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Wolfgang Brezinka

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Wolfgang Brezinka

Wolfgang Brezinka httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Wolfgang BrezinkaJune 9, 1928Berlin, Germany (

Laurea honoris causa a wolfgang brezinka

Wolfgang Brezinka (born June 9, 1928 in Berlin) is a German-Austrian educational scientist. He served as Professor of Pedagogy at the Pädagogischen Hochschule (Pedagogical University) in Würzburg, as well as at the Universities of Innsbruck and Konstanz.


Wolfgang Brezinka httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons88


Professor Brezinka earned his doctorate in 1951 at the University of Innsbruck, and his Habilitation at that institution in 1954. He taught at the Pedagogical College Würzburg (1958–1959), as well as at the Universities of Innsbruck (1960–1967) and Konstanz (1967–1996). His research activities led him to research and studies at NYC (1957–1958) and Cambridge, MA. He was a guest professor at the Philosophical-Theological University of Brixen, Italy, in 1983 and 1990. In 1984 he served as a guest professor at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and in 1985 he was also a guest professor at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. He is a supporter of empirical-analytical educational science, or respectively of scientific pedagogy.

Wolfgang Brezinka is married to Erika Brezinka (born Schleifer); the couple has three children (Christof, Veronika and Thomas).

Currently he lives in Telfes im Stubai (Tyrol) in Austria.


In his metatheory of education, Professor Brezinka distinguishes three classes of educational theory: educational science, the philosophy of education and practical pedagogy:

  • Educational science is a scientific discipline that is oriented to description, causal analysis, prediction and technique. It is intended to contribute to
  • the description of educational phenomena and education-relevant topics, which are to be studied in empirically accessible reality;
  • the search for cause-and-effect relationships between facts in reality;
  • predictions in which on the foundation of established cause-and-effect relationships one can, starting from the presence of specific conditions (causes), conclude that certain future statesof affairs (effects) will occur;
  • development of a technique or theory of technique in which, likewise on the foundation of established cause-and-effect relationships, the means and procedures can be found for bringing about desired but not yet present states of affairs. Educational science contains only information about facts and their relationships, but no evaluations.
  • The philosophy of education is a philosophical discipline in which among other topics first of all questions of evaluations are dealt with and evaluation problems are solved. It is analogous to science, but is not a true scientific discipline: To be sure, the theories are, as in all branches of normative philosophy, dealt with as much as possible on the basis of scientific principles and using scientific methods. However, it also contains extra-scientific value judgments, because such judgments are indispensable for specific decisions (e.g., on the moral, religious or ideological aims of education). The value judgments are not simply made, but rather as far as possible justified by means of weighing alternative hypotheses.
  • Practical pedagogies make up a class of action-oriented educational theories. They are, of course, (in the ideal case) likewise worked out as far as possible taking into account the educational scientific and philosophical knowledge, but are formulated from a specific religious, ideological or moral viewpoint. A Christian practical pedagogy informs, e.g., (Christian) practitioners on the possibilities they have in teaching in a given historical-cultural situation and what they should do (strive for and refrain from). Other practical pedagogies from other evaluative viewpoints and with different action recommendations are possible or already available (e.g., free-thinking, liberal, socialist, Marxist, etc.).
  • His texts have appeared in numerous editions and languages (including Chinese, English, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Czech). On this basis, Professor Brezinka can be regarded as the pedagogical thinker from the German-speaking countries whose texts are the internationally most widely available in foreign languages.

    As a practical pedagogue, he evaluates from a conservative viewpoint; as an educational scientist he has oriented himself in questions of scientific theory to the thinking of Viktor Kraft, Karl R. Popper, Hans Albert and Wolfgang Stegmüller. Orientation in educational analysis is provided by his widely quoted definition of the concept of education:

    By education is understood actions through which people attempt to improve one or more person's psychic dispositional structures in some respect, preserve the components viewed as valuable or prevent the development of dispositions judged to be bad.

    Since retirement as a professor emeritus, he has done extensive research with the support of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften on the history of the discipline of pedagogy in Austria, which he has published in a multi-volume work.


  • Tyrolean Order of the Eagle (Tiroler Adler-Orden) in Gold (1984)
  • Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art (Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst), 1st class (1989)
  • Corresponding (1992) and Active Member (since 1997) of the Austrian Academy of the Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)
  • Honorary Member of the Professional Association of Austrian Psychologists (1993)
  • Cardinal Innitzer Prize (Kardinal-Innitzer-Preis) (Vienna 1994)
  • STAB Prize, Zurich (1995)
  • Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1996) (Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande) (1996)
  • Honorary doctorate (Dr. phil. h.c.) of the Technical University of Brunswick (TU Braunschweig) (2001)
  • Golden Order of Merit for Services to Vienna (Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Land Wien) (2001)
  • Laurea honoris causa in educational science of the Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
  • Selected texts

  • Publications in English:
  • Philosophy of Educational Knowledge: An Introduction to the Foundations of Science of Education, Philosophy of Education and Practical Pedagogics (1992)
  • Belief, Morals and Education: Collected Essays on the Philosophy of Education (1994)
  • Socialization and Education: Essays in Conceptual Criticism (1994)
  • Basic Concepts of Educational Science: Analysis, Critique, Proposals. (1994)
  • Educational Aims, Educational Means, Educational Success: Contributions to a System of Science of Education (1997)
  • Publications in German:
  • Erziehung als Lebenshilfe – Eine Einführung in die pädagogische Situation (1957, 8th ed. 1971)
  • Von der Pädagogik zur Erziehungswissenschaft (1971, 3rd ed. 1975)
  • Die Pädagogik der Neuen Linken (1972, 6th ed. 1981)
  • Grundbegriffe der Erziehungswissenschaft (1974, 5th ed. 1990)
  • Metatheorie der Erziehung. 1978
  • Erziehung in einer wertunsicheren Gesellschaft (1986, 3rd ed. 1993)
  • Erziehungsziele, Erziehungsmittel, Erziehungserfolg (1976, 3rd ed. 1995)
  • Aufklärung über Erziehungstheorien. Beiträge zur Kritik der Pädagogik. 1989
  • Glaube, Moral und Erziehung. 1992
  • Aufklärung über Erziehungstheorien. Beiträge zur Kritik der Pädagogik. 1989
  • Glaube, Moral und Erziehung. 1992
  • Pädagogik in Österreich. Die Geschichte des Faches an den Universitäten vom 18. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert.
  • Band 1 – 3, 2000 to 2008
  • Bd. 4: Pädagogik an der Vienna University of Economics and Business und der Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Abschließender Überblick und Bilanz. Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2014 ISBN 3700175876
  • Erziehung und Pädagogik im Kulturwandel. 2003
  • Gesammelte Werke. Collected works in 10 volumes on CD-ROM. 2007
  • Literature about Wolfgang Brezinka

  • "Wolfgang Brezinka," in: Walter Habel (ed.), Wer ist wer? Das deutsche who’s who. 2008/2009. Schmidt-Römhild, Lübeck 2008 ISBN 3795020468 p. 156
  • "Wolfgang Brezinka," in: Kürschners Deutscher Gelehrten-Kalender 2009. K. G. Saur, Munich
  • Richard Olechowski: Wolfgang Brezinka – Begründer der Wissenschaftstheorie der Empirischen Erziehungswissenschaft, Retrospektiven in Sachen Bildung, R. 2, Nr. 49, Klagenfurt 2004
  • Heinz-Elmar Thenorth: Wolfgang Brezinka: Wissenschaftliche Pädagogik im Spiegel ihrer ungelösten Probleme. Retrospektiven in Sachen Bildung, R. 2, Nr. 46, Klagenfurt 2004. (Also in: Pädagogische Rundschau 58, 2004, H. 4, pp. 453–465, and in: Mitteilungsblatt des Förderkreises der BBF 15 [2004], pp. 22–37. Volltext)
  • Siegfried Uhl (ed.): Wolfgang Brezinka. 50 Jahre erlebte Pädagogik. Reinhardt, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-497-01447-8
  • C. D'Hondt: Wolfgang Brezinka over het wetenschapskarakter van de pedagogik. 1977
  • Susanne Barkowski: Wolfgang Brezinka wird 80 Jahre alt. In: "Erziehungswissenschaft – Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft" DGfE, Heft 37, 2008, pp. 120–122.
  • References

    Wolfgang Brezinka Wikipedia