Obituary for Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer – 1955-2019

The members of the Association of Socioeconomic Education and Research (ASEER, in German GSÖBW) express their deepest condolences upon the death of its member Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer. Andreas died in Lüneburg, Germany, at the age of 64.

Andreas Fischer was one of the leading scholars in the research on socioeconomic education. His engagement included a range of activities. Andreas Fischer contributed early to the conceptual debate on economic(s) versus socioeconomic education with the anthology Ökonomische Bildung – Quo vadis? (Economic education – quo vadis?, 2006), including his chapters on economic education and education for sustainabilty. Among his seminal contributions to socioeconomic education are the anthology Sozioökonomische Bildung (Socio-economic education, 2014), and the co-authored volume Was ist gute ökonomische Bildung? Leitfaden für den sozioökonomischen Unterricht (What is good economic education? Compendium for socioeconomic teaching, 2019).

His early academic positions were at Freie Universität Berlin where he graduated in 1990 on a PhD thesis analysing the consumer policy of trade unions and worked as an assistant professor until 1997. Andreas Fischer qualified as a university lecturer in the discipline of business and economics education. Soon after his habilitation, he was offered a chair of vocational, business and economics education and subject didactics of economics at Lüneburg University, Germany (Leuphana University Lüneburg) and subsequently built a strong research profile in environmental education and education for sustainabilty, vocational teacher education in the economic domain, socioeconomic education and experiential learning and life-world oriented learning (Lebensweltorientierung). Before his academic career, Andreas worked as a teacher of economics, business administration and German at the Oberstufenzentrum Banken und Versicherungen in Berlin (Secondary College of Banks and Insuring Companies).

Andreas was a founding member of the ASEER in 2016. He was deeply committed to the advancement of the association. Andreas Fischer founded and supported many academic initiatives, for instance for environmental vocational education, for the transfer of knowledge in social science education (see in German) or for the approach of socioeconomic education and recently for an Interdisciplinary Institute of Social Science Education.

Together with a team of Leuphana University Lüneburg, Andreas Fischer advanced the research on Lebensweltorientierung and Situationsorientierung (experiential and situational learning). Andreas was a great, gifted and inspiring academic teacher, who really loved teaching future vocational teachers, was committed to their professional and personal development and cared about fostering their autonomous and critical thinking. He was one of the few professors who are able to teach economics and economic education by using means from theatre, dance, literature and performance. Andreas Fischer received several distinguished teaching awards. He also did research in the field of teacher education and published, for example, on fostering competences of future vocational teachers and making use of open educational resources for sustainability education of teachers. Recently, he edited a book together with his wife, Gabriela Hahn, and Harald Hantke titled Neue Wege zur Kompetenzförderung zukünftiger Berufsschullehrerinnen und Berufsschullehrer (New pathways of fostering competences of future vocational teachers, 2019).

Andreas is survived by his wife, Gabriela Hahn, who has lost a wonderful and loving husband. We lose a very responsible, optimistic and open-minded colleague, a gifted, creative, innovative and successful scholar. Andreas was always aware of the social and political impact of his research and the respective responsibility reaching far beyond the narrow boundaries of university research and teaching. We will sadly miss him.

Reinhold Hedtke

(für den Vorstand der GSÖBW)