On cognitive conflict and development

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 | Quotations | No Comments

“…assimilation and accommodation are aspects of every human activity. Cognitive conflict is ubiquitous, as multiple action-cum-experience schemes organize and are brought to bear on every novel encounter in life, and the novel aspects of those encounters challenge the schemes to accommodate to each other and to the environment. Furthermore, all this activity occurs in the context of social relations, social systems, and cultures that are simultaneously organizing, maintaining, and affecting each individual’s activity. Social partners using culturally shared mediational tools evoke and direct one another’s attention to (a) novel experiences that conflict with prior assumptions, (b) conflicting understandings of experience, and (c) unanswered questions. Whenever there is conflict, there are opportunities for the construction of novel syntheses, which represent development. So adaptive challenges, developmental opportunities, and developmental processes are ubiquitous too” (p.55).


Basseches, M., & Mascolo, M. F. (2010). Psychotherapy as a developmental process. New York: Routledge.

2016… here we come…

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016 | Announcements | No Comments

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Well, 2015 turned out to be a year full of transitions, tensions, dislocations, and quite a bit of disbalance altogether… from a personal level all the way up to global affairs.

I truly wish for a more peaceful 2016!
For me… and you… and your loved ones.

On prestige

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 | Quotations | 1 Comment

“Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. That’s the recipe for getting people to give talks, write forewords, serve on committees, be department heads, and so on. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. If it didn’t suck, they wouldn’t have had to make it prestigious.”

Graham, P. (2006). How to do what you love.

On the desire for security

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 | Quotations | No Comments

There is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper than the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the “I,” but it is just the feeling of being an isolated “I” which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want.

To put it still more plainly: the desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.

Watts, A. (1951) The wisdom of insecurity: a message for an age of anxiety.

On hope and ambition

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 | Quotations | No Comments

“It is inevitable that life will be not just very short but very miserable for those who acquire by great toil what they must keep by greater toil. They achieve what they want laboriously; they possess what they have achieved anxiously; and meanwhile they take no account of time that will never more return. New preoccupations take the place of the old, hope excites more hope and ambition more ambition. They do not look for an end to their misery, but simply change the reason for it.”

Seneca. On the shortness of life.

EDeR – a Journal for Educational Design Research in the making

Sunday, August 30th, 2015 | Announcements | No Comments

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler One of my roles at HUL will be the operational management and “editor-in-chief” for EDeR – an open access journal on Educational Design Research.

The journal will be published and hosted by Hamburg University Press that is operated by the Hamburg State and University Library Carl von Ossietzky. The details for this partnership are currently worked out.

Apart from the fact that this journal will be dedicated to contributions focusing on Design-Based Research in a wide range of educational contexts, what I find interesting is the particular review process that is intended. We will implement and evaluate a Triple-Peer-Review process that combines elements of a senior-editor model with peer review, and peer discussion. Stay tuned for the details. I will post more on this matter shortly.

We will try to get a first issue published by May 2016. Thus, in September and October we will be looking for collaborators in various roles. If you are invested in Design-Based Research in education you might want to consider coming on board in one way or another.

Research Colloquium at HUL

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 | Announcements | No Comments

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler On September 25th (13.00-16-00) we will start with a regular research colloquium at the Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning (HUL).
The following presentations are currently scheduled:

The colloquium will take place on a monthly basis and targets PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who work on their habilitation.

A fresh start on the horizon

Friday, August 14th, 2015 | Announcements | No Comments

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler The waiting time is finally coming to an end. In September I will start a new position at the Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning (HUL) at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Gabi Reinmann has recently taken over the directorship of this newly founded research centre. At the moment things are still very much in transition there… but that makes it a particularly interesting period to join.

I am really looking forward to working with Gabi and her growing team.

H|U|L Hamburg Centre for University Teaching and Learning

(my new workplace in Hamburg-Rotherbaum)

The contemplating chimney sweeper

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | Shots | No Comments

Kalamaja, Tallinn, Estonia

A healthy and peaceful 2015!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 | Announcements, Quotations | No Comments

“Not until we are lost
do we begin to understand ourselves”

– Henry David Thoreau