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Critical Reflexion of the Culture-Bound Nature of Educationally and Psychologically Relevant Scientific Theories, Methods and Findings

Analyses on the culture-boundnature of educational processes as well as the implicit epitemelogical, ontological and methodological assumptions on which the theories are based

Project description

Educational processes invariably take place in culturally predetermined and interpreted contexts characterised by action-guiding systems of interpretatioin and meaning (e.g. systems of norms and rules). Hence, education itself always implies a transfer of culture and learning is always culture-bound. While the (different) patterns of interpretation and action are generally little reflected as regards their cultural determination, they participate in shaping all developmental processes including those of learning and teaching (culture as the invisible obvious). For instance, they determine the framework for concepts of learning objectives and the paths that lead to their achievement, assumptions on emotional and socio-cognitive development processes, socio-interactional processes and possibilities of governing them, the concept of intentions, actions, beliefs and wishes of oneself as well as of other persons (theory of mind).

Theories are part of cultures, too – they determine and filter the perception of "reality“: what questions arise, what circumstances are analysed, and what is accepted or recognised in terms of explanation. Hence, patterns of interpretation and action guide scientific as well as everyday action. The multitude of scientific theories therefore leads to questions regarding the underlying implicit epistemological, ontological and methodological assumptions and their implicit concepts of humankind and questions regarding the relations amongst theories themselves (relative significance/privilege).

The cultural determination of educational processes – but also that of pedagogically relevant theories, methods and results-, needs to be made accessible to reflexion if we intend to develop and teach action skills in increasingly plural cultural contexts. Accordingly, this continuous task provides the framework for a goal-oriented processing of literature for aspects relevant to target groups.



Selected Publications

  • Eckensberger, L.H. (2001). Psychology of action theory. In N. J. Smelser & P.B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioural Sciences (Vol.1, pp. 45-49). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.
  • Eckensberger, L.H., Döring, T. & Breit, H. (2001). Moral dimensions in risk evaluation. Research in social problems and public policy. In G. Boehm, J. Nerb, T.L. McDaniels & H. Spada (Eds.), Special issue on environmental risks: Perception, evaluation and Management (Vol. 9, pp.137-163). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science.
  • Eckensberger, Lutz H. (2002). Paradigms revisited: From incommensurability to respected complementarity. In H. Keller, et al. (Eds.), Biology, culture, and development: Integrating diverse perspectives (pp. 341-383). New York, N.Y. u.a.: Cambridge University Pr.
  • Eckensberger, L.H. (2003). Kultur und Moral. In A. Thomas (Hg.), Kulturvergleichende Psychologie (S. 309-345). 2., überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Göttingen: Hogrefe,
  • Eckensberger, Lutz. H. (2003). Wanted: A contextualized psychology. A plea for cultural psychology based on actual psychology. In T. S. Saraswathi (Ed.), Cross-cultural perspectives in human development. Theory, research and applications (pp. 70- 101). New Delhi: Sage Publications India
  • Eckensberger, L.H. (2003). Kultur und Moral. In A. Thomas (Hg.), Kulturvergleichende Psychologie (S. 309-345). 2., überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Göttingen: Hogrefe,
  • Eckensberger, L.H. & Breit, H. (2003). Kann das Schulrecht ohne Moral auskommen? Anmerkungen aus der Perspektive der Entwicklungspsychologie. In H. Döbert, B. von Kopp, R. Martini & M. Weiß (Hrsg.), Bildung vor neuen Herausforderungen (S. 23-34). Neuwied: Luchterhand.
  • Eckensberger, Lutz H.; Plath, Ingrid (2003). Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des „variablenorientierten“ Kulturvergleichs: Von der Kulturvergleichenden Psychologie zur Kulturpsychologie. In H. Kaelble & J. Schriewer (Hrsg.), Vergleich und Transfer – Komparatistik in den Sozial-, Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften (S. 55-99). Frankfurt am Main, New York: Campus
  • Plath, Ingrid & Eckensberger, Lutz H. (2004). Psychology in Germany. In Michael J. Stevens et al. (Eds.): Handbook of International Psychology (pp. 331-349). New York, N.Y.: Brunner-Routledge
  • Eckensberger, Lutz H. (2004). Development applied: In search of an applicable culture informed developmental theory Reflections prompted by four bulletin articles. Cross-Cultural Psychology Bulletin, 38 (1-2), 25-34
  • Eckensberger, Lutz H. & Plath, Ingrid (2006). Beratung und Kultur. In Ch. Steinebach (Hg.), Handbuch psychologischer Beratung (S. 70-95). Stuttgart Klett-Cotta.
  • Eckensberger, Lutz H. & Plath, Ingrid (2006). Soziale Kognitionen. In W. Schneider & B. Sodian (Hg.), Kognitive Entwicklung, Enzyklopädie für Psychologie, C Theorie und Forschung Serie V Entwicklung Band 2 (S. 409-493). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  • Plath, Ingrid (2008). Linktipps zum Thema "Kulturen der Bildung". Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 54(1), 81-94.
  • Plath, Ingrid & Eckensberger, Lutz H. (2008). Counselling as cultural practice: Reflections on counselling across cultures from the perspective of cultural psychology. Social Practice / Psychological Theorizing, Art. 8,  http://sppt-gulerce.boun.edu.tr/article8.aspx (24 p.)
  • Plath, Ingrid, Graudenz, Ines & Breit, Heiko (Hg.) (2008). Kultur – Handlung – Demokratie. Dreiklang des Humanen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.

Project management

Ingrid Plath

Project team

Ingrid Plath

Project details

Current projects
Department: Department of Education and Human Development
Contact: Ingrid Plath
last modified Nov 25, 2013