Dr. Wolfgang Althof

Dr. Wolfgang Althof

Retired, Co-Director, Teresa M. Fischer Endowed Professor of Citizenship Education, UMSL

He was born in 1950 near Hannover, Germany, and received his university 
Dr. Wolfgang Althof
training at the University of Mannheim and the University of Hamburg. He earned (the equivalent of) a MA degree with honors in education (1979) at the University of Hamburg (Germany). As a doctoral student, he spent some time at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (Lawrence Kohlberg’s Center for Moral Education, 1980). He earned his Ph.D. in Education at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 1990 and earned a second, higher-level doctorate (called “Habilitation”) for the field of Educational Sciences at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany) in 2002.
Dr. Althof taught university courses and workshops at several universities and other post-secondary institutions in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and lectured in many other countries, including the United States and Canada. At his former affiliation in Switzerland, he taught courses on more than 20 different topics. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1995-96.
Dr. Althof edited or co-edited eight books including:
  • A two-volume edition of Kohlberg’s work in German language that included writings which have never been published in English.
  • His translations (from English to German) include Thomas Lickona’s book “Raising Good Children”.
  • Dr. Althof is the co-author of “Moralische Selbstbestimmung” (Moral Autonomy, 4th edition 2001), a monograph on moral development and education that has become probably the most widely used textbook (concerning these issues) in German and Swiss Higher Education programs.
For the last 15 years, his focus has been on moral/character development and citizenship education in school-wide programs and on their contribution to school and staff development. Several of these schools (in Switzerland, Germany, and Italy) have won awards for these outstanding pedagogical initiatives, including the Pestalozzi Award for Child-friendly Environments, donated by UNICEF Switzerland and other national youth organizations.
Research Interests
  • Effectiveness of participatory civic education programs
  • Programs that integrate civic/citizenship and character education
  • Inclusion in schools
  • Multi-aged and multi-grade schooling
  • Sources and processes of social, moral, and political learning/development
  • School/staff development
  • Peer mediation
  • Multi-aged and multi-grade schooling

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