Fritz Oser

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Fritz Oser (em)
Professor (em.), University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Bio and Research Interest

Fritz K. Oser is Professor of Educational Psychology and General Education at the Department of Educational Sciences. He served as a dean of the philosophical faculty and as president of the department. He was a fellow at the Harvard University working with Lawrence Kohlberg. He has worked in the beginning of his carrier extensively in the field of moral and religious development from where he received the Honorary Doctor of the University of Mainz and of the University of Helsinki. He received the Kuhmerker award of AME, the Liechtenstein Award, the Hans Aebli Award and the EARLI Lifetime-Award (European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction). He is the co-founder of the Leading house conception, new University Institutes that bring the VET and professional learning field to research. He was honored to spent a full year at the Center for Advance studies in Berlin. Today he is leader or co-leader of a couple of research projects like e.g. “The Impact of Negative Knowledge to Develop Rescue from Entrepreneurial Failure Competencies: An Intervention Study at the Upper-secondary Level”. Oser is a fellow of the American Educational research Association and a member of the National Academy of Education (USA). He is coeditor of the series “Moral Development and Citizenship Education” of Sense publishers with more than 12 volumes edited. He is on the advisory board of different scientific journals.

Professor Oser has been engaged in overlapping research topics like the quality of teaching where he developed the concept of “choreographies of instruction” and the theory of “advocatory quality measures”. He specializes in research on ethos of the teachers and the respective effects on students learning. In different IEA studies he represented Switzerland, so with respect to TEDs M, Civics, ICILs. His interest is also targeted towards learning from mistakes where he developed the concept of Negative Knowledge. One application of this concerns the failure of young enterprises where he studies young adults in situations of high and fragile risk taking.


University of Zürich. 


Oser, F. (2018). Positive learning through negative learning. The wonderful burden of PLATO. In: O. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, G. Wittum & A. Dengel (eds.) Positive learning in age of information. A blessing or a curse. Wiesbaden: Springer, 363-372.

Oser, F. & Biedermann, H. (2018). A Three-Level Model for Critical Thinking: Critical Alertness, Critical Reflection, Critical Analysis. Wiesbaden: Spriner (in press).

Oser, F., Mueller, S., Obex, T., Volery, T. & Shavelson, R. J. (2018). Rescue an Enterprise from Failure: An Innovative Assessment Tool for Simulated Performance. In: O. Zlatkin-Troitschankaia, M. Toepper, A. P. Pant,  C. Lauterbach & C. Kuhn (eds.) Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education. Cross-National Comparisons and Perspectives . Hamburg: Springer, 123-144.

Oser, F. & Obex, T. (2015). Gains and losses of control: the construct “Sense of Failure” and the competence to “Rescue an Enterprise from Failure” . Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 7, 3, Open access 1-17.

Oser, F. K. (2014). Toward a theory of the Just Community approach: Effects of collective moral, civic and social education. In: L. Nucci, D. Narvaez & T. Krettenauer (eds.) Handbook of Moral and Character Education. New York: Routledge, 198-222).

K. Heinrichs, F. Oser & T. Lovat (eds. 2013) Handbook of moral motivation. Rotterdam: Sense.

Oser, F., Salzmann, P. & Heinzer, S. (2009). Measuring the competence-quality of vocational teachers: An advocatory approach. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training 1 (2009) 69-87 

Oser, F. & Spychiger, M. (2005). Learning is painful. Towards a theory of negative knowledge an a practice of a culture of mistakes. (Lernen ist schmerzhaft. Zur Theorie des negativen Wissens und zur Praxi der Fehlerkultur). Weinheim: Betz.

Oser, F. (1992). Morality in professional action: A discourse approach for teaching. In: F. Oser, A. Dick & J.-L- Patry (eds.). Effective and responsible teaching. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 109-125.

Oser, F. & Gmünder, P. (1991). Religious judgment. A developemental approach. Birmingham, Alabama: Religious Education Press.


Contact Information

Departement Erziehungswissenschaften
University of Fribourg
Rue Faucigny 2
1700 Freiburg
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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