Experiences of the Best – The Unique Collection of Pedagogical Lectures at the BBF

The project focuses on the description and indexing of a collection of ca. 9,000 titles comprising all recognized pedagogical lectures from the GDR, spanning the years 1961 to 1989. Subject to this project, the genesis, development and organization of the lectures will be documented – from their beginning until the end of the GDR.

Project Description

The pedagogical lectures were written reports documenting teachers’ experiences for the use of collegues. Across all subjects, school years, school types and stages of the educational process, the lectures highlight solution-oriented methods, problems and innovations from the perspective of school and instructional practice. From a school political perspective, the lectures were regarded as relevant means for intensifiing private studies of centrally organized exchange of experiences and teachers’ further education and professionalization.

The lectures were individually compiled. Therefore, not only their function and use will be considered but also their production processes, their formal design and orientation of content.  Moreover, the attached diverse types of material are particularly interesting, for example audio and visual documents, the teachers’ individually created teaching materials

Against this background, it is possible to re-construct practice forms from the past. It is thus possible to observe the (re)production, transfer and transformation of professional contents and school-related knowledge bases during the period of the GDR’s existence.

The unique collection offers different perspectives for educational historical, cultural scientific and subject-didactic research but also for diverse interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary studies. Moreover, the collection is a highly inspiring source for research librarians and conservators.


Wähler,Josefine/Hanke,Maria-Annabel: "Erfahrungen der Besten". Die unikale Sammlung Pädagogischer Lesungen der DDR – ein Werkstattbericht. In: Medienimpulse Online. Beiträge zur Medienpädagogik, 2018, 4, pp. 1-18. (Online: https://www.medienimpulse.at/articles/view/1316, last access 10.01.2018)

Wähler, Josefine/Hanke, Maria-Annabel: “Pacemakers report”: GDR pedagogical innovators and the collection of Pädagogische Lesungen, 1952–1989. In: Paedagogica Historica 2020, online first, DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2020.1796720, letzter Aufruf 18.2.2021)

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Project Details

Project type: Publishing project
Completed Projects
06/2017 – 12/2023
Research field: Historical Practice of School, Instruction and Education