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History of Education

Research Group

Lifecycle:1 Aug 2011 →  Today
Organisation profile:

The Center for the History of Education (CHE) is part of the research group Education, Culture and Society of the Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogical Sciences.


The CHE focuses on the historical study of a wide variety of educational practices as well as theories. Starting from the premise that educational processes and insights never fall out of the blue, the emergence and dissemination of educational concepts, educational programs and pedagogic theories is studied. In doing so, use is made of various source material such as historical images, archive documents, interviews, old film fragments, textbooks and handwritten correspondence. In addition to studying and describing our educational past, attention is also being paid to a critical reflection on the way in which this past can be described and its relevance for future educationalists. By making bachelor and master students attentive to the history of educational concepts and practices and by allowing them to reflect on the way in which these histories can be described, the Center for Historical Pedagogy triggers students and fellow researchers to reflect on the language that is used in contemporary educational practice and research.


Some of the current lines of research are: the history of the concept of creativity in the twentieth century, the influence of conflicts (such as WW1 and WW2) on the development of educational structures in Belgium, the history of educational initiatives for people with disabilities, the role of silences and sounds in the history of education and education, the influence of emotions on the origin and development of concrete educational practices, the history of education in postcolonial contexts and the history of prevention programs for infectious diseases such as TB, polio and AIDS/HIV .


In addition to studying the history of education, the CHE also attaches great importance to the preservation and accessibility of this intriguing history. One of the most important achievements in this area is the Historical Collection Psychology and Educational Sciences (HCPES), which currently consists of 100,000 textbooks, monographs, curricula, wall charts, magazines and other educational material. The collection is one of the largest in Europe and a significant part of the collection can be consulted via the KU Leuven / LIMO catalog.


Keywords:History, Education, Disability, Sound, Emotions, Contagious diseases, Psychology
Disciplines:General pedagogical and educational sciences, Specialist studies in education