» – School Technicians, Grand School Buildings and Educational Architecture in Prussia and the USA in the Nineteenth Century. In: Historia y Memoria de la educación, 377-425.

Töpper, D. (2020). Der Weg zur Jahrgangsklasse – Zur Implementierung von Alter als Zuordnungs- und Gliederungseinheit im Schulwesen. In: Berlin-Brandenburger Beiträge zur Bildungsforschung (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), S. 139-164. 

My edited volume (together with Fanny Isensee and Andreas Oberdorf is currently available

 Transatlantic Encounters in History of Education: Translations and Trajectories from a German-American Perspective (Routledge) is already available

https://www.routledge.com/Transatlantic-Encounters-in-History-of-Education-Translations-and-Trajectories/Isensee-Oberdorf-Topper/p/book/9780367276775