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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Using Theory in the History of Education

the unruly classroom
Francesco Bergamini, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Theories and theoretical perspectives are key to historical research: the perspectives and the concepts chosen affect research design, interpretations and results. Despite this, historians (of education, childhood, psychology etc.) may express a certain ambivalence towards the application of theory, opting for “empirical” rather than “theoretically-informed” studies. As such positions indicate, there are certainly a wide range of ways in which theory is understood, appreciated, and consequently applied.

In this summer school, scholars from the humanities and social sciences from Netherlands, Belgium and the Nordics will hold lectures, lead seminars and workshops that provide a unique opportunity to not only broaden your theoretical horizon, but also to explore the various ways in which theoretical perspectives can be applied in your own research projects.

The organizers of this course also offers the MA-track Ethics of Education.

Practical information

Dates & location
24 - 28 June 2024, Groningen, the Netherlands
MA and PhD


(Cost for coffee, lunch, summer school dinner and welcome drinks are covered by the summer school)

€ 200
Free for students from the universities of Groningen, Uppsala, South-Eastern Norway, and KU Leuven.

Academic coordinators
Johannes Westberg, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Johannes Westberg,


This summer school is designed for MA students and PhD students that want to broaden their theoretical horizon and explore how theoretical perspectives and concepts can be used in research concerning the history of education.

The participants are expected to be MA and PhD students with an interest in history of education research (or the neighboring fields, such as the history of childhood and psychology), and a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

1. identify and evaluate various ways in which theory is understood, appreciated, and applied in historical research

2. Critically assess the theoretical frameworks in historical research, considering their strengths, limitations, and implications for research design

3. Apply diverse theoretical perspectives to your historical research projects, demonstrating a clear understanding of how theoretical choices influence research methodologies, interpretations, and outcomes.

Effectively communicate your theoretical insights related to historical research in seminars and workshops, enabling you to articulate ideas clearly and engage in scholarly discussions with peers and experts


Preparation: 48 hours
Lectures, seminars and workshops: 36 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.


Johannes Westberg, University of Groningen

Hilda Amsing, University of Groningen

John Exalto, University of Groningen

Lourens van Haaften, University of Groningen

Merethe Roos, University of South-Eastern Norway

Pieter Verstraete, KU Leuven

Esbjörn Larsson, Uppsala University

Additional colleagues from the involved universities will be added to the list.

Course schedule

In addition to hands-on writing sessions and collective reading session, the lectures provided will be announced shortly below.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to submit the following documents:

  • CV (max 2 pages)

  • Letter of motivation (max 250 words, indicating why this summer school fits your expertise and/or research interests)

The deadline for application is 1 March 2024. Selected applicants will be informed by 15 March 2024.

This summer school share teaching staff with the master track “Ethics of Education: philosophy, history and law”

KU Leuven
Uppsala social sciences
Norway logo
bengoo logo

The organizers of this course also offer the MA-track Ethics of Education.

Last modified:22 January 2024 12.30 p.m.