Already integrated in his studies in the field of educating learners with emotional, social and behavioral needs, at University of Cologne, Germany, Dr. Broecher began his work as counselor in summer workshops, for the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation in Michigan (Prof. Dr. David P. Weikart), and later as co-director and director of summer programs in Germany, in the fields of gifted education and inclusive education in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Karl-J. Kluge. Dr. Broecher then worked in the German school system for 18 years, as teacher in specialized and inclusive school settings, and finally as school principal. During these years he did his habilitation studies, with Prof. Dr. Hans-Guenther Richter as academic advisor, and taught classes at the universities of Cologne, Munich, Hamburg, Halle and Gießen. Dr. Broecher was also active in the field of in-service teacher training and school consulting.

Since 2008 he served as professor for childhood education at University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal. Here he build partnerships with Lenoir-Rhyne University North Carolina, Hickory, University of South Carolina Upstate, Spartanburg and Wheelock College Boston. This included an active exchange of students and faculty members. Several transatlantic workshops and field trips, particularly with Lenoir-Rhyne University, were operated either in North Carolina or in Germany. The results have been documented in a cooperative study together with Prof. Dr. Janet F. Painter, Dr. Joyce H. Davis, Prof. Dr. Kim Matthews and Prof. Dr. Katherine Pasour.

2010 Dr. Broecher went to Wheelock College Boston, as International Presidential Visiting Scholar, to do research and discuss the current educational challenges in the field with the colleagues from the United States.

Since 2012 Dr. Broecher is professor and head of department at University of Flensburg, Germany, in the field of educating learners with emotional, social and behavioral needs.

In cooperation with the Munich School Foundation, he investigated the pros and cons of implementing `School-wide Positive Behavior Support´ (PBIS) in Germany´s schools (2014-2015). Together with European partners he currently discusses possible cultural adaptations of PBIS for Europe and Germany.

2012-2015 Dr. Broecher conducted a narrative, biographical and intergenerational research project with older adults in South Westphalia, Germany. This work focused mainly on the life stories of the participating women and men from the Third Reich. Together with Prof. Dr. Janet F.  Painter from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina, and Dr. Joyce H. Davies from University of North Carolina at Asheville, the data were then reflected with regard to civic and democratic education in today´s schools. The results of this cooperative study have been published in the `International Journal of Lifelong Education´, online, before print, in February 2017.

Besides, in the years 2012—2016, Dr. Broecher completed a series of studies, e.g., a critical evaluation of the „Trainingroom-Program“ (Responsible Thinking Process) in German schools, a case study about the process of turning around a paramilitary alternative school for students with challenging behaviors, a detailed description of the Movable Layout for teaching arts in special education and inclusive education, a case study about traveling with children in the sense of offering them extended learning experiences, a qualitative analysis of a special education teacher´s diary („How a Practitioner Thinks in Action“, 2015), a case study about autobiographical reflection in pre-service teacher education (with Prof. Dr. Janet F. Painter, Dr. Joyce H. Davis, and Arwed Williams) or a study about storytelling in higher education when addressing the inclusive and exclusive forces of Western societies („Incident on a train“, 2014). In his book „Inspirational Moments in an Educator´s Life“ (2015) Dr. Broecher also reflected upon his own educational experiences.

Since 2015 and inspired by Walter Benjamin´s Arcades Project („Passagen-Werk“), also by a growing body of literature about the „creative city“, Dr. Broecher started to perform extended field studies in the metropolis of Berlin. What is happening in this „greenhouse“ for future social, economical, and cultural developments might help to sketch out a new theoretical framework for the building of innovative school cultures.

Since 2013 Dr. Broecher acts as peer referee for the Elsevier journal „Teaching and Teacher Education“.


Last update: March 26, 2017                                                                            


Professor Dr. Joachim Broecher


University of Flensburg

Institute of Special Education

Department for the Education of Learners with Emotional, Social and Behavioral Needs

Auf dem Campus 1a, D-24943 Flensburg


Tel. 0461-805-2686














In Johann W. v. Goethe´s garden by the Ilm river in Weimar that is part of his refuge here sits this stone sculpture: a ball based on top of a squared stone. The theme symbolized here is particularly deep and invites self-exploration and reflection. The stone block stands for everything that is firm and stable in life and the ball for everything that is mobile and changeable.



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In Goethe´s Garden in Weimar´s Ilm Valley