unizeit Schriftzug

So far and yet so near

Partnership agreement of the Institute of Educational Sciences with Kangnam University in South Korea

Street with cherry trees
© Revi

A Korean-German exchange on research methods is held every year on campus at Kangnam University in Yongin, South Korea.

Day in day out, decisions have to be made, big and small – this applies to people in Germany as well as in South Korea. Having to and being able to make decisions is central to human life. But how and why does someone decide and what life path results from this? Which earlier educational processes provide the subject with helpful resources in such biographical transitions? Which educational processes take place in these transitions? And how can they be promoted by educational scientists? Together with Kangnam University in Yongin, South Korea, the Department of General Pedagogy at the Institute of Educational Sciences is applying biographical-analytical research methods that can provide answers to these sorts of questions from the research fields of educational science, social work and sociology.

For five years now, the Institute of Educational Sciences, represented by Professor Nicole Welter, has been working in partnership with Professor Hyo-Seon Lee at the Institute for Human Development. A Korean-German methods workshop is held in Kiel every summer. Here students and doctoral researchers from both countries carry out research using socio-scientific methods known as case-reconstructive methods, in particular using objective hermeneutics. “This is a method used to reconstruct the conscious as well as unconscious sense-motivation of people’s actions: why does someone decide in favour of this option and not another at a certain point in his/her life?” explained Dr Manuel Franzmann from the Institute of Educational Sciences at the CAU.

The return visit takes place in the autumn within the extended framework of a Germany-wide DAAD exchange programme led by Mainz-based educational scientist Professor Detlef Garz. Franzmann and lecturers from other German universities take part in this in order to hold method workshops at various universities in South Korea.

In 2019 Franzmann took part in another research exchange on the subject of unconditional basic income. He made contact with the Gyeonggi Research Institute (GRI), the research institute of the regional government Gyeonggi-do surrounding Seoul. In the autumn, with the GRI, he then held the first German-South Korean symposium on the proposed reform of an unconditional basic income. The use of biographical-analytical methods to research the effects of this type of basic income were also discussed here. While the subject of unconditional basic income is still being discussed in Germany, the discussion in South Korea has already led to an initial implementation: to make it easier for young Koreans to transition from education into working life, a “Youth Basic Income” has been paid unconditionally to young adults for one year from their 24th birthday since April 2019. Gyeonggi-do Province is home to more than a hundred thousand young people at the start of their careers who are now benefiting from this. It is provided in the form of a digital regional currency and payments are made by smartphone app, which in turn benefits small and medium-sized businesses in the region. The GRI is providing scientific assistance for the pilot project. Franzmann has been working on the idea of a basic income, also from an educational viewpoint, for a good twenty years.

“Our institute’s partnership with Kangnam University and also my cooperation with the Gyeonggi Research Institute are to continue,” said Franzmann, happily. He is planning several research projects for the future. These include the first projects providing biographical-analytical scientific assistance for pilot projects on unconditional basic income.

Author: Karena Hoffmann-Wülfing