Beutelsbach consensus

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The Beutelsbach Consensus is the result of a meeting of the Baden-Württemberg State Center for Civic Education together with political didactics of different party-political or denominational origins in the autumn of 1976 in Beutelsbach , a district of the large district town of Weinstadt in the Rems-Murr district in Baden-Württemberg . The consensus sets the principles for civic education .


The consensus defines three principles for teaching politics. Education providers recognized by the Federal Agency for Civic Education must recognize all three principles in order to be eligible for funding.

Overcoming prohibition

According to the prohibition of overcoming (also: prohibition of indoctrination ), teachers are not allowed to impose their opinion on students, but should enable students to form their own opinion with the help of the lessons. This is owed to the aim of political education to train students to become responsible citizens.


The principle of controversy (also: contradiction ) also aims to enable the students to form their own opinions. The teacher must be able to present and discuss a topic in a controversial manner if it appears controversial in science or politics. His own opinion and his political and theoretical standpoints are irrelevant for the lesson and must not be used to overwhelm the students. The controversy requirement, however, is not a neutrality requirement for the teacher.

Student orientation

The principle of student orientation should enable the student to analyze the political situation of society and his own position and to actively participate in the political process as well as “to look for ways and means to influence the political situation in the interests of his interests. "


Sibylle Reinhardt embeds the principle of student interests : It is not - as it was interpreted at the time it was created - "designed exclusively for the individual". His now consensual reading does not mean "the possibility of ruthless enforcement of self-interests" and does not prevent the idea of ​​"longer-term general interest".

Reinhardt also specifies the controversy . Depending on the learning group, the teacher has to change his role: a “'political' learning group [needs] the political teacher [...], while the 'un political ' learning group needs him”. If the one-sided 'political' teacher did not explain his role afterwards, he would not have opened up a further perspective, i.e. manipulated again. So it would be better to look for different perspectives on 'objects' (situations, rules, ...), to arouse the urge to research, also to ask bizarre and even unpleasant questions, which are always looking for several answers, weighing up the advantages and disadvantages and then looking for them to look for overall social, global effects - also for the repercussions on oneself and subsequent generations.

Studies among political teachers also show that they often misunderstand the Beutelsbach Consensus as a requirement of neutrality and wrongly assume that the Beutelsbach Consensus obliges them to present extremist positions on an equal footing in class.


  • Klaus Ahlheim : The 'white flag hoisted'? Effect and limits of the Beutelsbach Consensus. In: Klaus Ahlheim, Johannes Schillo: Political education between formation and enlightenment (= critical contributions to educational science. Volume 6). Offizin Verlag, Hanover 2012, ISBN 978-3-930345-96-0 , pp. 75-92.
  • Armin Scherb : The Beutelsbach Consensus. In: Dirk Lange , Volker Reinhardt (Hrsg.): Strategies of political education. Handbook for social science teaching (= basic knowledge of political education. Volume 2). Schneider-Verl. Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2007, ISBN 978-3-8340-0207-5 , pp. 31-39.
  • Sibylle Reinhardt : Political Didactics. Practical handbook for secondary level I and II. 4., revised. New edition. Cornelsen, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-589-23201-7 .
  • Siegfried Schiele , Herbert Schneider (Ed.): Is the Beutelsbach Consensus Sufficient? (= Didactic series of the State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg ). Wochenschau publisher, Schwalbach / Ts. 1996, ISBN 3-879-20384-9 .
  • Benedikt Widmaier, Peter Zorn (ed.): Do we need the Beutelsbach consensus? A debate on political education (= Federal Center for Political Education [Hrsg.]: Series of publications. Volume 1793). BpB, Bonn 2016, ISBN 978-3-8389-0793-2 .

Web links


  1. Hans-Georg Wehling . In: Siegfried Schiele, Herbert Schneider (Ed.): The problem of consensus in political education (= comments and arguments on historical and political education. Volume 17). Klett, Stuttgart 1977, ISBN 3-12-927580-0 , p. 179 f.
  2. Kerstin Pohl: How far does the rule of controversy go for political education? In: Dossier Political Education. Federal Agency for Civic Education, March 19, 2015, accessed on September 23, 2018 .
  3. ^ State Center for Political Education Baden-Württemberg: Beutelsbach Consensus. In:, accessed on June 12, 2009.
  4. ^ A b Sibylle Reinhardt: Political Didactics. Practical Guide for Secondary School I and II. 2012, p. 30.
  5. ^ Sibylle Reinhardt: Political Didactics. Practical manual for secondary level I and II. 2012, p. 31.
  6. Monika Oberle, Sven Ivens, Johanna Leunig: Limitless Tolerance? Teacher's ideas about the Beutelsbach consensus and dealing with extremism in class . In: Laura Möllers, Sabine Manzel (ed.): Populism and political education (=  series of publications by the Society for Political Didactics and Political Youth and Adult Education ). Wochenschau Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-7344-0680-5 , p. 53-61 .