Boarding school is the generic term for facilities in which students of all ages and all types of schools live and are looked after and which are (mostly) affiliated with a school.
Purpose of a boarding school
Today there are different forms of boarding schools. According to their purpose, they are dedicated to:
- Children who, because of the remoteness of their place of residence, are not expected to walk a long way to school every day
- Children whose parents, due to a lack of time, place care and upbringing in the hands of this institution
- Highly specialized schools ( vocational schools and technical schools for rare professions, sports high schools , support for highly gifted students ) that have a large catchment area and / or offer individual support
- Children whose parents entrust the education and upbringing of their children to a boarding school out of conviction (educational concept, denominational orientation, etc.)
- Children who are “difficult to bring up” or have learning difficulties who are given individual, targeted and expert care
Concept and history
The term boarding school was built in the 19th century and is derived from the Latin. Internus (German: inside located, confidential ) from, the antonym is the Externat . It was probably formed analogously to the much older and roughly equivalent term alumnate . Residents of a boarding school are still z. Sometimes called alumni. However, the term alumnate is rarely used today. So z. B. In Regensburg, the successor building of the former Protestant, Reichstadt alumnate in the street Am Ölberg Nr. 2, which was built in 1901 in Art Nouveau style and was used as a boarding school until the post-war period around 1945, is called the Alumneum , although the building was owned in 1978 came to the Protestant Church and has been used differently since then.
Boarding schools or alumnates were originally mostly attached to other already existing facilities ( Fürstenhof , cathedral , monastery , university , etc.). The term “boarding school” or a close (also personal) connection between school and boarding school appear later and remain a special form of boarding school. In addition to the term “boarding school”, other various partly synonymous terms are in use, e.g. B. Konvikt (dormitory for Catholic schoolchildren or theology students under spiritual guidance; in Austria general schoolhouse) or Kolleg (church training institution).
Historians see the reason for an upbringing in special educational institutions outside the family association in the preparation for priestly service at a shrine or service at royal or princely courts. Spiritual and secular rulers required special preparation, the demands and methods of which the parents alone could not cope with. Temple schools and palace schools, in which a young elite were jointly prepared for their leadership tasks, can therefore in the broadest sense also be regarded as forerunners of today's boarding schools and student dormitories.
The emergence and expansion of Christianity in medieval Europe initially led to a clear predominance of clerical "boarding schools" at cathedral and monastery schools . With the increasing differentiation and expansion of management tasks in the emergence of the modern state system in the Renaissance , mundane boarding schools also gained greater importance (task of recruiting a leadership class for the military and administration), while church institutions increasingly "secularized" and temporarily lost their influence. During the Reformation / Counter-Reformation, clerical boarding school education flourished again. Religious and political objectives were combined. Important cathedral and monastery schools were often expanded into universities, to which special "boarding schools" (colleges, bursa) were attached. In addition, a large number of educational institutions with special orientations emerged, e.g. B. donated by the rulers Prince schools , Ritterakademien , cadet schools , priest , teacher seminars , etc. This opened up increasingly, the birth of less privileged because otherwise the high demand for managers was not to cover.
Since the expansion of the education system in the cities and especially in the country over a long period of time (practically until the middle of the 20th century ) hardly kept pace with the growing demand for education, the boarding schools became particularly important for the spread of higher education and the social advancement of the gifted "from the people". The important role played by boarding schools in the expansion of girls' education at the time should also not be underestimated.
Due to the fact that for centuries the path to university education led mostly through the (predominantly church) boarding schools, boarding school education is traditionally equated with “elite education”. At the beginning of the 20th century, a quarter of high school students in Bavaria were boarding school students. A large number of eminent scientists , poets , politicians , industrialists , etc. have emerged from boarding schools.
Time and again in history, reform movements in severe cultural, economic and political crises resorted to the model of the boarding school as an “educational island”, in whose seclusion a renewal of education and thus the change of social conditions by new elites should take place; ( Jesuit colleges , philanthropists , rural education centers ). In addition, forms of boarding school with more pragmatic objectives emerged ( "music presses" for school failures, private, church and state student dormitories at locations of public high schools for "foreign" students, boarding schools to prepare "higher daughters" for their role as wives and mothers, "preparatory institutions" in rural parsonages for children who are to be prepared for the entrance examination at a grammar school outside of the general elementary schools, and more).
In the course of societal change processes, the boarding schools have repeatedly experienced boom or crisis times. More recently, deep cuts have resulted from the expansion of secondary schools in rural areas in the 1960s and 1970s, while at the same time improving transport connections to schools, the massive decline in the number of pupils in the 1980s (low-birth cohorts) and the crisis in the acceptance of religiously oriented students that continues to this day Educational institutions. Due to the declining demand and changing demand motives, elitist objectives had to be increasingly abandoned. There are more and more difficult cases in the boarding schools to this day. The number of boarding schools and boarding school places has been reduced by almost half since the 1960s. At the beginning of the 1990s, published opinion saw boarding schools as a "discontinued model".
In the course of the cases of child abuse in educational institutions that have been uncovered and discussed in the media in recent years , boarding schools were also frequently mentioned, for example the Odenwald School , which also fell into a serious crisis due to inadequate processing of sexual abuse, which ultimately led to the closure of the once renowned School led. It is possible that this discussion will also have an impact on the acceptance of boarding schools in the coming years, even if many of the cases dealt with in the media are in the past.
Contrary to this general development tendency, efforts are currently discernible to solve special educational tasks (promoting gifted and high-performing students) or problems in the educational system (relieving public schools of troublemakers and violent criminals) by setting up special boarding schools. For the first time, the state appears again as the founder, sponsor and operator of boarding schools.
However, this cannot hide the overall crisis situation of the boarding schools and an increasing harmonization of boarding school education and educational assistance. The current attempts by interested parties (boarding school associations, commercial boarding school brokers) to tie in with elitist boarding school traditions or untruthfully to induce a “boom in demand” at boarding schools do not correspond to reality.
The boarding schools are threatened with new dangers due to the expansion of all-day care at public and private day schools and the further decline in the birth rate.
Boarding schools today
It is important to distinguish the term “boarding school” from that of the pure “dormitory” (only accommodation and, in some cases, food for schoolchildren, students, trainees, etc.) and that of the “children's and youth home” (public educational aid facility). Boarding schools are distinguished from dormitories by an essentially educational task and more intensive school and educational support. On the other hand, they do not achieve the socio-educational or even therapeutic intensity of educational assistance institutions (children's and youth homes, socio-educational residential groups, etc.). In contrast to the latter, boarding schools emphasize the achievement of school goals more than dealing with mental, physical, development-related or educational deficits. They also see themselves less as a substitute and more as an addition to the family. This is also reflected in the fact that they are not open all year round, but that their residents are generally released to their families during the school holidays and on weekends traveling home. Boarding schools are mainly booked by the parents of the students themselves, i.e. H. without the involvement of public bodies (e.g. youth welfare offices). Accordingly, the costs of boarding school accommodation must also be raised privately by the custodians.
The group of full boarding schools can be divided into boarding schools, i.e. boarding schools with their own teaching facilities, and student dormitories that do not maintain their own schools, but send their students to teaching institutions of other providers on site or in the immediate vicinity. In the case of boarding schools, a distinction can once again be made between “home schools”, which almost exclusively teach their own boarding school students and only have a small proportion of external students (students living outside the boarding school), and “schools with an attached boarding school”, where external students widely in the majority or, conversely, the “internal” are clearly in the minority.
A further differentiation results from the legal status of the teaching facilities of boarding schools. These can be in public (state) or free (private) sponsorship. Privately owned boarding schools usually have the legal status of “state-recognized substitute schools ”. They are therefore legally equivalent to public schools, but are also bound by state admission and promotion regulations. There are also private boarding schools that are only allowed to refer to themselves as "state-approved substitute schools" or " general education supplementary schools ". Your admission and transfer decisions have no legal effect, and they do not convey any state-recognized school-leaving qualifications. To achieve this, your students have to take a non-school student exam at a state school.
The boarding school type that dominates in terms of numbers is represented by the "school with an attached boarding school", followed by the boarding school type "pupil's home". Pure home schools, on the other hand, are the exception. In the past, boarding school education was primarily a church domain. Over half of the boarding schools and student homes were run by Catholic organizations. State and Protestant institutes followed. Boarding schools run by non-church private providers, on the other hand, have the smallest contingent. In recent years, however, the number of boarding school places offered by church organizations has decreased significantly. a. is caused by financing and associated with partial quality problems of this boarding school group.
Although gender segregation no longer plays an important role in modern education, boarding schools are still run as boarding schools for boys / boys and boarding for girls . If you see the term girls ' boarding school in the sense of' boarding school ', there are still various girls' schools with an attached boarding school in Central Europe , mostly in the field of private schools, religious or secular. Otherwise, even co-educational schools have physically separate boarding schools for boys and girls, as individual houses on the school campus, or at least individual wings in the boarding school building. Joint mixed accommodation of minors does not play a role in the mainstream school system .
Observable development tendencies
Many boarding schools have differentiated their school and care offerings by opening up to external students, adding additional branches or day boarding schools or taking care of students who do not attend their own teaching facilities but rather schools from other providers. Boarding schools for boys or girls have introduced co-education. Today, many institutes accept children and young people who are “difficult to raise” and who actually belong to the classic clientele of children's and youth homes. A few boarding schools are aimed exclusively at talented and performance-oriented students in order to promote them more intensively than in the normal regular school.
The development in the boarding school sector has given rise to a movement to found boarding schools with a more elitist orientation. The system of elite promotion in the former GDR played an important role model role. T. "democratically turned" was continued. In addition, the "PISA shock", i. H. the poor performance of German students in an international comparison, to the call for more targeted and earlier support for particularly talented young people. In this way - partly in continuation of historical models (e.g. the former princely schools in Saxony) - a number of predominantly state boarding schools for generally highly qualified students or gifted students in the fields of natural sciences, languages, sports, music, etc.
Some of the expensive private institutes, which because of their social (i.e. price) exclusivity, are often given the title “elite school” in the published opinion, are trying to catch up with this development (e.g. by increasing the number of scholarships for talented students).
But it seems extremely difficult to enforce and maintain elitist standards. With a few exceptions, state elite boarding schools have problems similar to those of the much more expensive private competition, despite socially acceptable pension rates between 50 and 300 euros. As the example of the elite schools of sport in eastern Germany shows, it is obviously difficult to find candidates with sufficient qualifications and suitable characters for boarding school life.
Adaptations of the topic in literature and film
In numerous novels, stories and other genres of serious literature since the Middle Ages and in almost all European-influenced literatures, the social structure of relationships and the often endangered inner workings of boarding school pupils have repeatedly been examined from different perspectives. The corresponding texts are summarized under the literary term boarding school literature .
Robert Musil's The Confusions of the Youngster Törless , Hermann Hesse's Unterm Rad and Robert Walser's Jakob von Gunten stand out from the early 20th century . The sadism in a cadet institution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire may not have much in common with today's framework conditions, due to the time background and the history of mentality, but it is an important warning sign of literary history, which was easily possible behind the official regulations and will probably continue to do so.
The list of developments on the topic does not stop in contemporary literature, although the number of boarding school students is much smaller today than in earlier times and therefore only a smaller number of people are familiar with life in a boarding school from personal experience. In 1990 the Film Club of Dead Poets and the novel of the same name by Nancy H. Kleinbaum brought the topic of boarding school into the focus of a broad public. In 1995, the debut novel was published Faserland the ex-Salemers Christian Kracht , which is a critical insight into the world of hedonismus- and consumer-oriented boarding school pupils. A book that was newly published in 2006, the debut novel Why you have left me by the FAZ cultural correspondent in Madrid, Paul Ingendaay , was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize due to predominantly positive reviews, and Ingendaay received the city's Lower Rhine Literature Prize for his debut in the same year Krefeld . In it he processes his precise knowledge and experience at the Collegium Augustinianum Gaesdonck in the 1970s on the Lower Rhine.
The novel by Hugo Claus , The Sorrow of Belgium also became famous . It is about a boarding school run by Catholic nuns, in which students found a "secret society" and, as "apostles", collect forbidden books. Claus' novel was made into a film by Claude Goretta . Also in Belgium, but in the German-speaking East , Hannes Anderer went to boarding school and describes these 1940s, at times under German rule, very precisely in the novel Unterwegs zu Melusine , in particular the demonization of youthful sexuality by Catholics, by priests and laypeople.
In addition to the literary representations, there are also boarding school films such as Girls in Uniform from 1931 based on a play by Christa Winsloe , whose remake from 1958 with Romy Schneider and Lilli Palmer is still known today. The film The Flying Classroom (1973) , loosely based on the novel of the same name by Erich Kästner , also addresses the social life of a group of schoolchildren who organize their daily routine according to the boarding school schedule and in the course of the filmed story with secondary school students from a school located in the same place clash in several situations.
In addition to the upscale literature presented here, there are still quite successful titles from the field of entertainment literature, especially books for children and young people that are set in a boarding school. Some of these are series that are still being published, such as the TKKG series of thrillers for young people, which are still very popular, although (see above) only a few young people today know life in a boarding school from their own experience is. By far the best-known and most successful books and films on boarding school life worldwide are the novel series and the films based on it in the Harry Potter series by the British writer Joanne K. Rowling , which deal with typical phenomena of boarding school in a serious and critical manner.
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Free Schools (Ed.): Manual Free Schools. Reinbek, Rowohlt 1993. ISBN 3-499-16347-0 .
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Free Schools (Ed.): Handbook of German Boarding Schools . Neuwied, Luchterhand 2002. ISBN 3-472-03906-X .
- Helga Dannbeck: Boarding school education - opportunities and risks (PDF file; 194 kB). In: FORUM school foundation. Journal for the Catholic free schools of the Archdiocese of Freiburg. 14th year 2004. No. 41. pp. 56-64.
- Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy: The Public School Phenomenon 597-1977. Hodder and Stoughton, London 1977. ISBN 0-14-004949-5 .
- Gernot Gonschorek : Education and socialization in the boarding school. Minerva, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-597-10163-1 .
- Christopher Haep (ed.): Basic questions of boarding school education . Theory and practice . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2015. ISBN 978-3-8260-5627-7 . Table of contents .
- Klaus Johann: Limit and stop. The individual in the “House of Rules”. To German-language boarding school literature. Winter, Heidelberg 2003. ISBN 3-8253-1599-1 . (= Contributions to recent literary history . 201.) Table of contents (PDF file; 112 kB) , review .
- Herbert Kalthoff: Well-behaved. An ethnography of German boarding schools. Campus, Frankfurt 1997. ISBN 3-593-35716-X .
- Manfred Klemann u. Silke Mäder: The great boarding school leader. The boarding school manual for parents and students . Unterwegs, Singen 2006. ISBN 3-86112-149-2 .
- Volker Ladenthin , Herbert Fitzek , Michael Ley, VKIT (eds.): Das Internat. A manual. Ergon, Würzburg 2009. ISBN 978-3-89913-666-1 .
- Michael Ley et al. Herbert Fitzek: Everyday life in the desired format. About boarding school education in the eyes of the parents. In: Michael Ley u. Herbert Fitzek (Ed.): Everyday life on the move. A psychological profile of contemporary culture . Giessen, Psychosozial 2003. ISBN 3-89806-287-2 . (= Intermediate steps . 21st year 2003.) pp. 131–147. Also as a PDF file (164 kB) on the Internet .
- Hans-Joachim Winkens: Help for problem children. Opportunity and challenge for church boarding schools. 2nd edition, Herder, Freiburg 1992. ISBN 3-451-22049-0 .
- Hans-Joachim Winkens: Aspects of all-day care in a Catholic boarding school or day boarding school . In order correspondence . 33rd year 1992. Issue 3. pp. 312-316.
- Hans-Joachim Winkens: Support education. Catholic boarding schools . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . May 26, 1999. No. 119. S. B5.
- ^ Karl Bauer: Regensburg Art, Culture and Everyday History . 6th edition. MZ-Buchverlag in H. Gietl Verlag & Publication Service GmbH, Regenstauf 2014, ISBN 978-3-86646-300-4 , p. 321 .
- German boarding schools with a top reputation ( Memento from November 6, 2014 in the web archive archive.today ), Die Welt World's Luxury Guide, October 7, 2012
- Boarding school directory (Bildungsweb)
- “Between idyll and gray” , article by Klaus Johann on boarding school literature on time online