The Jena Institute of Educational Science is one of the oldest sites of educational training and research. Its roots go back to the 16th century, in which pedagogical thinking can be documented with the founding of the 'Akademisches Gymnasium' (1548) and the 'Hohe Schule' (1558) for the training of theologians and (Latin school) teachers.
Inseparably connected with Jena and its influence on the German and European educational world are also Goethe and Schiller, then Fichte, Hegel and Schelling. The ideas they drafted for literature and philosophy had a direct influence on Herbart and Fröbel, for example.
The Institute enjoyed worldwide respect at the beginning of the 20th century, also through its initiatives in adult education, continuing scientific education and social pedagogy. It developed into a center of the international pedagogical reform movement. W. Flitner and H. Nohl, influential representatives of humanistic pedagogy, worked at the institute.
The ruptures and tensions of National Socialism and communist rule did not leave pedagogy in Jena untouched; the institute was politically claimed. After the dissolution of the Section of Educational Science in 1990, numerous scholars from all over Germany supported educational research and teaching at Jena University through their collaboration.
From 1990 to 1992, the Section of Educational Science was led provisionally by Prof. Dr. Günther Scholz. Prof. Dr. Andreas Flitner (University of Tübingen and honorary professor at the University of Jena) built up the structures of a new institute as founding professor during this time. The Institute of Educational Sciences was officially founded on 08.11.1993 under the direction of Prof. Dr. habil. Peter Fauser as director and Prof. Dr. Dr. habil. Michael Winkler as deputy director.
The other directors of the institute are:
- Prof. Dr. Roland Merten (since 2018)
- Prof. Dr. Bärbel Kracke (from 2015 to 2018)
- Prof. Dr. Andreas Frey (from 2012 to 2015)
- Prof. Dr. Michaela Gläser-Zikuda (from 2009 to 2012)
- Prof. Dr. Roland Merten (from 2007 to 2009)
- Prof. Dr. Ewald Johannes Brunner (from 2005 to 2007)
- Prof. Dr. Michael Winkler (from 2004 to 2005)
- Prof. Dr. Dr. Ralf Koerrenz (from 2002 to 2004)
- Prof. Dr. Michael Winkler (from 2000 to 2002)
- Prof. Dr. Ewald Johannes Brunner (from 1998 to 2000)
- Prof. Dr. Will Lütgert (from 1996 to 1998 )
- Prof. Dr. Martha Friedenthal-Haase (from 1994 to 1996)