Prof. h.c Dr. h.c. Ferdinand Klein
The awarding of the title of Doctor et professor honoris causa
Ferdinand KleinEmeritus professor of the University of Ludwigsburg-Tübingen,
Visiting professor at ELTE Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education
Ferdinand Klein is one of the most prominent representatives of special needs education in German speaking countries and a member of the great generation of scholars after the Second World War, along with Otto Speck, Walter Bachmann, Andreas Möckel, Ulrich Bleidick and Urs Haeberlin. As one of this generation of scholars and as a theoretician he has contributed substantially to the formation of the methodological basis of modern special needs education, to the conduct of extensive research and the delineation of the first theoretical paradigms, while also carrying out pioneering - and at the same time systematic - work in several practical fields (such as the development of the education of persons with severe/profound disabilities). Among the hundreds of his scientific contributions there are several significant, fundamental reference books and professional dictionaries owing to which he is one of the authors with the most references in the professional literature in German. His academic career is characterised by the organisation and formation of many special needs education training schemes that are among the most prestigious today. He is a member of the editorial staff of several significant professional journals, the editor of the series of Heilpädagogik im Ost-West-Dialog ("Special Needs Education in the Dialogue between East and West") by the Klinkhardt publishing house.
After retiring he returned to the homeland that he had left as a child due to deportation after the Second World War, and as president of a German association he developed several projects for the safe-keeping of records and memories of German culture in what is now Southern Slovakia, as well as initiatives for the historical reconciliation of people living in the Carpathian Basin: he renovated churches and schools from funding he himself had raised, besides founding institutions for adult education and organising training courses. Let me mention one concrete example that illustrates the attitude of Professor Klein: in his home village, which had previously been 100% German, like many other settlements in the region, only a few German-speaking old people remained after deportation and subsequent assimilation and migration. Roma families moved into the empty houses, their numbers swelling to 70%. So he developed employment opportunities and vocational schools and training for them. For these efforts, he was awarded prestigious honours from the German Head of State three years ago.
In between terms as a visiting professor he has supported the development of the training of special needs educators in the universities of Bratislava (Pozsony) and Trnava (Nagyszombat), and it was through a research partnership in Bratislava that our Faculty came into contact with him. He knows and respects the traditions of Hungarian special needs education, so we could easily persuade him to participate in an international comparative research team on special needs education. This led to the next step: regular invitations as a visiting speaker to ELTE, then activities as a visiting professor - he visited us at Bárczi for six years giving lectures in relation to our courses and also block seminars to our Erasmus students twice a term. He has donated a substantial share of his private library to our Faculty library. In the years mentioned his name appeared as a visiting professor of ELTE in international conferences and in publications - also supporting our international representation at conferences and in publications. He invited our students to conferences and study tours in Germany and Switzerland several times for which he himself found outside sponsors.
In professor Ferdinand Klein ELTE will have a doctor et professor honoris causa whose nomination symbolises the historical embeddedness and openness of our university to relations between nations, cultures and scientific disciplines and whose work is a living example to follow in order to live up to the mission of the nominating Faculty: With knowledge for an Inclusive Society.
Werke des Autors
Inklusive Erziehungs- und Bildungsarbeit in der Kita
Heilpädagogische Grundlagen und Praxishilfen
Heilpädagogische Grundlagen und Praxishilfen