Faculty of Education

The 'Educational Journey' (Towne) and 'Bildungsreise' (Johann W. von Goethe) - Learning Mobility in Diverse Cultural and Natural Geographies

1. Dec 2022, 4.00 pm - 5.30 pm
'Forward to (Common) Roots - Pedagogical Terminology in Different Languages'.
University of Erfurt, Stockholm University and Northern Arizona University
Anja Kraus (Stockholm) and Rose Ylimaki (Flagstaff)
Event type
Event Language(s)
with registration

Third online workshop in the joint workshop series "Forward to (Common) Roots - Pedagogical Terminology in Different Languages" by University of Erfurt, Stockholm University and Northern Arizona University.

About the workshop series

In times of accelerated globalization, economic, cultural, political, and social interactions between different populations and regions around the globe increase, and are promoted. The English language emerged as a global force, penetrating all other linguistic territories. The workshop series is motivated by the fact that wording models the social and cultural tasks of today. More specifically, terminology (in German: Begrifflichkeit) constitutes formats of professional, pedagogical knowledge as taught at the universities. If the aim of the latter is to professionally draw practically useful consequences, timeless communication skills such as critical reasoning, constructing clear arguments, and the logical evaluation of competing opinions are to be combined with cultural and specialized knowledge.
In this workshop series, combined with other spaces for discussion, a transcultural perspective on education will be provided, by working on the terminologies of Bildung, learning, curriculum, didactic, education and upbringing, educational practice, and methodology. This will be done in relation to social and cultural tasks of today (in German: Weltsichten), identified as `Child Perspective´, `Digitalization, Glocalisation´, `Interdependence and Sustainable Development´, `Reliability, Quality´, `Governance, Policy, Leadership´, `Academic Freedom´, `Gender Perspective on Building Knowledge´, `Multiculturality, Processes of Enculturation, Postcolonial Perspectives and the Art´. This undertaking is grounded in the approach of Educational Anthropology, the Curriculum Studies, and the network ‘Tacit Dimensions of Pedagogy’.
Different research traditions and research ethics will be considered in this workshop series, held annually in winter, spring, and fall, in order to develop study organisation (e.g. common seminars, workshops) and common publications, applications or grants.

About the workshop

The topic of the third virtual workshop is `The ‘Educational Journey’ (Towne) and ‘Bildungsreise’ (Johann W. von Goethe) – Learning Mobility in Diverse Cultural and Natural Geographies` with speakers including Anja Kraus (Stockholm) and Rose Ylimaki (Flagstaff).
‘Educational journey’ and ‘Bildungsreise’ provide for an idea about holistic personal development. These concepts allow us to raise the historically evolved idea of increasing self-awareness, of a learning to cope with life challenges, and a tuning of long-standing aspirations. This is thought to be done in commonly recognized cultural and natural geographies. Tracing back to Ancient history, the idea of a physical, geographical and cultural mobility and mental flexibility was highlighted in a time when the earliest universities were about to be founded in Europe, attracting many researchers from abroad. In the ‘times of explorations’, there were no organized trips or cruises. Later, deriving from the enthusiasm for secular general education and for (foremost classical) culture, in the 17th century, the custom of a traditional ‘Grand Tour’ through Europe became a regular feature of aristocratic education. The earliest U.S. idea of an educational journey was adapted around 1635 in Boston Latin Schools whereby sons of elite families were prepared for college with readings in the classics and later in the mid-1800s, it was extended to a Grand Tour to Europe. Educative travelling has been explained from different language perspectives. Near the end of the Civil War (1861-1865), Laura Towne (1825-1901) journeyed from the North of the US to the South. Towne was a well-situated middle-class white woman who became a respected teacher of formerly enslaved children in South Carolina. In a journal, she documented her physical, cultural, and holistic personal development. She actively participated in the agricultural way of life in the South, got to know water as a means of life; the journey opened her eyes for the people, the children she met. She learnt how to talk and how to build up social relationships and bonding in the community, etc. Towne returned to Pennsylvania in a changed way, bringing social knowledge back to a society torn apart by civil war and in need of reconstruction. The ‘Italian Journey’ of Johann W. von Goethe (1749-1832), written down in a daybook, became an outstanding example for a Bildungsreise. In Europe of the 18th century, a Bildungsreise has been normally reserved for an already well-educated literate male with good financial resources, who is expected to travel for the most part alone, far away from his home, visiting foreign countries, learning other languages and other cultures’ manners and political contexts. The aim of a bildungsreise is to return home in a refined way, following up the tradition of family traits and fulfilling the social expectations and responsibilities that are bound to the (upper, politically responsible) social class to which the traveler supposedly belongs.
Modelling the idea of education, bildung and bildning within the glocalized world, the idea of an educational journey can be connected to equal personality development in the classroom.

Please contact Prof. Agnes Pfrang (agnes.pfrang@uni-erfurt.de, Erfurt/Germany), Prof. Anja Kraus (anja.kraus@hsd.su.se, Stockholm/Sweden), Prof. Rose Ylimaki (rose.ylimaki@nau.edu, Arizona/US) for more information.


Please let us know by November 24 2022, whether you will be attending the workshop. We will then send you a link for the meeting as well as a text to read prior to the meeting.


Inhaberin der Professur für Grundschulpädagogik
(Faculty of Education)
Lehrgebäude 2 / Raum 108