Freinet pedagogy

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Countries with Freinet teacher movements in the world (as of 2005). Not all countries shown on the map have an organization that is a member of FIMEM.

The Freinet pedagogy [ fʀeˈnɛ- ] was developed in the reform pedagogy of Célestin Freinet (1896–1966) together with his wife Élise Freinet (1898–1983) in France since around 1920 . It combines many educational reform elements into a uniform concept. Today the Freinet pedagogy is widespread in many countries. In the school founded by the Freinets in Vence , then the Ecole Moderne - today the École Freinet , the first pupils were taught in 1934.


In 1924 Célestin Freinet started a movement - the Coopérative de l´enseignement laic - based on the motto: Teachers help teachers . In the so-called cooperatives , materials were mainly produced for teaching, which enabled the students to deal with a topic or area of ​​work themselves. Text created by students was also used in these materials. Freinet sought solutions for the socialist society he longed for in reform pedagogy . The question of Freinet's pedagogical or political self-image of the life of a teacher, which had long split Freinet pedagogy into the educational and political camp, was deferred in the 1990s by a new approach: Freinet's self-image of being a teacher is a secular one . In this context, the one formulated by Hermann Röhrs in the 1960s and developed by Helmchen et al. a. It is worth mentioning that the thesis confirmed in the 1990s that the respective national characteristics should be taken into account when working through reform-pedagogical approaches. Secularity is a term originally from France. In Freinet's understanding, he not only demands the "liberation" of the school from a religion that is experienced as oppressive in the sense of denominational neutrality in order to gain recognition for children of all religions in school, but also the comprehensive liberation from all oppressive conditions and thus the fundamental dismantling of Rule and the processing of one's own and socio-cultural experiences. Even though he was a member of the communist party until the 1940s and turned towards socialism and the trade union movement , Freinet rejects any direct entry of politics into schools. The phrase Freinets belongs in this context: We are educators and not politicians.

Outer forms

Teacher-controlled lessons are replaced by self-determined lessons . This happens because the class is set up as a cooperative or cooperative . Pupils and teachers each have one vote in the determining body, the class council . The class council itself was developed by Barthélemy Profit; However, Freinet went beyond that by organizing the class as a cooperative. The children largely decide for themselves what they want to learn, regulate themselves with whom they work and what time they need. They report on their work to the class community. The teacher-centered lessons are replaced by independent work, excursions and explorations.

School printing also played an essential role. They were often simple presses with lead letters. This enabled the pupils to type their own texts and produce class newspapers or books. Although the creation of printed matter has (apparently) simplified with the use of computers these days, they are no substitute for school printing, as (mere) use of computers can make it more difficult to learn through experience in the areas of creativity and the use of writing and language.

Since with Freinet pedagogy the children work independently and different children work on different topics, this affects the design of the classroom. By separating corners of the classroom, actual, topic-oriented work corners or studios are created. Furthermore, Freinet pedagogy promotes correspondence between classes who exchange books, newspapers and documents. This exchange also includes the exchange of ideas between teachers. Correspondence is also one of the institutions of the class cooperative. Above all, work results are exchanged and inquiries from the correspondence class (es) are answered.


In order to be able to realize these four principles, Freinet classes are each organized as a cooperative that manages itself in all matters .

Free development of personality
The free development of the personality can be guaranteed by writing , creating and making music together. In these activities, students approach each other and are open to each other. This is an important step for the personality development of the child . Methods to be emphasized are school printing , class correspondence - in which reading and writing is learned in connection with real communication - dance, theater and sculptural design. There are creative, eventful methods that also promote communication .
Critical examination of the environment
The critical examination of the environment is strongly oriented towards the needs , the living environment and the interests of the students. This is achieved through studies , experiments and excursions . The aim is to learn from reality , with the aim of demystifying the printed word . The theoretical and practical work should form a unit. The school print shop and the associated class newspaper are an important means of presentation , which enhances the work of the students.
Self-responsibility of the child
In free work , the child determines his or her own work and works according to his or her personal rhythm . The students here are tools like the work library. In the self-assessment, the students assess their work themselves and take stock of the work they have done. Skills for critical self-assessment are developed. In this way, an individual daily schedule is developed for each student and the students record their progress in learning diaries. It is important for the teachers to reflect on what has happened in their own lessons.
Cooperation and mutual accountability
In the class council or the class assembly, proposals for the work and its organization are discussed on the one hand, and on the other hand, attempts are made to find solutions to problems and conflicts . Students learn the need for rules , and by participating in the development of these rules, students also gain insight. At the same time, a cornerstone for democratization is being laid.

List of the main techniques

Freinet pedagogy is usually immediately associated with school printing , although this is only a partial aspect and is increasingly being pushed into the background in the age of the computer.

A wealth of techniques and methods help develop the principles of Freinet pedagogy:

  • School printing:
    • to document the work done
    • enables the students to express themselves freely in writing
    • to create a class newspaper
    • contributes to the demystification of the printed word
  • Correspondence
  • Free work
  • Class Council:
    • Distribution of offices for the tasks of the class cooperative
    • Development of joint work plans for class, student groups and individual students
  • Working corners
  • Explorations and field trips outside the classroom

Freinet and science

It was only very late that Freinet justified his own pedagogy theoretically and systematically and thus scientifically. He developed his principles and techniques by taking up already existing ideas for his teaching and integrating them into his own concept in the sense of a secular pedagogy. So he shaped his school concept from his own practice and the approaches of the reform pedagogues of the 1920s. Throughout his life he had a critical relationship with the academic science of education. But also educational science , which is more practical than pedagogy, has problems with Freinet pedagogy. The main reason for this is the strict practical orientation. Freinet repeatedly made his critical stance towards scientific pedagogy clear in his writings. Freinet's reform pedagogy is also addressed in courses at universities . A history of ideas can be recognized that is rooted in the traditions of the secular French school. The methods and techniques are central to Freinet.


The Freinet pedagogy has spread mainly in the Romance language area. Attempts are made at regular seminars and meetings to further spread the Freinet pedagogy. Freinet pedagogy was initially only used sporadically in Germany, but has now also spread in the German-speaking area. The original rejection by German educators can be traced back, among other things, to the fact that the founder Freinet was a socialist French and thus had two characteristics, French and socialist, against which there were reservations in the Weimar Republic and in some cases in the early Federal Republic of Germany .

The German association of Freinet teachers, the Freinet cooperative, is now one of the largest branches in the international Freinet movement (FIMEM). About 250 teachers from 35 nations were present at the 2004 Freinet Congress in Germany. In Germany, Freinet meetings are often held as advanced training events by teachers for teachers. There are also numerous Freinet educators in Austria and Switzerland. In Belgium, Freinet schools are subsidized by the state.

An international Freinet congress (French: Rencontre Internationale des Enseignants Freinet , RIDEF) takes place every two years .

There are also Freinet groups in Eastern European countries, Latin America and Japan .

See also


  • John Bronkhorst: Freinet Pedagogy and New Media . In: Harald Eichelberger (ed.): Freinet pedagogy & the modern school . StudienVerlag, Munich 2003, pp. 151–168, ISBN 3-7065-1490-7 .
  • Achim Hellmich, Peter Teigeler (ed.): Montessori, Freinet, Waldorf education. Conception and current practice . 5th edition Beltz, Weinheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-407-25444-3 . In this:
    • Bruno Schonig: Education and politics “from the child's point of view ”? On the historical context of pedagogy in Freinet, Montessori and Steiner , pp. 17–31.
    • Peter Teigler: Celestin Freinet , pp. 38–50.
    • Hans Jörg: My encounter with Freinet and Freinet pedagogy , pp. 93–114.
  • Roland Kaufhold : Learning to read in the first class of primary school with the “Little White Duck” ( review by Doris Mauthe-Schonigs Learning to read in the first class. Workbook with new stories from the “Little White Duck” and psychological and methodological-didactic tips ).
  • Ingrid Dietrich : Handbook Freinet Pedagogy. A practical introduction . Beltz, Weinheim 1995, ISBN 3-407-25160-2 .
  • Célestin Freinet: The Sayings of Mathieu. A modern pedagogy of common sense (Les dits de Mathieu, 1978). School printing center of the University of Education, Ludwigsburg 1996.
  • Gerhard Glück , Rolf Wagner, (Ed.): Dear Célestin Freinet. What I've always wanted to tell you ... . Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2006, ISBN 3-8340-0062-0 .
  • Herbert Hagstedt: Freinet pedagogy today. Contributions to the international Célestin-Freinet symposium in Kassel (publication series of the World Association for Renewal; Vol. 3). Deutscher Studien-Verlag, Weinheim 1997, ISBN 3-89271-736-2 .
  • Inge Hansen-Schaberg , Bruno Schonig (Ed.): Reform pedagogical school concepts , Vol. 5: Freinet pedagogy (basic knowledge pedagogy). Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2002, ISBN 3-89676-502-7 .
  • Walter Hövel, Jochen Hering (Ed.): Still ahead of the times. Childhood, school and society from the perspective of Freinet education . Pedagogical Cooperative, Bremen 1996, ISBN 3-9805100-0-X .
  • Lothar Klein: Freinet pedagogy in kindergarten (profiles for daycare centers and kindergartens). Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003, ISBN 3-451-27790-5 .
  • Renate Kock (Hrsg.): Célestin Freinet, Methods of Emancipation and Techniques of Teaching Educational writings with contributions from La Gerbe . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1999, ISBN 3-631-35201-8 .
  • Renate Kock: The reform of the secular school with Célestin Freinet. A method of liberating popular education . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-631-49111-5 (also dissertation University of Osnabrück , 1995).
  • Renate Kock (ed.): Célestin Freinet, Elise Freinet: Liberating people education. Early texts . Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 1996, ISBN 3-7815-0842-0 .
  • Renate Kock: Children teach children. The concept of tâtonnement expérimental in Célestin Freinet's work (basic knowledge of elementary school; vol. 7). Schneider-Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2001, ISBN 3-89676-404-7 .
  • Renate Kock: Celestin Freinet. Childhood and utopia . Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 2006, ISBN 3-7815-1484-6 .
  • Richard Sigel: Learning target reform ability. Changing schools from below. Freinet pedagogy, Balint group, supervision . Klinkhardt, Bad Heilbrunn 1990, ISBN 3-7815-0666-5 (also. Dissertation University of Munich 1989).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Schlemminger, Gerald: Célestin Freinet's life data, in: Inge Hansen-Schaberg and Bruno Schonig (eds.) (2001): Freinet-Pädagogik. Reform educational school concepts, vol. 5. Baltmannsweiler, Schneider-Hohengehren; here:
  2. cf. Kock 2006, 1995
  3. receipt ??
  4. L'éducateur prolétarien 2/1933, quoted from Kock, Renate: Célestin Freinet: Kindheit und Utopie, 2006, p. 20.
  5. Ginette Fournès, Sylvia Dorance: La danseuse sur un fil: une vie d'école Freinet, Ed. École vivante, 2009
  6. receipt? are there any studies on this?
  7. ^ "Nous avons fait mieux en 1925-1926 [au Bar-sur-Loup]. Non seulement les enfants mieux entraînés composent très aisément des textes plus longs, mais surtout nous avons organisé l'échange régulier de nos imprimés avec une class de Villeurbanne . " Célestin Freinet: L'imprimerie à l'école , 1927.
  8. which one?
  9. too general
  10. cf. Kock 1995, 2006
  11. unclear what is meant