Britta Behm

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Jul 2019-Mar 2021)


Britta Behm has been part of the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG) since 2019. She received her PhD in the field of early modern German-Jewish history from the Universität Hamburg in 2001. For ten years she worked on organizational and governance issues in the management of higher education institutions, at the FernUniversität in Hagen, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and at the CHE Consult GmbH in Gütersloh. She re-entered academia in 2012/13, concentrating her research on the history of science and education (Bildung) in the twentieth century and on concepts of a history of knowledge. Her overall interest is to gain a better understanding of the changing roles of the social sciences and humanities in modern societies in order to rethink their current self-concepts and responsibilities. She held a visiting position at the Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung in Berlin (Department of the DIPF, Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education) and taught history of education and of the social sciences at the Martin-Luther-Universität in Halle-Wittenberg.

Britta’s current research focuses on the history of “empirische Bildungsforschung” (empirical education research) as an integral part of contemporary history. Within the framework of the GMPG project, she is working on the history of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung), which was founded in West Berlin in 1963. In recent articles she has explored aspects of this research area, particularly regarding the periodization of “Bildungsforschung” (Zu den Anfängen der Bildungsforschung in Westdeutschland, 2017) and the fact that it was established initially outside German universities.