Ulrike Graf – Professor of Education at Primary School Age, University of Osnabrück, Germany

I am a Full Professor of Education at Primary School Age at the University of Osnabrück in Germany and Head of the Research Center in Primary School Education at the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development of Lower Saxony (nifbe).

Born in the West of Germany, I studied Primary School Education and Catholic Theology in Southern Germany, and taught for several years at Primary and Secondary Schools in that region, before returning to the academic world of Eastern and now Northern Germany.

In accordance with the right of every child to be met with appreciation, I work on pedagogy diagnosis in schools and didactics along the question: In what way does the teacher’s acting contribute to children’s empowerment?  In this context, a central question is the educator’s own image of the child, which leads to a second focus of my work: Self-reflection as a competence for educational actors.

In addition, I am strongly committed to implementing the concept of happiness as part of the curriculum of teacher training in order to promote reflection about one’s own attitudes towards life. I would like to find out whether teaching happiness will contribute to making teachers more strongly aware of the impact of their overall professional action on promoting dignity and humanity in education.

In strong relation to all of the above objectives, I put a major priority on fostering resilience of both pupils and teachers. With respect to university teaching, I base my work on Humanistic Psychology and pedagogy like Theme Centered Interaction, Bibliodrama and Gestalt Therapy. In accordance with these concepts, I try to combine academic teaching with experience-orientated practices.

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