Education and Society in Germany

Synopsis

The German education system has long been admired and, at times, envied by the rest of Europe, but the history of German educational development is a turbulent one. Concentrating on the post-war German scene, this timely book examines the interrelationship of educational and social developments in Germany from 1810 to the present day.Providing new insights into German history and challenging traditionally-held opinions about Germany, education and society, the author questions, for example, whether Germany's rapid industrial growth and economic success in the late nineteenth century were based upon its academic development, or the country's much less acclaimed training in crafts and vocational subjects. The rise of a new academic elite and its possible contribution both to the collapse of Germany's first democratic government and to the emergence of National Socialism are examined, as are the stagnation of the educational system in West Germany, which led to the student unrest of 1968, and the modern system introduced in East Germany under Soviet influence, which failed to be implemented in an open and democratic fashion.In considering the opportunities offered by re-unification and the effects of emerging reform movements, the author argues that Germany now seems to have reached a new impasse with overcrowded, under-resourced universities, a socially divisive school system and uncertainty as to how to meet the challenges of the next century.The interdisciplinary nature of this volume will make it essential reading for all those interested in German history and politics, comparative education and sociology and a core text for students.