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Sabine Schmidt-Lauff

Sabine Schmidt-Lauff

Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Sabine Schmidt-Lauff holds the Professorship for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning at Helmut-Schmidt-University / University of the Federal Armed Forces  (HSU), Hamburg, Germany. Her main research interest is in professionalization and professionalism in adult education, professional identity, and international-comparative research on lifelong learning. She understands that adult education, as universal human right, is embedded in a critical and at times militant discourse tradition, part of a democratic tradition characterized by fragile relationships between subject and society, individual and world, self and structure, politics and opinion. Accordingly, she has introduced the concept of time and temporality to research in adult education. She has established systematic national and international networks for international comparative research to explore this contradictory but global central phenomena in modernity in adult education.

As a university professor, Schmidt-Lauff has published more than 150 publications and delivered more than 100 public presentations, workshops, keynotes, political statements in parliament, and interviews. She has published more than 50 collaborative papers in international journals, contributions to anthologies, conference proceedings, handbooks, and encyclopedias. Moreover, she has managed research projects with more than a €5 million budget.

She is member of two of the largest international German-based journal editorial boards in adult education as well as on the scientific advisory board of the Journal of Comparative Studies and International Education. She acts also as guest editor for several journals of adult education. In addition, she is co-editor of the Bertelsmann book series Erwachsenenbildung und Lebensbegleitendes Lernen (Adult Education and Lifelong Learning) and the hands-on adult and continuing education series DIE/Bertelsmann.

Schmidt-Lauff has significantly contributed to the disciplinary contexts of adult and continuing education by innovating the concept of time and the meaning of temporal phenomena in the context of adult learning or adult and continuing education. She examines how time-political educational strategies, the role of different actors, and the function of regulations of learning time affect and strengthen individuals’ learning involvement. Her Temporal Model on (Adult) Education has influenced research projects, been used beyond disciplinary boundaries, and included in several handbooks, anthologies, and encyclopedias.

Her work is characterized by support of young researchers in adult education. From 2001 to 2004, she headed of one of the first ERASMUS intensive programs for adult education at Humboldt University Berlin with 15 European partners in higher education. She co-initiated the Young Researchers Group on Adult Education, which has advised and supported several hundred young researchers in adult and continuing education. At HSU, she established international comparative topics in two modules in bachelor’s and master’s programs in education with a focus on adult education. She continuously welcomes at HSU scholars and young researchers from around the world and supports the next generation and young researchers of graduate students to go abroad. As a guest professor and ERASMUS teacher, she worked with several international universities in workshops in the Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Poland, and India.

As professor at HSU, she extends the so far primarily military-oriented collaborations and partnerships with many civil universities and higher institutions worldwide. She supports students to study adult education worldwide in a balanced relationship between personal development, civil society demands, and military services. As member of the newly established Academic Senate for Internationalization at HSU, she is engaged in fostering international thinking, skills, and knowledge in teaching and learning. She has been appointed as an advisory board expert to support the development of an official extensive internationalization strategy of HSU. Thereby, she makes adult education visible as important contributor for the internationalization of higher education.