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Information bulletin
(October 1952)

Jonas, Frank H.
Educational research in Germany (part I),   pp. [3]-6 PDF (2.2 MB)


Page [3]


Educational Research in Germany
By Dr. Frank H. Jonas
Assistant Editor, Information Bulletin
I. The Institute for International Educational Research
THE INSTITUTE for International Educational Re-
search (Hochschule fuer Internationale Paedogische
Forschung) in Frankfurt illustrates that a dream, with
planned and persistent pursuit of an idea, can develop
into reality.
Forty years ago, Erich Hylla, a young elementary
school teacher in Breslau saw the need for educational
research in Germany. He kept developing the idea of an
institute for further advanced educational study all dur-
ing his graduate work, high school and college teaching,
secondary school administration, and scientific research,
writing and publication.
His Intelligence Testing, published in 1927, is still re-
cognized as a standard work. Aptitude and achievement
tests, developed in 1926 and 1932 in collaboration with
Dr. Otto Bobertag. were republished in 1945 and used
subsequently in 70,000 cases in the state of Hesse.
In 1926, Mr. Hylla spent a year in the United States at
the International Education Institite of Columbia Uni-
versity. In 1928, he published his book in German,
Schools in a Democracy, a description of the American
school system. He also translated into German John
Dewey's Democracy and Education.
IS DREAM was rudely shattered by the Nazis in
1933, when he was summarily dismissed from his
position as head of the department of elementary ed-
ucation and teacher training in the Prussian ministry of
education, a position he had held since 1922. He had
also been appointed in 1930 professor of psychology and
education at the Teachers College in Halle.
Although driven by the Nazis into private life and
study, he was allowed to go to the United States as
guest professor in comparative education at Columbia
University from 1935-1937 and at Cornell University in
1938. This experience was to pay off during the postwar
years in the joint American and German efforts to mod-
ify some German educational practices and to give
Americans a better understanding of these practices and
problems.
The war prevented Mr. Hylla's returning to the
United States in 1939, finally drawing him into German
military service in 1944 and landing him in a nominal
American imprisonment in 1945. After his release he
became school superintendent in Landsberg, where his
old friend Prof. Thomas Alexander, then chief of public
school affairs in the Education Branch, OMGUS, found
him and took him on the Military Government staff as
a German consultant.
Mr. Hylla, serving as consultant in higher education
in Frankfurt in 1947, met Dr. William L. Wrinkle, then
chief of the secondary education section in the Public
Education Branch, OMGUS, and now HICOG's educa-
tional affairs adviser. Before coming to Germany, Dr.
Wrinkle had been professor of secondary education and
director of the campus experimental high school at the
State College of Education at Greeley in Colorado, hav-
ing served that institution for 23 years. Through his ex-
perience in administering educational programs in Ger-
many, Dr. Wrinkle arrived independently at the same
conclusions about educational research in Germany as
were entertained by Mr. Hylla.
THIS MEETING brought reality to the old dream,
now shared by both men, resulting in the association
which was to gain the necessary support from German
and American sources for the creating of the Institute
for International Educational Research. The develop-
ment of the idea of a graduate school of this type in
Germany could never have proceeded to its present suc-
cessful conclusion without the close cooperation and
teamwork of these two educators.
The chance to win German sponsorship came when
Dr. Erwin Stein, then minister of education and culture
in Hesse and now a judge on the Federal Constitutional
Court in Karlsruhe, proposed that an international in-
stitute for educational research and advanced studies
in education be established in Hesse, a legislative
Discussing plans for the international summer educational
workshop are (left to right): Dr. Wrinkle, Mr. Hylla and
Dr. Schultze.             (AMCONGEN photos by Hopp)
OCTOBER 1952


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