“4 QUESTIONS TO…” – Who is actually behind the #LFE? This section is all about our employees.
Today we introduce Henrik Saalbach. He is not only a research group leader, but also the director at LFE.
(1) WHAT ARE YOUR TASKS AT THE LFE?
First of all, I represent the LFE to the outside world. That means I am the first contact person regarding LFE internally (dean’s office, rector’s office) as well as externally (other faculties, universities and institutes or press). In addition, I chair the meetings of the LFE board, which meets at least once a month to discuss, among other things, conceptual and organizational issues regarding the orientation and further development of the LFE. This includes, for example, determining the topics for the Wilhelm Wundt Dialogue and the LFE Colloquium or preparing methodological workshops for the members of the LFE. However, I see my main task as LFE director as working together with the board and the members of the LFE to promote scientific engagement with the topic of “Development and Education in Early Childhood” and to make this topic a core area of research at the scientific location of Leipzig. The city is already a hotspot of childhood-related research in Germany with a large number of relevant scientific institutions and projects.
(2) WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE TOPIC OF “DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION IN EARLY CHILDHOOD”?
The topic interests me for at least two reasons: First, the course for the rest of life is set in early childhood. A certain social environment, the bond with parents or the quality of stimulation in the daycare center – all of these have a demonstrable impact on later social and emotional development or on the further acquisition of skills. On the other hand, big questions about being human can be examined in early childhood: Where do we come from? What makes us human? What goes back to disposition and what to environment? Finally, I like to deal with the topic “Development and Education in Early Childhood” because research with children is simply extremely fun. The little ones are motivated, enthusiastic and always good for a surprise.
(3) WHAT CHILDHOOD MEMORY DO YOU PARTICULARLY LIKE TO THINK BACK ON?
I don’t remember much about my kindergarten days. But one scene is still very present in my mind. A few other kids and I had set up a shack in the backyard, under trees and bushes. There was a living room, a kitchen, and a storage room. There was even a small garden to it, in which we scattered a few seeds (whether from it something grew, I do not know unfortunately any more). There we were to be found in the beautiful season mostly. In my memory we sat at the edge of the garden and talked shortly before the end of our kindergarten time about how school would be and what we would become afterwards. But perhaps my memory only included this scene afterwards. In any case, though, it was a wonderful place of my childhood.
(4) WHAT DO YOU PARTICULARLY LIKE ABOUT LEIPZIG? WHERE CAN YOU BE FOUND ON FRIDAY EVENINGS?
As a native of Leipzig, the city is of course particularly close to my heart. But even if I look at it relatively objectively and after having lived in various other places in Germany and abroad, Leipzig seems to me to be a very exciting and livable city, which impresses above all with its rich culture and history as well as the many green spaces and the beautiful architecture. In addition, the culinary offer is becoming more and more diverse, so that I like to try out a new restaurant on Friday evenings, before perhaps going to a program of the great Leipzig Ballet.