ERIC Number: ED448924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Marching to a Different Drummer: The Elementary School Reform Movement in Germany.
Fowler, Frances C.
Noting that the German educational reform movement has deviated significantly from the international norm with its emphasis on progressive education and open instruction reminiscent of the 1960s, this study examined the elementary school reform movement in Germany, using analytical frameworks drawn from policy analysis and sociological theory, to identify reasons for this deviation. Information on the German school system provided the educational context for the study. The methodology involved qualitative case study methods and was limited to states comprising the former West Germany. Data were collected from various states in fall 1996 and spring 1997 and from the Internet in summer 1999, including interviews with educators and government officials, observations conducted in schools, educational documents, and position statements of educational, professional, and governmental organizations. The findings suggest that the policy agenda of the elementary education reform movement is rooted in a dual discourse: one political and related to the mistreatment of teachers and low esteem in which elementary education is held in Germany, and the other, pedagogical and related to perceived deterioration in family life and corresponding childhood psychological problems. Data suggest that few of the political reforms have been adopted and the implementation of pedagogical reforms appears to be limited and spotty, suggesting that leaders have failed to convince either politicians or classroom teachers. Evidence further suggests that elementary reform has support in the education ministries, but that considerable opposition to its program exists among politicians eager to save money and among skeptical grassroots educators. (Contains 50 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany