ERIC Number: ED247030
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Preschool Social Education Curricula in West Germany: The Situation-Oriented Approach.
Oertel, Frithjof M.
Described in this document are three stages in the emergence and acceptance in West Germany of the situation-oriented approach to education for "kindergarten" children (ages 3 to 6 years). In brief, this approach stresses learning in real-life situations within the community and values the contributions of children, families, and communities. Specifically discussed are three variants of the approach: the situation approach, the situative approach, and the situation-oriented approach. Respectively, variant approaches emphasize the social sciences; the socialization process; and the integration of socialization, situation, and social sciences. Criticisms of these variants are reviewed, and arguments for the priority of social education in early childhood are offered. It is concluded that (1) the situation-oriented approach and its instructional materials have legitimized preschool education as an academic field and have given it an educational perspective in its own right; (2) research has validated the approach, and criticisms resulting from economic crisis and political conservatism therefore carry little weight; and (3) materials associated with the approach are ready for use in any developed country, and associated methodology may be used for curriculum development throughout the world. An appended chart lists characteristics of each of the variants of the approach. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.
Identifiers: Critical Analysis; West Germany
Note: To be published as a chapter in "Current Topics in Early Childhood Education," Volume VI, 1985 (est.), Ablex Publishing Corporation, Norwood, NJ., Lilian G. Katz, Editor.