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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Historical methods in pedagogical and educational sciences

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

There are surely good reasons to reflect on the methods of history of education, that is the tools, techniques, and approaches appropriate for historians of education. In the changing field of educational research, which include quantitative methods as well as those based on interviews and observations, there is a need to clarify the methods of historians of education. This challenge has also been posed within the discipline of history. Paula Fass – the distinguished scholar of the history of childhood – has complained of a lack or rigour in historical research, marked by “a profusion of styles and methods that seem to obey no rules but the unique bypaths of the individual historian’s mind”.

In this summer school, we will reflect on the main choices historians faces when studying various phenomena throughout the research process. These include the choices made when selecting source materials, the questions chosen when critically examine the value of the source materials (so-called source criticism), the analytical approach (e.g., discourse analysis) and the steps taken when exploring, collecting and analyzing historical source materials.

Practical information

Dates & location 13 - 17 June 2022, Groningen, the Netherlands
Level MA and PhD

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

Academic coordinators Johannes Westberg, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences
Chelsea Rodriguez, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Johannes Westberg,


This summer school is designed for PhD- and MA-students with an expertise in history of education.

The participants are expected to be working on a project in the field of history of education. We expect the participants to have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

The lectures and seminars of this summer school will address various aspect of historical research methods. These include the main features of historical methods; the use of source materials; historical research designs; source criticism; and the application of various historical methods. The summer school will end with each participant providing a presentation and reflection over their application of historical research methods.

Learning outcomes
  • Knowledge of the range of methodological approaches relevant when studying historical phenomena
  • Grasp the complexities of using historical source materials when answering research questions
  • Ability to discuss the choice of source materials and time period
  • Clearly communicate historical research to non-specialists

  • Preparation: 53 hours (including 28 hours ahead of the summer school)
  • Lectures and seminars: 15 hours
  • Presentation: 1 hours (including comments on other presentations)

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 69 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
  • Anouk Zuurmond, University of Groningen
  • Henrik Edgren, Uppsala University
  • Merethe Roos, University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Esbjörn Larsson, Uppsala University
  • Sarah Van Ruyskensvelde, KU Leuven
  • Pieter Verstraete, KU Leuven
Course schedule

A detailed course schedule will follow. Topics will include:

  • Historical methods in educational research, Johannes Westberg, University of Groningen
  • The Linguistic Turn in Educational History, Merethe Roos, University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Sources as objects? The historical archive through a socio-material lens, Sarah Van Ruyskensvelde
  • Silence, educational soundscapes and the aural turn in the history of education, Pieter Verstraete
Application procedure

The deadline for application was 1 April 2022, we are no longer accepting applications. Selected students can expect notification within one week of the deadline.

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

KU Leuven
Uppsala social sciences
Norway logo
Last modified:06 April 2022 2.09 p.m.