Dr Karsten Kenklies

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I joined the School of Education in April 2016 from Jena University, Germany, where I was a Junior-Professor, holding the Chair for Comparative Education in the Institute for Bildung and Kultur. I worked for nearly thirteen years in Jena and (among other things) delivered History and Philosophy of Education undergraduate and postgraduate teaching there. Very much rooted in the tradition of a Hermeneutic Pedagogy, my research endeavours to unveil the systematic structures of theories and practices of education through their contextualisation (especially within the History of Ideas, Science, Philosophy and Art) and through diachronic (i.e. historical) and synchronic (i.e. intercultural) comparisons in a national and international (especially Japanese) perspective. Besides this – and linked to it by a methodological perspective framed by the notion of recognition – I am very much interested in developing a theory of Queer Education based upon modern theories of social philosophy and Queer Theory.

At the School of Education, I am involved in a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Education Studies, especially in the History and Philosophy of Education, Foundations of Educational Theory, and Contemporary Challenges for Educational Theory and Practice. I am a co-convener of the research group "Philosophy, Education and Culture" and a member of the research group "Rights, Citizenship and Dialogue". Besides supervising a number of PhD projects, I act as course leader for the full-time master course MSc Education Studies and represent the department in the Board of Studies of the faculty.


Has expertise in:

    As part of my work, I supervise a number of Master and PhD students in different fields of conceptual research. Those fields include e.g.

    • LGBT issues in educational theory (conceptual or historical non-empirical research)
    • Intercultural comparison in educational theory (conceptual or historical non-empirical research)
    • Japanese education (conceptual or historical non-empirical research)
    • Martial Arts education (conceptual or historical non empirical research; in rare cases also qualitative empirical research)
    • Hermeneutic Pedagogy (conceptual or historical non-empirical research)
    • Pedagogical anthropology (conceptual or historical non-empirical research)
    • Aesthetics & educational theory (conceptual or historical non-empirical research

    I invite those who might be interested to work in one of those (or related) fields, to get in touch with me so that we can start to reflect upon a dissertation or any other kind of project. It would be good if a first contact would already include a short draft expose which answers the following questions:

    1. What is the one(!) question your dissertation/ project attempts to answer, and which smaller questions do you think will lead up to an answer of the final big question?
    2. What method would you like to use to find an answer to your question?
    3. What material would you plan to use to answer your question?
    4. What limitations do you think will your answer to your question inevitably have?

    Based upon your answers to those questions, we can start to think about the possibility of a supervision or support for any sort of project.

Prizes and awards

Conference Fellowship
Conference Fellowship
Research & Conference Fellowship
Research Fellowship
Research & Conference Fellowship
Research Fellowship

More prizes and awards


What's the use of theory and philosophy of education?
Kenklies Karsten
SERA Research Education Bulletin Vol 11 (2021)
Review of: Yoko Yamasaki & Hiroyuki Kuno (eds.) (2017). Educational progressivism, cultural encounters and reform in Japan. Abingdon & New York: Routledge.
Kenklies Karsten
History of Education Vol 50, pp. 139-141 (2021)
Undoing Gender und Queer Pädagogik – Gleich verschieden problematisch
Kenklies Karsten, Engelmann Sebastian
Von der Vielheit der Geschlechter Neue interdisziplinäre Beiträge zur Genderdiskussion (2021) (2021)
Der Traum von Macht und Ohnmacht : Eine pädagogische Phantasie nach Borges
Kenklies Karsten
Sci/Fi/Bildung Interpretationen (2021) (2021)
Logik der Heterogenität
Kenklies Karsten
Globales lehren, Postkoloniales lehren Perspektiven für Schule im Horizont der Gegenwart (2020) (2020)
Dōgen's time and the flow of otiosity—exiting the educational rat race
Kenklies Karsten
Journal of Philosophy of Education Vol 54, pp. 617-630 (2020)

More publications

Research interests

My research is predominantly systematic-conceptual-comparative. Based on the comparison between European, (East-) Asian and North American theories and practices of education, I attempt to introduce a culturally sensitive theory of education. Especially discussions around a German notion of Bildung, American Transcendentalism and educational practices prevalent in traditional Japanese arts are used as foundation for developing a general theory of education.

Based upon research I did supported by a research fellowship that took me to Japan for 6 months (preceded and followed by regular visits), I am currently working on a series of papers that analyse theories and practices of education in pre-modern Japan to connect those ideas to modern continental concepts of Bildung and Anglo-Saxon ideas of self-formation.

As part of the research group Education, Philosophy and Culture at the School of Education at Strathclyde University, I am involved in a variety of different projects: publications, research projects, conferences, etc. In addition, I am co-founder of ExET - Experiments in Education Theory (www.exet.org) - a group of researchers that embraces a purely conceptual approach to education research and that is part of a larger international network of researchers who promote systematic-conceptual and philosophical research into education across different countries and continents.

Professional activities

WEF 100th Anniversary
Japanese Bildung. Georg Kerschensteiner's pedagogical perspective on Japan
Invited speaker
Re/framing Educational Equity: An international collaboration
Philosophy or Not Philosophy, that is the question. Practices of Educational Reflection
Keynote speaker
The 4th Annual Conference of Taiwan Philosophy Education Society
Paul Feyerabend (1924-1994) – Education for a Free Society –

More professional activities


Paul Feyerabend - Education for a Free Society
Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Engelmann, Sebastian (Principal Investigator)
Translating F. Fröbel
Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Friesen, Norm (Principal Investigator)
New Education in International Perspective
Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Sakuma, Hiroyuki (Principal Investigator)
Continental Pedagogy - A Conversation
Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Friesen, Norm (Principal Investigator) Murillo, Fernando (Principal Investigator)
Development of collaboration between The School of Education, Strathclyde University and The Education University of Hong Kong
Adams, Paul (Principal Investigator) Kenklies, Karsten (Principal Investigator) Lewin, David (Principal Investigator)
Faculty and School funding to develop further collaborative links with EduHK
Global Engagements Fund Collaborative Visit to The Education Univerrsity of Hong Kong
Adams, Paul (Co-investigator) Hunter, Sharon (Principal Investigator) Kenklies, Karsten (Co-investigator) Lewin, David (Co-investigator)
Visit by four members of The School of Education, Strathclyde University to the Department for Policy and Leadership, The Education University of Hong Kong

More projects