Ernest Manheim


Ernest Manheim







Apart from his scientific and practical work, Ernest Manheim's pedagogic activity should also not be forgotten. In his positions as a lecturer at Leipzig University and at the local Volkshochschule [adult evening classes], Manheim had already taught in and out of the university during his Leipzig days. Back then, he also devoted himself theoretically to the problems of pedagogy and education, as can be seen in his presentation "Die Bildungskrise der Gegenwart" [The Educational Crisis of Today].


In the USA, Manheim's activity as a teacher became even more important. A projection based on the documents in his estate shows that about 7.500 students must have attended his courses between 1939 and 1991 - this is even more impressive for a subject that still had to be institutionalized over the years after Manheim took office at the University of Kansas. His courses dealt with the history of sociology, as well as with social theory and empirical research. The numerous empirical investigations Manheim undertook together with his students served as an apt practical introduction and training in empirical social research.


Equally remarkable are the numerous handouts Manheim wrote for his students, e.g. on "The Sociological Use of Historical Data", "The Social Preconditions of Sociology"  or on "Functional Explanations". These excellent introductions to sociological and social scientific topics and problems of theory and methodology not only testify to Manheim's scholarly expertise but also his pedagogical talent. Unfortunately, some of these short articles have only been published in recent years - previously, they had only been copied for use in class.