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Practices in Higher Education Entry Qualification Exams and Qualification Essays From 1882 to 1972

Practices in Higher Education Entry Qualification Exams and Qualification Essays From 1882 to 1972

“Higher education entry qualification exam practices and qualification essays from 1882 to 1972. Knowledge (re)presentation in a historic-practeeological pilot project” (Abiturprüfungspraxis und Abituraufsatz 1882 bis 1972. Wissens(re)präsentation in einem historisch-praxeologischen Pilotprojekt ) successfully competed in “Leibniz Competition 2016” in the funding line for innovative projects and will receive funding for three years.

Project Description

The praxeological-historiographical project studies higher education qualification exam practices in the school subject “German”, which have so far been little investigated. It focuses on individual schools in the regions of Prussia, Bavaria, Baden and Wuerttemberg.

Exams are conceived as central school practices. Essays in German play a key role in the constitution of higher education entry qualification exams, which represent the highest school leaving qualification.

The project focuses on analysis and historical contextualizations of changes in task assignment, types of essays and teachers’ comments and assessments. Individual case studies will particularly research on issues of task requirements, authorising and ritualisation of exam achievement in reciprocal effects of teacher and student relationships, administration and institution as well as discourses in literary studies, literary didactics and pedagogy.

A corpus of German higher education qualification essays is collated and the corpus will be longitudinally analysed and compared across different regions. A praxeological approach was chosen together with eHumanities methods that have been adapted to the project.

The annotated corpus will be made available for re-usage to researchers from different disciplines.


Department of German Literature, Humboldt University Berlin:


The project is funded by Leibniz Competition 2016, Funding Line for Innovative Projects.

Project management

Project team

Project Details

Current projects
Project type: Interdepartmental projects
05/2016 - 04/2019
External funding
Contact: Dr. Kerrin Klinger, Post-doc researcher
last modified Oct 06, 2017