Haase Martha Friedenthal-Haase, a distinguished German scholar and leader of the field of Adult and Continuing Education, has had the rare responsibility of founding the first Department of Educational Theory and Adult Education at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, a university with a noble history, which suffered under communism in the former East Germany.
Her vision for the new Department of Educational Theory and Adult Education was to help students, who formerly were alien to free thought, achieve the understanding and responsibilities of democracy in life as well as in academe. Realizing the great need for adult educators and the urgency of serving adults, she organized a curriculum whereby secondary teachers could include adult education courses in their degree program. She was also concerned that the adult education program would meet the test of the best intellectual standards in the world.
Her success at the University of Jena and her prodigious scholarship has made her renowned in her field not only in Germany, but also in many other countries including Austria, Slovenia, Scotland, Korea, England, Northern Ireland and the United States where she presents keynote speeches and serves on steering and founding committees. In Thuringia, Dr. Friedenthal-Haase is recognized by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for her leadership in developing and conducting training workshops. In Frankfurt, she serves on the Controlling Board of the Pedagogical Office of the German Folk High School Association. She is also a founding member of the European Society of Adult Education, a member of the Advisory Board of the German Institute for Adult Education in Frankfurt, a member of the German Federal Government Ministry of Family, Generations, Youth and Sport Advisory Board on Civic Education, a member of the Collegium of the Jena Academy of Sciences, and other prestigious adult and continuing education enterprises.
At a time when she was offered positions at several prestigious universities in Germany, she chose Jena because she saw a great need to create a profession on the graduate level in a formerly communist country. She developed a program which is undogmatic, pluralistic and open to international developments with a knowledge base as broad and deep as possible. Her aim is to create bridges of communication and understanding between scholarly work and practice in two ways: first by adding andragogy to the curriculum of secondary school teachers, and second, by connecting andragogy to the relevant disciplines of sociology, history and political science.
Her writing includes eight books and monographs, 14 edited books, three major research reports, more than 60 articles, and more than 20 published book reviews. She is the co-editor of a German journal and member of the editorial board of two international journals.
"To be able to be caught up in the world of thought- that is educated."
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