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Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), educational reformer

Education (from Old High German  bildunga  , conception, imagination ') is a multi-layered, differently defined term that can be understood as a measure of the correspondence of a person's personal knowledge and worldview with reality . The higher the education, the greater the ability to develop an understanding of relationships and to gain true knowledge . The term is used both for the educational process (“to be formed”, “to be formed”) and for the educational status (“to be formed”) of a person. With regard to the level of education generally expected within a population , the term general education is used.

In a broader sense, education describes the development of a person with regard to his or her personality - to a “human condition” that largely corresponds to the intellectual , social and cultural characteristics that can be considered in society as the ideal of the fully developed person. An example of this is the pursuit of the Humboldt ideal of education . A characteristic of education that can be derived from almost all modern educational theories can be described as the reflected relationship to oneself, to others and to the world.

The modern, dynamic and holistic concept of education stands for the lifelong development process of the person to the personality that he can be, but is not yet. However, this process is limited by personal requirements - in terms of intellect , motivation , ability to concentrate , basic skills - as well as by temporal, spatial and social conditions - practical constraints , availability of teaching materials and / or teachers . However, an educational process is not tied to educational institutions , but can also be self-taught .

The theory of education is the central theme of pedagogy .

Concept formation

Education is a linguistic, cultural and historical term with a very complex meaning. It is therefore extremely difficult to find a precise, or even better, uniform definition of the concept of education. Depending on orientation and interests, views on what should be understood by "education" vary considerably.

“'Education' refers to an image and thus back to the […] Genesis passage ( 1. Book Mose 1,26f.), Which was taken up into our century , according to which God created man in his image. At the same time, it is forbidden for this creature to form an image of God. "

The term education was introduced into the German language by the medieval theologian and philosopher Meister Eckhart . He meant "learning for him serenity " and was considered "God thing," "so be fashioned like unto man God."

Since the modern Enlightenment , the establishment of anthropology as a science and doctrine of human beings, the pedagogical century , a redefinition of the concept of education has been gaining ground . After that, man is no longer (only) God's creature, but the work of himself: self-education, self-practice. At the same time, the process of individual education depends on the opportunities that a society offers in material ( educational economics ), organizational ( educational sociology ) and programmatic ( curricula , curricula ) for education to succeed.

Wolfgang Klafki describes education as “being open to a material and spiritual reality for a person - that is the objective or material aspect; but that means at the same time that this person is opened up to this reality of his own - that is the subjective and the formal aspect both in the 'functional' and in the 'methodical' sense. "

According to Bernward Hoffmann , education is understood as the unfolding and development of the spiritual and spiritual values ​​and dispositions of a person through formation and upbringing:

“The term is derived from 'image', giving a thing shape and essence. The word education has come down to denote mere formal knowledge. Education is then not far from imagination or only describes what the rulers' societal usefulness thinks are important. "

According to Daniel Goeudevert , education is "an active, complex and never-ending process, in the course of which an independent and autonomous personality capable of solving problems and capable of life can develop". Education can not, therefore knowledge be reduced: Knowledge is not the goal of education, but certainly a tool. In addition, education requires judgment, reflection and a critical distance from the information offered. On the other hand, there is half-education , or, when it comes to adaptation as opposed to reflexive distance, assimilation as well .

An alternative definition can be found at Kössler:

"Education is the acquisition of a system of morally desirable attitudes through the mediation and acquisition of knowledge in such a way that people in the reference system of their historical-social world define their location by choosing, evaluating and taking position, acquiring a personality profile and gaining life and action orientation. Instead, one can also say that education creates identity [...] "

In order to avoid the theoretical dilemma of unilaterally increasing the subjective or objective side of education, Tobias Prüwer describes it as an open process, which takes place in particular as a linguistically mediated situation in the relationship between the self, the world and the social environment. He suggests a "postmodern" variant:

“Skepticism and criticism are essential features of education: Differentiation and distinction lay the foundation for independent judgment and a sovereign power of judgment, sharpen and relativize the individual worldview. Education also aims at the open and possible that falls out of sight within the logic of practical constraints. There is also a radical democratic element in the recognition of the different and equal forms of life anchored in the concept of education. "

While the concept of education is strongly linked to concepts such as “instruction” and “imparting knowledge” in our everyday thinking and acting, it has been expanded in theory and programming since Wilhelm von Humboldt . According to Hartmut von Hentig, "the word education has since been given the moment of independence, that is, the formation of personality". Humboldt himself stated:

“There is absolutely certain knowledge that must be general, and even more a certain formation of attitudes and character, which no one should be missing. Everyone is evidently a good craftsman, businessman, soldier and businessman only if he is a good, decent person and citizen who is enlightened according to his status and regardless of his particular profession. If school lessons give him what is necessary for this, he will acquire the special ability of his profession so easily afterwards and always retain the freedom, as so often happens in life, to move from one to the other. "

The word education itself is a typically German word, it has a specific relation to " education " and " socialization ". These terms, which are assigned differently in the German language, are summarized in English and French as education , whereby the aspect of formation , the inner formation of form, is of particular importance.

The term must also be distinguished from terms with which it is often used synonymously in colloquial language: the terms knowledge , intellectuality and sophistication . The term education, however, includes (depending on the interpretation of the term education to different degrees) facets of all different conceptual aspects. There is also a certain proximity to the term maturity .

The historical development of the concept of education

The concept of education experienced several changes in meaning during its development.

The beginnings of education

Although the ancient world did not yet use the term education as we know it, the ideas that should shape this term were already present. In Greek, the concept of (Enkyklios) Paideia is very much related to the concept of education.

First examples of educational theories are around 500 BC. The transition from mere opinion to truth, as described by Parmenides with his “ascent” to the goddess, as well as the belonging of man to the “logos” as formulated by Heraclitus .

Erasmus from Rotterdam

The German term originated in the Middle Ages , probably as a concept created by Meister Eckhart in the context of the Imago Dei doctrine . The term is therefore of theological origin. Education is understood as being formed by God in the image of God. The human soul is formed in the sense of "copied". Education is therefore a process over which the individual has no influence. It is not man's job to educate himself. The process is brought to people from outside. In this sense, the term Homo insipiens (Latin), the uneducated (stupid) person, applies who can only become a real Homo sapiens - the “wise, clever person” - through education and upbringing .

There was an “educational boost” in Europe during the Renaissance , when people's curiosity aroused and, with the help of the book printing art developed by Johannes Gutenberg , educational books were able to find wider distribution for the first time. One of the most enthusiastic “sculptors” at that time was the humanist Erasmus von Rotterdam , who wrote over 100 educational books and recognized early on: Man is not born, but raised! With his books he wanted to convey education to his contemporaries and posterity and made it clear:

"Nothing is more natural than virtue and education -
without them people cease to be people."

The entry of the term “education” into pedagogy

In view of the destruction during the Thirty Years' War , Comenius hoped for a peaceful order in the world by instructing people to behave humanely from childhood . The term education found its way into pedagogy . The Latin word eruditus ("educated", "enlightened") used at the time means etymologically <dethreaded>. Comenius expected such an exit of man from his original rawness from careful thinking and speaking:

Nosse rerum differentias et posse unumquodque suo insignare nomine.

"Knowing the difference between things and being able to name each one."

- Ianua linguarum reserata - Opened languages ​​Door 1631
Immanuel Kant

The new image of man that emerged in the 18th century as an enlightened person who thinks and acts in scientific categories also reshaped the concept of education. Due to the dispute between German authors and Shaftesbury , the term was secularized. The theological meaning gave way to a meaning approaching the Platonic one. Man should no longer develop into the image of God, but the goal is human perfection. This idea can be found among others in Pestalozzi (evening hour of a hermit) , Herder (ideas) , Schiller and Goethe (Wilhelm Meister) . In his work On Pedagogy, Immanuel Kant specifies the task of education when he writes:

“The pedagogy or parenting is either physical or practical. [...] The practical or moral is that through which the human being should be formed so that he can live like a freely acting being. [...] It is education for personality, education for a freely acting being who can sustain itself and make up a member of society, but can have an intrinsic value for itself. "

- Immanuel Kant : AA IX, 455

If the educational goals were given by a god before the Enlightenment, they are now determined by the necessity of human beings to live in a society. It is about shaping the "raw mass" of human beings in such a way that they can become a useful member of society. Existing equipment would be developed in this molding process. However, the educational goals are still not determined by the individual, but are ideals that claim eternal validity regardless of the individual (see theory of ideas ) and are brought to the individual from outside.

The turn to subjectivity

The German idealism - especially the subjective variant [Descartes, Malebranche, spruce], in contrast to objective idealism [Plato, Schelling, Hegel] - applies the concept of education for subjective. Education is understood as the education of the spirit that creates itself. This process described by Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1726–1814) can be summed up in the formula: “The I as the work of myself”. It is Fichte who bases his concept of education on the autopoietic (Greek autos 'self', poiein 'create', 'produce') connection between feeling, looking and thinking. The aim is - as in the Enlightenment - the genesis of a perfect personality. A person is perfect when there is harmony between “heart, mind and hand”.

“I am a special destiny of the formative force, like the plant; a special determination of the peculiar motive power, like the animal; and, moreover, another determination of the power of thought: and the union of these three basic forces into one force, into a harmonious development, constitutes the distinguishing characteristic of my species; just as it makes the distinction of the plant species to be only determination of the forming force. "

The programmatic turning point

Finally, Wilhelm von Humboldt made education a part of its agenda. The need to educate is inherent in the human being and only needs to be awakened. Education should be made accessible to everyone. Humboldt creates a multi-tier school system in which everyone is encouraged according to their abilities and the demands that society places on them. However, the Humboldt ideal of education is not about empirical knowledge, but still about the training / perfection of the personality and the achievement of individuality. This "formation" is not pursued to achieve a material goal, but for the sake of personal perfection.

Education only becomes a bourgeois status symbol and a measurable good that has to be oriented towards practical life with bureaucratisation in the form of high school curricula. Education is no longer enough on its own, but should bring benefits and, if possible, profit. Education thus becomes a status symbol of society and a criterion of social demarcation. Friedrich Paulsen wrote in 1903:

“If I research my feeling for language very conscientiously, I find this: someone who does not work with the hand, knows how to dress and behave correctly, and can have a say in all things that society is talking about is educated. A sign of education is also the use of foreign words, that is, the correct one: if you make a mistake in the meaning or in the pronunciation, you arouse an unfavorable prejudice against your education. On the other hand, education is as good as proven if he can speak foreign languages ​​[...]. This brings us to the last and decisive characteristic: Whoever has gone through a 'higher' school is educated, at least up to sub-second [10. Class. Author's note], of course with 'Success'. "

- Paulsen : 1903

To evaluate education, he continues:

“And in order to leave no doubt about the success, that is, about the possession of the education, there is now a general facility in Germany that the student is examined at the end of the sub-second and a certificate is issued to him about the education. […] With that we would have a standard of education set by the state: it includes what is learned in the first six annual courses in higher schools; [...] "

- Paulsen : 1903

The history of the concept of education shows that it has acquired not one but several connotations over the course of time , starting with the religious meaning through personal development to education as a commodity. In the German Empire (1871–1918) the decisive change from Humboldt's educational content to more modern teaching content took place.

At the turn of the millennium: Transformative and relational education

Since the 1980s, the educational theory-oriented biography research has stood between the traditional philosophical educational theory and the empirical educational research and aims to mediate between the two areas via the category of biography. The aim is to specify the concept of education and thus make educational theory compatible with educational research and thus educational practice. This research discourse is based on the transformational concept of education in the tradition of Wilhelm von Humboldt and has been shaped by the approaches of Winfried Marotzki and Hans-Christoph Koller since the 1990s. The basic definition is: Education is a process of transformation of the characters of a person's relationship to the world and to oneself on the occasion of experiences of crises that call the existing characters into question (Koller 2012: 20 f.). Until 2012, Koller calls for a theoretical specification of the terms transformation process and relationship to the world and the self, as well as a precise definition of the cause of educational processes (Koller 2012: 21).

From the diagnosis of the stagnation of these attempts to reconstruct the transformational concept of education, Beate Richter (2014) suggests the change in methodology from the interpretive to the relational paradigm and introduces the so-called relational development logic as a methodological basis for a more precise definition. With the transfer of the results of the informal axiomatization (method of the theoretical structuralists Wolfgang Stegmüller , Wolfgang Balzer ) of Robert Kegan's structural development theory to the transformational education concept, the use of further reference theories from the field of relational communication theories enables the concept to be made more precise. Education is defined by Richter as the "process of transforming the rule of meaning formation by a person in confrontation with the rule of meaning formation of the next higher order and described as a structure of transitions between context rules that an observer ascribes to the person in the interaction process" (Richter 2014: IX). Transformations and translations of the rules of meaning formation are illustrated in the context-level model of meaning formation.


In today's social debates, the concept of education is used with all these connotations at the same time or in parts, depending on the context in which the statement is made. Possible contexts are, for example: social demarcation , economic interests or political goals. Generally speaking, it can only be said that most of the definitions refer to the maturity aspect of the term “education”. The terms and concept creations that come up in the intended context include the educational system, educational misery, general education, educational policy, educationally disadvantaged classes, and the like. a. m. As the discussion about the Pisa study shows, the general education schools are now being evaluated more and more as a matter of course under the aspect of "optimizing learning processes with regard to their relevance for economically viable work" (Ribolits, 13).

The paradox that is contained in the fact that the focus on self-organized learning and the ability to act (and in particular the emphasis on - according to Matthias Heitmann - "incapacitating compulsion" to lifelong learning) leads to a devaluation of what was previously called education is the pedagogy has hardly been discussed so far. While in view of the rapid change in the technical and social environment it seems self-evident to constantly have to acquire new knowledge (in the sense of parceled facts), traditional knowledge transfer in the curricular context is less and less accepted as a goal by schools and universities and is also hardly ever an effective motivation for a teacher training course. This is reflected in the curricula of schools and universities.

Aspects of the concept of education

In contrast to training or vocational training, education is not directly linked to economic purposes. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi commented on the problem of competition between education and training as follows:

“General development of the inner forces of human nature to pure human wisdom is the general purpose of the education of even the lowest of men. Exercise, application and use of his strength and wisdom in the special situations and circumstances of mankind is vocational and class education. This must always be subordinate to the general purpose of human education [...] Anyone who is not human lacks the basis for the formation of his more specific purpose. "

Johann Gottfried von Herder's thoughts are similar to those of Pestalozzi:

“We are humans more than we become professionals! Our most beautiful education and usability for ourselves comes from what we know as human beings and what we have learned as young people, yet without too anxious consideration of what the state wants to make of us. If the knife is sharpened, you can cut all sorts of things with it. "

Since there is general compulsory schooling (Germany), educational processes are at least initially not initiated voluntarily. Because knowledge is required in our society, there is lifelong external pressure to absorb as much information as possible. However, knowledge and learning alone do not result in education. Friedrich Paulsen comments on this subject in the encyclopaedic handbook of pedagogy of 1903 as follows:

“Education is not based on the mass of what [one] knows or has learned, but rather the strength and peculiarity with which [one] has acquired it and knows how to use it to apprehend and assess what is available to him. [...] It is not the material that determines the formation, but the form. "

Education triangle of elementary skills

Elementary aspects of education can be represented symbolically as an equilateral triangle, with each side having equal rights. The three sides symbolize knowledge, thinking and communication skills. Knowledge encompasses the content of knowledge (declarative knowledge), while thinking includes the different strategies of gaining knowledge such as problem solving, describing, explaining, interpreting, etc. In this context, communication skills can be understood to mean a person's ability to share their thoughts, ideas, theses, etc. with others to make transparent and, conversely, to actively empathize with the thoughts of others. An alternative picture would also result from a three-legged stool with each leg for one of the mentioned aspects of education. If one leg is longer (shorter) than the other two legs, the stool becomes unstable in its center of gravity.

Wilhelm von Humboldt, on the other hand, describes one aspect of the concept of education as the “link between the self and the world”. The focus is on people and their powers, while world denotes the entirety of all objects outside of people. There is a constant interaction between the influence of man on the world and the influence of the world on man. According to Humboldt, human powers and abilities are inherent in nature and only develop through individual learning. Humboldt defines these forces not only as knowledge, but also as intellectual and emotional thinking and learning:

"Education is a" continuous interaction of theoretical understanding and practical will "."

Humboldt sees the task of education in making the two objects man and world more similar to one another and not in the transport of pure learning material. People should learn for life in school and not be prepared for a specific profession. Wilhelm von Humboldt wanted to make schools accessible to everyone and everyone should have the opportunity to access knowledge immediately. He advocates education for everyone.

Early education

The early education of children in the first years of life is becoming increasingly important, also with repercussions on the discussion about school education. While in the 1950s and 60s people still spoke of the "stupid first year" and wanted to describe the educational inability of small children, today it is common knowledge that education begins at the latest with birth and then the essential prerequisites for all later educational processes are laid at the highest speed . This process has received important impulses from brain research .

Education and social inequality

"School is an institution that distributes life opportunities."

The educational effort is the result of the influences of the environment and the individual decision. In general , in almost all societies there is a positive correlation between the social status of the parents and the formal education of the children. This means that low (or lack of) educational attainments are mostly found in the lower classes of the population. Social advancement is possible through the acquisition of education.

In the past, “education” and the expansion of the education system were often associated with the hope of reducing social inequalities. As early as the 1960s , the French sociologists Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron showed that the longed-for “ equal opportunity ” is an illusion . There are national differences. In an international comparison, social origin determines educational success to a particularly high degree in Germany. Various school performance studies ( LAU study , IGLU study , PISA study ) have shown that children of uneducated parents often receive a lower school type recommendation than children of parents with higher education, even if cognitive, reading and math skills are the same . The education system can serve to reproduce social inequality and legitimize under such conditions as the "failure" in the education system is often interpreted as individual disability and experienced. In Germany, children and young people from immigrant families are currently particularly affected by educational disadvantages. A specialist discussion will respond to this on the question of what are the requirements of an appropriate educational policy and educational practice in the immigration society. A 2007 study by the University of Augsburg also points to a clear difference between rural and urban children. In rural Swabia (Bavaria), only 22 percent of girls switch from elementary school to high school. In the city, on the other hand, 44 percent of girls go to high school - despite the same grades.

Jörg Baten and Ralph Hippe (2017) found a connection between agricultural structures in the 19th century, different levels of education and economic inequalities for Europe. They argue that the size of the farms was decisive, which in turn was influenced by the nature of the soil. In the smaller farms, the farmers attached greater importance to the fact that their children were educated, as they would later take over the farm. This was u. a. typical of northern and northwestern Europe around 1900. However, if the soil and climate were favorable for large wheat fields and thus large estates, political elites often developed. These in turn prevented access to education for rural workers. The resulting educational differences had an impact on general economic development.

See also: Bildungsparadox , social reproduction , Critical theory of education , working-class children , education geography , educational disadvantage and DSW Social Survey

Educational goals

According to Hans Lenk , the educational goals of practical education can include:

  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • Self-knowledge
  • Self-esteem
  • Leadership ability
  • Objectivity
  • Determination
  • interdisciplinary openness
  • generalist interest
  • Progress orientation
  • Moral courage
  • Basic value orientation

Scientists like Wolfgang Klafki or Benjamin Jörissen deal with theoretical approaches to define the concept of education in general and educational goals.

Klafki (2007, pp. 19–25) speaks of “education as the ability for reasonable self-determination” and of “education as subject development in the medium of objective-general content”. Klafki (2007, p. 19) describes the terms “ self-determination , freedom, emancipation , autonomy, maturity, reason, self-activity” as a description of the first moment of education. Through education, the individual should be able to emancipate himself from the requirements of others, think freely and make his own moral decisions. From this point of view, the above terms can be seen as goals of education. According to Klafki, education is not something individual or subjective. The individual achieves the goals only by dealing with content. These contents are given by human culture. Klafki (2017, p. 21) understands by this: “civilizational achievements of the satisfaction of needs, knowledge about nature and the human, political constitutions and actions, moral orders, norm systems and moral behavior, social forms of life, aesthetic products or works of art, meanings of the human Existence in philosophies, religion, world views ”.

Jörissen and Marotzki (2009, pp. 21–26) describe four levels that build on one another. They call the first level “learning 1” and describe it as the simplest form of learning, stimulus-induced learning. The fourth level is the most complex and is called "Education 2". Reaching this level can be defined as an educational goal. At this level the individual is able to observe himself in the construction of his world. It creates its own schemes and can question them. It learns not only to recognize or allow other views, but also to consciously see and actively use all modes of experience. Moving on this level is not possible permanently. In everyday life, in every situation, people would visualize all possible courses of action from all conceivable perspectives. However, once this level has been reached, it is possible to enter it again and again.

Educational goals do not have a uniform definition. In addition to the general educational goals on which nationwide educational standards are based in Germany , there are also specific educational and upbringing goals in the design of the individual countries (Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T., 2014, p. 25). So should z. For example, according to a Bavarian report by the Education Action Council (2015), it should be mentioned that education should be viewed as multidimensional. Accordingly, educational goals must also be viewed multidimensionally. In education, the educational goals and competencies, as Wilhelm von Humboldt describes them, should therefore be increasingly included: Educational goals should not be limited to the inclusion of professional competence, but also to non-technical, higher-level competencies, such as B. Successful management of complex situations in which social or emotional skills also play a role (Blossfeld, 2015, 19ff). These theses are anchored in school laws and curricula across the country (Blossfeld, 2015, p. 81).

Education system and goals in Germany

In general, the education system in Germany is determined by the federal state structure: unless otherwise authorized by the Basic Law, the federal states are responsible for legislation in the field of education . In deviating cases, the federal government is usually responsible for legislation (Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T., 2014, 11ff; 25ff). Educational and upbringing goals are part of the internal school affairs and are regulated by the school laws. Finally, the curricula of the state's ministry of culture are given concrete form (Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T., 2014, p. 25).

The Conference of the Ministers of Education of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany ( Kultusministerkonferenz - KMK) is a permanent collaboration between the ministers and senators responsible for education, universities and research as well as cultural affairs. In addition to general educational goals, they also set educational standards. The KMK has made fundamental resolutions such as the “ Hamburg Agreement ” (1964), with which the fundamental structures of the educational system (compulsory schooling, types of school, etc.) were established. The Hamburg Agreement forms the basis for the elaboration of transnational resolutions on the further development of the school system (Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T., 2014, p. 44). The “ Konstanz Decision ” (1997) in turn ensures quality assurance and quality development in the educational system. In the KMK, qualitative standards for the education system are also developed, e.g. B. the standards for the middle school leaving certificate, the primary sector and for secondary school leaving certificates (2003 and 2004) as well as for the general higher education entrance qualification (2012), which apply nationwide. (Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T., 2014, 44ff; publications of the Standing Conference, June 2005a)

In the field of education, standards are to be understood as normative specifications for controlling the education system . They determine which competencies and essential content pupils up to defined years should acquire. (Publications of the Standing Conference, June 2005a, p. 10)

To date, educational standards have been drawn up for the subjects German, mathematics and the first / continued foreign language (both English and French) and the natural science subjects (publications by the Conference of Ministers of Education, June 2005a; conclusions of the Conference of Ministers of Education, June 2005b; Lohmar, B. and Eckhardt T ., 2014). The structure of educational standards, recorded in the respective subject-specific curricula, is the same for all subjects: It initially includes the subject's contribution to education, then the description and definition of the respective competence areas and finally ends with sample tasks that illustrate the various requirement areas (publications of the Kultusministerkonferenz, June 2005a, p. 15).

According to KMK promote educational standards

  • the lesson planning with regard to defined performance expectations,
  • the diagnostic competence of the teachers,
  • dealing with heterogeneity,
  • the evaluation of teaching through internal and external processes
  • and working with the curriculum.

(Publications of the Standing Conference, June 2005a, p. 14)

Further development of educational goals in Germany

Due to the change from an industrial society to a service society, further training is increasingly becoming the focus of the education system. So was z. For example, the “Strategy for Lifelong Learning” was adopted in 2004 and in 2006 the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMFB) and the KMK considered the German qualifications framework for lifelong learning. It says "The aim of the strategy is to show how the learning of all citizens in all phases and areas of life, at different learning locations and in various forms of learning can be stimulated and supported." (Lohmar, B and Eckhardt, T., 2014, 26ff¸ 45ff). In addition, as part of the “digital revolution”, the revision of many educational goals is also coming to the fore. The learning environment as well as the teaching and learning forms must be re-examined. In 2016, a strategy for digital education was published (Strategy of the Conference of Ministers of Education, 2016).

The pedagogically supported educational process (Klafki)

The concept of categorical education developed by Wolfgang Klafki is based on "the idea of ​​the mutual relationship between the world and the individual". He divides the concept of education into two main groups, material and formal education. In both groups, Klafki distinguishes two further basic forms: within material education, the educational-theoretical objectivism and the educational theory of the classical, and as variants of formal education, functional and methodical education.

The term educational objectivism means that there are educational goals that are so important that all students must learn them. This also implies dealing with the concept of the general, which should be understood as “that concerns us all”.

Klafki's educational theory of the classic understands education as a process or as the result of a process in which the young person, when encountering the classic, makes his own intellectual life, the meaning, values ​​and models of his cultural area his own and in these ideal forms his own spiritual one Existence wins. Which educational content could be regarded as “classic” can never be stipulated once and for all, but is dependent on historical-critical appropriation and an ongoing process of developing convincing models.

The functional theory of education as a basic form of formal education does not take up and acquiring content to the fore, but the formation, development, maturation of physical, mental and spiritual forces and behaviors that are important for the students, in short, the development of their human ability dimensions.

According to Lemensick, Klafki calls the second basic form of formal education methodical education . Education here means gaining and mastering the modes of thinking, emotional category, value standards, in short: the method.

From Klafki's point of view, education aims to convey and acquire three basic goals:

Education should take place in all basic dimensions of human abilities, which means beyond cognitive functions :

Specific attitudes and skills are to be conveyed and acquired in the educational process:

  • Willingness and ability to criticize, including the ability to self-criticize,
  • Willingness and ability to argue,
  • Empathy ,
  • Networked Thinking Ability.

Educational concepts from other cultures

The four treasures of the scholar's room include everything an intellectual needed in the Chinese imperial era: brush, ink, rubbing stone and paper

The concept of education presented so far in this article originated in Europe in the 18th century. However, educational traditions do not only exist in the western world , but also in many other cultures and are often considerably older than Humboldt's ideas.


The Chinese educational tradition originated in the 6th century BC. BC with Confucianism , a philosophy that in China is not called the "School of Scholars" by chance. During this time, Confucius and his students endeavored to renew social and religious values ​​and to fundamentally improve people, which should lead to a perfecting of the social order. They saw the key to improving people in the fulfillment of certain social duties (loyalty, honoring parents , propriety ) and in studying. In the wake of the Confucian aspirations for a meritocracy , the Chinese civil service examination was introduced under the Sui dynasty in AD 606 , a competition system that enabled members of the educated classes to rise to social positions that until then had mostly been taken at birth. The examination system led to the emergence of a social class of scholar-bureaucrats ( 士大夫 , shì dàfū ; cf. Mandarin ) who were trained in calligraphy and Confucian literature and who had a great influence in Chinese politics until the fall of the Qing dynasty (1912) possessed. The fields in which Chinese scholars ( 文人 , wénrén ) were traditionally skilled also include Chinese literature , playing musical instruments , playing Go or chess , painting with watercolors, and making tea . After the founding of the People's Republic of China and especially during the time of the Cultural Revolution , the Chinese leadership under Mao Zedong tried to break through all educational traditions of the imperial era; so there were in the PR China from 1966 to 1978 z. B. no normal university operations. The extraordinarily high valuation of education has remained characteristic of large parts of the Chinese population to this day.

Since this educational tradition developed independently of European intellectual history and arose at a time when the German word "Bildung" did not even exist, there are significant differences between the traditional Chinese and the modern Western concept of education, along with some similarities. Particularly far removed from the collectivist tradition of China is the Humboldtian idea that people should develop individuality through education. Similar to the Humboldtsche, the Confucian ideal of education aims to improve people, but not with the intention of producing enlightened citizens of the world , but to bring the community into harmony.


In Islam , the Prophet Mohammed is considered to be the first teacher and spiritual educator of the faithful. The Qur'anic verse is fundamental for this idea: “God has shown grace to the believers, since he had a messenger from their own appear among them, who recites his verses to them, who purifies them and who teaches them wisdom and the book. You were clearly mistaken before! ”- Sura 3: 164. The Ismaili philosopher Nasir Khusraw looked Mohammed because of this verse even as the "teacher of humanity" par excellence.

Traditional Islamic education at the elementary level is primarily geared towards memorizing the Koran . There are special Koran schools for this. The lessons there begin with learning short Koran texts (e.g. al-Fātiha ) for use in prayer and then deal with the rituals for prayer and ablution themselves. In the further course of the training, the names for the letters and symbols of the Arabic script and learn to spell the Arabic text of the Quran, and practice fluent reciting and writing of the Arabic text of the Quran. Higher education is imparted in the madrasa . It consists of the acquisition of further knowledge about the religious duties and the acquisition of knowledge about the doctrine of the faith ( Tawheed ) , about ethics and morals, the Arabic grammar, Fiqh , Hadith , the biography of the prophets , Koran exegesis and arithmetic.

In Nigeria , the importance of Islamic education has increased significantly in the past few decades. Following the 1976 introduction of universal primary education ( Universal Primary Education - UPE ) , which was primarily focused on teaching Western education, the private Islamic schools experienced an enormous expansion. With the organization Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”), an Islamist terrorist group has existed since 2004, which has committed itself to the fight against Western education.

See also

Portal: Education  - Overview of Wikipedia content on education

Education questions



Lexicon article

In-depth reading

The chronological order clarifies the priorities of individual decades.
1960 -

1970 -

  • Heinz-Joachim Heydorn : About the contradiction between education and rule. 1970. (Volume 3 Heydorn study edition 2004: ISBN 3-88178-333-4 )
  • Pierre Bourdieu , Jean-Claude Passeron: The Illusion of Equal Opportunities. Studies on the sociology of education using the example of France. Klett, Stuttgart 1971, ISBN 3-12-921120-9 .
  • Erich E. Geissler: General education in a free society. German educational and university publishing house, Düsseldorf 1977.

1980 -

  • Winfried Böhm , Martin Lindauer (ed.): “Not much knowledge saturates the soul”. Knowledge, recognition, education, training today. (= 3rd symposium of the University of Würzburg. ) Ernst Klett, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-12-984580-1 .
  • Günther Buck: Hermeneutics and Education. Elements of an understanding educational theory. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-7705-1913-2 .
  • Otto Hansmann, Winfried Marotzki (Hrsg.): Discourse educational theory. Reconstruction of educational theory under the conditions of contemporary society. 2 volumes, Volume I: Systematic markings. Volume II: Orientations in the history of problems . Deutscher Studien Verlag, Weinheim, 1986 (Volume I) and 1989 (Volume II).
  • Henning Kössler: Education and Identity. In: H. Kössler (Ed.): Identity . Five lectures. Erlangen 1989 (Erlanger Research, Series B; Volume 20), ISBN 3-922135-59-5 , pp. 51-65.
  • Jürgen-Eckardt Pleines: Hegel's theory of education. 2 volumes, Volume I: Materials for their interpretation. Volume II: Comments. Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim et al. 1983 (Volume I), 1986 (Volume II).

1990 -

  • Wolfgang Klafki: New Studies on Educational Theory and Didactics. Beltz, Weinheim 1991, ISBN 3-407-34056-7 .
  • Erich Ribolits: The work up? Vocational pedagogical pamphlet against the total purification of man in post-Fordism. Profil, Munich / Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-89019-362-5 .
  • Georg Bollenbeck: Education and Culture. Splendor and misery of a German interpretation model. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1996 (= Suhrkamp Taschenbuch. Volume 2570), ISBN 3-518-39070-8 .
  • Wolfgang Klafki : New Studies on Educational Theory and Didactics. Contemporary and critical-constructive didactics. Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 1996, ISBN 3-407-34056-7 .

2000 -

2010 -

  • Martina Schmidhuber (Ed.): Forms of education. Insights and perspectives. (Theory of uneducation. The errors of the knowledge society), Lang, Vienna et al. 2010, ISBN 978-3-631-59333-2 .
  • Roland Mugerauer: Competencies as Education? Tectum, Marburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-8288-2865-0 .
  • Thomas Rucker: Complexity of Education. Observations on the basic structure of educational theory in the (late) modern age . Klinkhardt 2012, ISBN 978-3-7815-1974-9 .
  • Hartmut von Hentig: Rethinking the school. An exercise in pedagogical reason. 6th edition. Beltz, Weinheim 2012.
  • Otto Hansmann: The education of humans and the human race. A challenging synopsis from the 18th century to the present . Logos Verlag, Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-8325-3819-4 .
  • Helmut Peukert: Education in Social Transformation. Edited by Ottmar John and Norbert Mette. Schöningh, Paderborn / Munich / Vienna / Zurich 2015, ISBN 978-3-506-78106-2 .
  • Manuel Clemens: Aesthetic loneliness. Education outside the canon. in: Romance Studies 1/2015, online
  • Manuel Clemens: The labyrinth of aesthetic loneliness. A little theory of education. Würzburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-8260-5765-6 .
  • Zellerhoff, Rita: Diversity of linguistic education. Action-oriented and open-minded paths to language culture. Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 978-3-631-62983-3 (print); ISBN 978-3-653-03789-0 (e-book)
  • Zenkert, Georg (Ed.): Educational concepts and educational organization. On the dramaturgy of the knowledge society. Heidelberg 2017, ISBN 978-3-86809-122-9 .

General education canon

  • Bertelsmann Lexikon Institut: The current book of general education. Wissen Media Verlag, Gütersloh / Munich 2003, ISBN 3-89996-485-3 . (The volume includes a CD with test questions.)
  • Bodo Harenberg (idea and publisher): Harenberg course book education - the first interactive lexicon. Harenberg Verlag, Dortmund 2003, ISBN 3-611-01154-1 .
  • Barbara Holle, Stephanie Köber, Stefanie Thuir (editorial director): General education - the great standard work with the knowledge of our time. Special edition with 5000 questions & answers. Weltbild, Augsburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-8289-4191-5 .
  • Meyers Lexikonredaktion (Hrsg.): Meyers Memo - The knowledge of the world according to subject areas. Meyers Lexikonverlag Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich, © German edition: Bibliographisches Institut & FABrockhaus AG, Mannheim 1991, ISBN 3-411-07311-X .
  • Matthias Vogt: DuMont's handbook general education . Monte series, DuMont-Monte publishing house, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-8320-8655-2 .
  • Detlef Wienecke-Janz (editorial director): The Brockhaus Education 21 - Knowledge for the 21st century. knowledgemedia, Gütersloh 2011, ISBN 978-3-577-09056-8 .

To the natural sciences educational canon

To the educational canon of the humanities

Educational goals

  • Resolutions of the Standing Conference: Educational standards in biology for the secondary school leaving certificate . PDF , last checked in June 2017.
  • Hans-Peter Blossfeld : Education. More than professionalism: expert opinion . PDF , last checked in June 2017.
  • Benjamin Jörissen and Winfried Marotzki: Media Education - An Introduction. Theory - Methods - Analyzes . Julius Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2009, ISBN 978-3-8252-3189-7 .
  • Wolfgang Klafki : New Studies on Educational Theory and Didactics. Up-to-date general education and critical-constructive didactics . 6th edition. Beltz, Weinheim and Basel 2007, ISBN 3-407-32085-X .
  • B. Lohmar and T. Eckhardt: The education system in the Federal Republic of Germany 2013/2014: Presentation of competencies, structures and educational policy developments for the exchange of information in Europe . PDF , last checked in June 2017.
  • Strategy of the Standing Conference: Education in the Digital World . PDF , last checked in June 2017.
  • Publications of the Kultusministerkonferenz: Educational standards of the Kultusministerkonferenz . PDF , last checked in June 2017.

Chinese education

  • Hans Steininger : The Far Eastern understanding of education and its decline in modern times. In: Winfried Böhm , Martin Lindauer (ed.): “Not much knowledge saturates the soul”. Knowledge, recognition, education, training today. (= Third Symposium of the University of Würzburg. ) Ernst Klett, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-12-984580-1 , pp. 107–128.

Islamic education

  • Stefan Reichmuth: Islamic education and social integration in Ilorin (Nigeria) since around 1800 . Lit-Verlag, Münster 1998.

Web links

Commons : Education category  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikibooks: Etiquette: Education  - Learning and teaching materials
 Wikinews: Portal: Education  - In The News
Wiktionary: Education  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

External links

Individual evidence

  1. Schützeichel, Rudolf .: Old High German Dictionary . 7th, reviewed and verb. Ed. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-026881-2 , p. 50 .
  2. Winfried Böhm : Theory of Education. In: Winfried Böhm, Martin Lindauer (ed.): “Not much knowledge saturates the soul”. Knowledge, recognition, education, training today. (= Third Symposium of the University of Würzburg. ) Ernst Klett, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-12-984580-1 , pp. 25-48; here in particular p. 25.
  3. ^ Käte Meyer-Drawe : On the metaphorical content of "education" and "upbringing" . In: Journal for Pedagogy . tape 45 , no. 2 , ISSN  0044-3247 , p. 161–175, here: 162 , urn : nbn: de: 0111-opus-59442 .
  4. Meister-Eckhart-Brief 2005 of the Thuringian Ministry of Culture . On the Thuringian Education Symposium page .
  5. Wolfgang Klafki: Studies on educational theory and didactics . Weinheim / Basel 1975, p. 45.
  6. ^ Bernward Hoffmann: media education. An introduction to theory and practice . Schöningh, Paderborn et al. 2003, ISBN 3-506-99522-7 , p. 127.
  7. ^ Henning Kössler : Education and Identity. In: Henning Kössler (Ed.): Identity. Five lectures . Erlangen 1989, p. 56.
  8. Tobias Prüwer: Humboldt reloaded. Critical Education Theory Today . Scientific articles from Tectum Verlag, Volume 12, Marburg 2009, p. 11.
  9. Hartmut von Hentig: Education. An essay . Beltz, 2004, ISBN 3-407-22158-4 , p. 4 ( limited preview in Google book search)
  10. Quoted from: Peter Berglar: Wilhelm von Humboldt . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1970, ISBN 3-499-50161-9 , p. 87. From: Wilhelm von Humboldt: Report to the King. (1809), In: A. Flitner, K. Giel (Ed.): Wilhelm von Humboldt. Works in five volumes . Darmstadt / Stuttgart 1960–1981, Volume IV, p. 218.
  11. ^ Theodor Ballauff : On the history of occidental education. In: Winfried Böhm , Martin Lindauer (ed.): “Not much knowledge saturates the soul”. Knowledge, recognition, education, training today. (= Third Symposium of the University of Würzburg. ) Ernst Klett, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-12-984580-1 , pp. 49-70; here: p. 49 f. and 56 f.
  12. ^ Kant, edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1900ff, AA IX, 455
  13. Joh. Gottl. Fichte: The determination of humans (1800). With a preface by Eduard Spranger, Hamburg: Felix Meiner Verlag 1962, p. 16.
  14. ↑ Basically : Martina G. Lüke: Between tradition and departure. German lessons and reading books in the German Empire . Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-631-56408-0 .
  15. Hans-Christoph Koller: Be different. For research into transformative educational processes. In: Ingrid Miethe, Hans-Rüdiger Müller (Hrsg.): Qualitative educational research and educational theory. Opladen / Berlin / Toronto, 2012, pp. 19–33.
  16. Richter, Beate (2014): Education think relationally. A structural theoretical specification of the transformational concept of education based on Robert Kegan's development theory, dissertation at the Humboldt University of Berlin, online: .pdf
  17. Stegmüller, Wolfgang (1980a): A combined approach to understanding theoretical dynamics. How historical interpretations of the change in theories can be made more precise by using set-theoretical structures. In: New Ways of the Philosophy of Science, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1980, pp. 136–174. Stegmüller, Wolfgang (1980b): New ways of the philosophy of science, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1980. Balzer, Wolfgang (1982): Empirical theories: models - structures - examples, Braunschweig / Wiesbaden 1982. Balzer, Wolfgang (1997): The science and their methods. Principles of the philosophy of science, Freiburg / Munich 1997.
  18. Kegan, Robert (1982): The Evolving Self. Problem and Process in Human Development, Cambridge (Mass.) / London 1982 (e-book). Kegan, Robert (1986): Developmental Stages of the Self. Progress and crises in human life, Munich 1986. Kegan, Robert (1994): In Over Our Heads. The Mental Demands of Modern Life, Cambridge (Mass.) / London 1994.
  19. Matthias Heitmann : Zeitgeister Hunt. Jena 2015, p. 54 ff.
  20. Wilhelm von Humboldt, Fundamentals of his understanding of education based on the text fragment “Theory of Human Education”. (PDF) Retrieved July 2, 2017 .
  21. a b c Tennenbaum, Rosa: Education for beautiful humanity, Wilhelm von Humboldt's ideal of education. Retrieved July 2, 2017 .
  22. ^ Tenorth, Heinz-Elmar: Education - between ideal and reality. September 9, 2013, accessed December 28, 2018 .
  23. Helmut Schelsky: In Search of Reality. Düsseldorf 1965, p. 137 ff.
  24. Description of the educational effort from educational expenditure in the calculation model ( Memento from August 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  25. Max Hägler: Bavarian country girls still losers in education . In: taz. the daily newspaper , September 5, 2007, p. 18.
  26. ^ Baten, Joerg, and Ralph Hippe: Geography, land inequality and regional numeracy in Europe in historical perspective. Journal of Economic Growth 23.1 (2018): 79-109.
  27. ^ Hans Lenk: Educational values ​​in the information and systems technology age. In: Winfried Böhm , Martin Lindauer (ed.): “Not much knowledge saturates the soul”. Knowledge, recognition, education, training today. Ernst Klett, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-12-984580-1 , pp. 183-22, here: p. 204.
  28. study compact - pedagogy: school pedagogy compact: exam knowledge brought to the point. (Arnold, Pätzold)
  29. ^ W. Klafki: Categorical Education . For the educational theory interpretation of modern didactics. In: W. Klafki (ed.): Studies on educational theory and didactics . Beltz, Weinheim 1963 (10. A 1975), p. 30; See Klafki 1996, pp. 20ff.
  30. Joachim Ebert: Categorical education: for the interpretation of the educational theory of Wolfgang Klafkis. Haag + Herchen, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-89228-066-5 .
  31. Cf. The mother of success # The Chinese style of upbringing
  32. Cf. Jens Scheiner: "But I was sent as a teacher!" The Prophet Muhammad as the spiritus rector of the Muslims. In: Tobias Georges (Ed.): Important teacher figures from Plato to Hasan al-Banna . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, pp. 235–268.
  33. Cf. Between reason and revelation: twin wisdoms reconciled; an annotated English translation of Nāṣir-i Khusraw's Kitāb-i Jāmiʿ al-Ḥikmatayn . Transl. from the Persian by Eric Ormsby. Tauris, London 2012, p. 186.
  34. See Reichmuth: Islamic Education . 1998, p. 105.
  35. See Reichmuth: Islamic Education . 1998, pp. 114-142.
  36. See Stefan Reichmuth: Islamic Learning and its Interaction with 'Western Education' in Ilorin, Nigeria. In: Louis Brenner (Ed.): Muslim Identity and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hurst & Company, London 1993, pp. 179-197 (here p. 179).