The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI) is a centre for research in educational media and is one of a kind in Germany. Its mission consists in carrying out practice-oriented, multidisciplinary research on textbooks and other school-based educational media, informed by the disciplines of history and cultural studies. The GEI also advises national and international stakeholders in educational policy and practice. The Institute coordinates and mediates debates and cooperations on international textbook-related matters. As a non-university establishment that both conducts research and makes research possible, the GEI sees itself as a research-oriented infrastructural institution. Its main attraction is the Research Library, with an internationally unique collection of textbooks from the areas of history, social studies/civics, geography and ethics/religion. With the information and communication portal Edumeres, the GEI provides virtual access to current information, publications and data from research on textbooks and educational media, organized into several modules.
Key research activities and services at the GEI:
- With the advancement of digitalisation, education is undergoing a fundamental change. In response, the GEI has broadened its focus to include digital educational media. Research on knowledge and interpretation, on the societal dimension of media-based transformation, and on the use and adoption of new technology goes hand in hand with an expansion of the Research Library’s collection and the continuing digitisation of its holdings.
- The GEI provides a diverse range of academic transfer and other services. It acts, for instance, as a coordinator for bilateral textbook commissions and projects and supplies consultation services on textbook-related matters to national and international education policymakers, practitioners and organisations. Additionally, it has served as a mediator in conflict-laden situations surrounding textbooks and provides support for the development of new textbooks and educational media.
- The GEI’s research library, which holds a unique collection of history, geography, social studies and ethics/religious education textbooks from around the world, has been designated as a Special Subject Collection library by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is the textbook centre of the Council of Europe.
- The GEI runs the information and communication portal Edumeres.net, which acts as a virtual point of access to educational media research conducted from the perspective of historical and cultural studies.
- The Institute has its own visiting professorship through the Georg Arnhold Program on Education for Sustainable Peace.