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Institute of Education

Educational Science with focus on Social Pedagogy

Social Pedagogy as an academic discipline investigates the most diverse forms of (professionalized) processing of ‘the social’ in theoretical, empirical and historical terms. The task for interdisciplinary and internationally oriented Social Pedagogy is to raise analytical and critical questions and to carry out application-oriented basic research in order to offer specific knowledge of reflection on social conditions and professional problems. The analysis therefore focuses on publicly and privately organized forms of support for individuals in situations of discrimination and limited opportunities for social participation. The chair investigates these relationships from perspectives of professional and power analysis, state, normativity, body, subject, and difference theory.

The Chair Educational Science with focus on Social Pedagogy is occupied by Catrin Heite (Professor of Educational Science with focus on Social Pedagogy),Clarissa Schär (senior teaching and research assistant), Franziska Schlattmeier (Postdoc and project assistant) and Sonja Geiser (administrative office). In addition, Andrea Riepl and Luiza Vafina are PhD students in the SNF-funded project "Subjective Well-Being of Children in German-speaking Switzerland".

Research at the Chair Educational Science with Focus on Social Pedagogy

We conduct research on childhood, adolescence, family, and the professional handling of social conditions and issues, among other things in the context of social inequalities. We are currently investigating the following research questions:

  • What is (social pedagogical) professionalism?
  • How are family and parenthood discussed in research and in political debate?
  • What is the effect of the blurring of the boundaries of employment and family responsibilities on children's well-being?
  • What forms does children's agency take?
  • How do adolescents present themselves in digital media?
  • What do children need in order to thrive and how do children experience dimensions of well-being?

Our current research project:

Children's Understandings of Well-Being in German-Speaking Switzerland


University of Zurich
Institute of Education
Chair of Social Pedagogy
Freiestrasse 36
CH-8032 Zürich

Tel. +41 44 634 27 63

Sonja Geiser (administrative office):

Weiterführende Informationen

Agenda Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft

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