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History of the DIPF

For 60 years, DIPF has provided its research and science infrastructure services and thus contributed to improving educational quality and conditions of educational success in Germany.

The institute was founded on October 25, 1951 following a resolution by the government of the federal state of Hesse, as the “Hochschule für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung“ (University of International Educational Research), as a public foundation with legal capacity.

The US-American military office, the federal state of Hesse and the city of Frankfurt am Main were involved in the process of the institute’s establishment. Following the experience of National Socialism, they sought international stimulus for educational research. A considerable contribution was also made by Erwin Stein. In his function as the state minister of education in Hesse, he had voiced the demand for a university of international educational research in December 1948. Moreover, Professor Erich Hylla, who had been a responsible officer for the central institute for education and instruction in Berlin until 1933, had returned to Germany as a reporter for education commissioned by the US government in 1946, and drafted a concept for such a higher education institute of international education and research. The DIPF began its work in Frankfurt am Main in 1952, and it became an institutional basis for international empirical educational research in Germany.

In the mid-1960s, the institute was included in the so-called “Königstein state agreement“ and it was given a new constitution, wherein the foundation’s purpose was defined in terms of a practical, empirical educational research in an international comparison. At the same time, the university was renamed and became the „German Institute for International Educational Research“ (DIPF).

In the 1970s and 1980s, DIPF focused its work on the international comparison of educational issues. Not least owing to new electronic opportunities for exchange and networking in science, it became possible to expand and improve international exchange at DIPF. Today, the international perspective of the institute is based on sound research and analyses on national school quality, educational governance and scientific infrastructure. A systematic international comparison of the German education system is thus possible.

Since 1977, DIPF as a non-university research institute has been jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states (Länder). Since 1990, DIPF has been a member of the Leibniz Association, which originated from the “Blue List”. Relevant structural changes took place in the early 1990s following the integration of parts of the former GDR’s Academy of Pedagogical Science, the Pedagogical Central Library and the Center for Information and Documentation. Earlier, the Pedagogical Central Library had integrated the Teachers’ Library that had existed for more than a hundred years. As part of DIPF, it was newly founded as the Library for the Hhistory of Education (BBF). The establishment of new centers was also crucial for the institute’s development:

From 1998 to 2001, particular attention was paid to setting up educational information services (initially Information and Documentation later Information Center for Education). In recent years, DIPF has progressively shaped its profile as a national center for educational information and educational research; its national and international networks are also systematically enhanced. Research investigations of systemic, institutional and individual levels of education with its reciprocal effects contribute to this profile. Setting up a Center for Education and Human Development particularly served to re-define the individual level of action of learning and development.

In 2012, a professorship for Research on the History of Education was inaugurated at DIPF: consequently, a fifth research department was set up. Together with the Department for Educational Governance, this research domain strengthens the institutional profile in Berlin

last modified Oct 18, 2016
Milestones of DIPF history

Milestones of DIPF history

Knowledge for Education

Profile and Overview 2013/2014

This brief overview presents the most important milestones of work conducted at DIPF in the past two years

Cover Profile and Overview 2013-2014

e-book (epub, mobi)

DIPF-Flyer "Knowledge for Education"