16.10.1971

Triple faculty instead of interfaculty

Two years after the start of teaching, the Faculty of Pedagogics, Philosophy and Psychology (called PPP Faculty) is the first faculty to be founded at Bielefeld University on 16 October 1971. At first glance, this combination of faculties seems surprising, but on closer inspection it embodies the interdisciplinary concept at the core of the reform University in Bielefeld.

Separation of the Faculty of Pedagogics, Philosophy and Psychology. Professor Dr. Lorenz Krüger, Professor Dr. Armin Hegelheimer, Chancellor Dr. Eberhard Firnhaber and Professor Dr. Klaus Hurrelmann in front of the faculty sign decorated with a black ribbon on 16 April 1980.

Photo: Seutter
Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, FOS 00660

At the first meeting of the faculty commission, those present – including Professor Dr. Friedrich Kambartel as chairperson, Professor. Dr. Heinz Heckhausen, Professor Dr. Hermann Lübbe and Professor Hartmut von Hentig – already agreed that “the three disciplines within the framework of Bielefeld University should share a critical function in regard to scientific conduct and discourse”. Despite this unified approach, agreement was not possible on the name “interfaculty” so that it remained the triple faculty of PPP.

As early as November 1965, von Hentig had called on Professor Dr. Helmut Schelsky to integrate pedagogy in the planned philosophy faculty. Von Hentig’s outline already envisaged a strong psychological component for pedagogy, so that conceptually the triple faculty made sense. According to the University’s founding concept, the central task of the PPP Faculty was to provide the educational science studies for the teacher training students of all faculties.

Front page of the newspaper ‘P-Informationen’ of the student representatives of the Faculty of Educational Science on (in their view unsuccessful) integration of the PH (teacher training college). Previously it was the journal for the PPP faculty.

Source: Universitätsarchiv Bielefeld, DS 67,2

Over time, this task shifted somewhat towards the training of pedagogics students on the “Diplom” track. (Until the Bologna reforms of higher education, “Diplom” was a first university qualification commonly awarded in the sciences, while “Magister” was the equivalent in the humanities.) Also in Psychology, the scope and specialisations of the course of studies developed differently than was originally planned. For this reason, the triple faculty was dissolved in 1980, a move which was supported by all three departments. A new Faculty of Educational Science and a Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science were established. The subject of Philosophy was integrated into the Faculty of History. Without this reorganisation, the imminent integration of the students of the teacher training college would have led to an immensely large PPP faculty that would barely have been able to function.