Community Education in Germany – an instrument for increased (educational) equality?

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentations (poster etc.)Research

Anke Wischmann - presenter

    Currently there are various attempts in Germany to rethink and reorganize education on a regional or local level as ‘community education’ (e. g. Coelen
    2009; Weiß 2011; Müller 2011). Research shows that educational success is still determined by an individual’s social and ethnic background. At the same time demographic changes and economic demands require more highly qualified young people who are able to develop resilience to social and work-based precarity.

    This paper investigates whether education and its organisation as a matter of a community would enable to recognise the particular demands of a population and therefore build better opportunities to participate and profit for the individual. Educational policies in Germany are currently changing from a highly regulated and formalised organisation to informal and non-formal project based formats financed by both public and commercial funders. There is currently a flurry of these projects in urban contexts as well as in rural areas.
    Two projects (‘Food Literacy’ in Hamburg-Harburg and ‘Gut vernetzt’ in Braunschweig) that are located between formal and informal education and related to a school and a community contexts in Hamburg and Lower Saxony will be analysed and discussed as case studies of instrumental interest (Stake 2008: 123). Project documents and programmes will be analysed using a document analysis (Bowen 2009). These documents are understood as discursive formations that are part of powerful knowledge orders (Foucault 1972). Thus their reconstruction gives insight into often implicit but nevertheless effective convictions on how community education should work and where it should lead. The analysis will also draw on critical reflections on community education, grounded in the work of Dewey (1916/1993) and theories of the public sphere (Gripsrud et al. 2010).


    European Conference on Educational Research - ECER 2015: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research


    Budapest, Hungary

    Event: Conference