The academic career of the then 23-year-old Barbara Hopf began as an assistant at the Chair of Education, especially Business Education by Prof. Dr. Joachim Peege at the University of Mainz.
In 1975, when Hopf followed a call for the position of scientific advisor and professor at the University of Mannheim, she had already made a name for herself with highly acclaimed work in vocational and business education. Of particular note were her publication on office simulation (1971), which was written as part of a research commission by the Federal Institute for Vocational Training Research (Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildungsforschung), and the publications on the research project “Training of Instructors” entrusted to her by this Federal Institute.
In her “Mannheim time”, from the second half of the seventies, her research interest was mainly devoted to the problem of the didactic interleaving of general education and vocational training. Particular attention in the relevant literature found in this period, especially her publications on vocational training courses, which emerged from the scientific accompaniment of the model experiment “Berufswahlunterricht” (1977–1983).
In 1980, she received a call to the full professorship for polytechnic / work teaching at the University of Giessen, which she refused.
Towards the end of the seventies, Barbara Hopf expanded her scientific focus with topics such as “Integration effects of support measures for foreign youth” and “Further education of foreign workers”.
Many of her projects are related to the city of Mannheim and the Electoral Palatinate region. For example, the project for the development of a curriculum framework for the subject of work teaching is closely related to the school experiment of the integrated comprehensive school Mannheim-Herzogenried.
A look at the comprehensive publication list of Professor Barbara Hopf underlines that the years at the University of Mannheim were characterized by creativity and productivity. The academic teaching has not come up short. Students sought the connection to practice established by Mrs. Hopf and many were also addressed by the socially integrating style that characterized her classes.
Thus, the University of Mannheim lost not only a respected scientist through the early death of Barbara Hopf, but also a well-liked colleague and a committed university teacher.