Ernst Mach’s Didactics in the Context of Austrian History of Education
On the didactical work of Mach focused already Adolf Hohenester and Michael Matthews. Recently, there are publications to find that go beyond this two established accounts. Hayo Siemsen puts Mach in a broader line of tradition, bringing together rather different names and times. Compared to Mach’s entire work, the extent of his didactical contributions are small and the attribution to a didactical tradition seems doubtful. The paper addresses this assumed contradiction between oeuvre and impact as well as the influence on Mach as it is described by Siemsen. Avoiding presentism, it focuses on the texts and the respective historical context, i.e. how Mach wrote and for what purpose he wrote.
This historical account leads to the result, that Mach didn’t create an own didactical system or that you can attribute to him a specific tradition, neither before nor after him. Out of his genuine scientific perspective, Mach’s didactical work reflects and comments the educational changes of the time in Austria.