Work school

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At the beginning of the 20th century, a work school called one direction of German reform education their reform project of a new school. The term was understood very heterogeneously.

At the Reichsschulkonferenz in 1920 and in many other reform pedagogical meetings in Germany, the innovators discussed a school that should distinguish itself from the “book and drama school” that was seen as typical of the Wilhelmine school system. Work education was seen as the way out of the authority-oriented school of the 19th century. However, work pedagogy was already formulated very differently at the Reich School Conference.

Thus Hugo Gaudig required only the "free spiritual school work" based on a free class discussion aimed confident students while Paul Oestreich as a spokesman for the federal government more decisively school reformers the location of the school as a production school represented. Georg Kerschensteiner, on the other hand, pleaded for the practical work and assessed it as educationally valuable for the education of the future citizen. From 1919 to 1920 , Otto Glöckel pushed through his ideas of a work school against considerable opposition, first throughout Austria in his role as Undersecretary of State for Education and then as President of the Vienna City School Council during the Vienna school reform . Even Adolf Reichwein can with his concept of project-teaching are referred to as a representative of the labor school.

In comprehensive definitions, all - including international - approaches to acting lessons such as that of Maria Montessori and John Dewey are included. However, the concept of “work school” in the narrower sense remains limited to the German discourse at the beginning of the Weimar Republic . Today, this term has largely been replaced by the categories of action orientation or acting instruction.

The term work lesson is currently understood to mean a lesson that is not characterized by instruction, but by the students' independent handling of given or self-selected materials and independent finding of results. There is also a closeness to learning by discovery .


  • August Wolff: The principle of autonomy in modern pedagogy. A contribution to the history of the work school (= Friedrich Mann's Pedagogical Magazine. Treatises from the areas of pedagogy, psychology, philosophy and politics. Issue 834, ZDB -ID 505477-1 ). H. Beyer, Langensalza 1921 (detailed list of literature; subject index).
  • Georg Kerschensteiner , Philipp Gonon (ed.): The concept of the work school. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-15195-X .
  • Albert Reble (ed.): The work school. Texts on the labor school movement. 4th, improved edition. Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn / Obb. 1979, ISBN 3-7815-0412-3 .
  • Oskar Achs, Albert Krassnigg: Drill school, learning school, work school. Otto Glöckel and the Austrian school reform in the First Republic (= pedagogy of the present. Vol. 112). Jugend-und-Volk-Verlagsgesellschaft, Vienna a. a. 1974, ISBN 3-7141-5346-2 .

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