Academic journal article German Policy Studies

The Development of All-Day Schooling in Germany: How Was It Possible in This Conservative Welfare State?

Academic journal article German Policy Studies

The Development of All-Day Schooling in Germany: How Was It Possible in This Conservative Welfare State?

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

In the recent past, the German school system has been changed considerably: the traditional half-day school--open only until noon--has been supplemented by the alternative of all-day models. This development has strong impacts on the structure of the German welfare state. The promotion of all-day schools, on the one hand changes the relationship between social policy and the educational system, and on the other hand affects family policy and the underlying gender relations. Accordingly, the German welfare state as a conservative type--following Esping-Andersen (1990)--becomes more preventive and more women-friendly. In the light of the long tradition of the German half-day school and its social implications this development is quite astonishing.

Therefore, the main concern of this article is to explain how this change from the half-day school system to the establishment of full-time models was possible. Chapter 2 shows the embedding of the half-day school in the conservative German welfare state and its historical role for the efficiency of the social order. It shows that half-day schooling is an expression and a stabilization of the conservative structure, in which the preservation of the status quo and the traditional family model are important factors. The chronological course of events must be broken at that point to show first of all the fundamental change, which has been implemented through the promotion of all-day schooling. Before analyzing the political program, the impact of these policies for the German educational and social system is demonstrated: A double de-familialization can be identified, which modifies the traditional arrangement of the German welfare state. It is shown that the further development of all-day schooling is part of a third order change (Hall 1993) and matches the discourse on a so-called sustainable family policy.

After demonstrating the outcome, Chapter 3 brings the formation of the federal program for the promotion of all-day schools into focus. The program 'Future of Education and Care'--the so-called IZBB (Investitionsprogramm 'Zukunft Bildung und Betreuung')--was signed on May 12th 2003 by the social-democratic Federal Minister of Education, Edelgard Bulmahn, and the 16 Ministers of Education of the federal states. According to this administrative agreement (Verwaltungsvereinbarung) the federal government put four billion Euros at the federal states' disposal to invest it into the development of all-day schools from 2003 to 2009 (1) (Bundesministerium fur Bildung und Forschung 2003). In fact, the concept of all-day schooling was not new in Germany, but very few schools of this type already existed. There has been much public discussion on this matter and committees of the educational system called for such reform during the time of educational expansion (Deutscher Bildungsrat 1969; Bund-Lander-Konferenz fur Bildungsplanung 1973). However few all-day schools were created at that time. It seems as if this well-known policy has suddenly been reawakened at a critical time. How was that possible?

To answer this question, the emergence of the IZBB will be explained by application of the multiple streams approach (Kingdon 1995). The combination of Esping-Andersen and Kingdon might be initially surprising. But whereas Chapter 2 is based on Esping-Andersen criteria to show the change in substance, his approach is not suited to explicate the process of policy change because it zooms in on stability and path dependency. In contrast, the multiple streams approach enables an analysis of how policy change is developing. It allows a holistic consideration of the political setting in which the change emerges. Esping-Andersen and Kingdon are combined because Esping-Andersen's typology can define which modifications happened and Kingdon's theoretical approach can explain how these changes came about.

The multiple streams approach makes comprehensible how certain solutions at certain times are converted into political decisions. …

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