The Beutelsbach Consensus – the approach to controversial issues in Germany in an international context

  • Anders Stig Christensen UCL University College
  • Tilman Grammes University of Hamburg
Emneord (Nøkkelord): kontroversielle emner, undervisningsstrategier, religionsundervisning, samfundskundskab, klasseværelsesobservationer, Beutelsbach-konsensus

Sammendrag

Abstract

In the German tradition of politische Bildung, the Beutelsbach Consensus has been a point of reference since its introduction in 1976. The Consensus consists of three principles. The principle that “Matters which are controversial in scholarship and political affairs should also be presented as controversial in the classroom” is at the center. It is framed by two other principles, the prohibition against overwhelming the student (also referred to as ban on indoctrination) and the principle of giving weight to the personal interests of students (principle of engagement and action). In this article, we discuss the Beutelsbach principles along with criteria for controversiality taken from Anglophone theory of education. These include among others an emotional principle, and a psychological principle. The principles are discussed with two cases – one from Denmark and one from Germany. In the discussion, we show how these principles are relevant as theoretical tools in the analysis of the cases. It is an important task for the teachers and the school to provide opportunities for the students to engage in deliberation on controversial issues, but it is not a simple task to decide which issues are relevant and controversial, and in what sense. The discussion also shows that the Anglophone discussion of controversial issues and the German tradition of politische Bildung discuss similar issues and could gain from more interaction.  As a conclusion, we point to the relevance of the Beutelsbach principles being not only a tool of Didaktik, but also a tool for the student in order to achieve the ideal of a democratic education.

Keywords: social science education, politische Bildung, controversial issues, democracy, civic education, Beutelsbach Consensus

 

Beutelsbach-konsensussen – den tyske tilgang til kontroversielle emner i en international kontekst

Sammendrag

I den tyske tradition for politische Bildung (politisk dannelse) har Beutelsbach-konsensussen været et referencepunkt siden dens introduktion i 1976. Konsensussen består af tre principper. Princippet at ”emner der er omstridte i politik og videnskab skal også undervises som omstridte” er i centrum. Det er omringet af to andre principper: forbuddet mod at overrumple eleverne (kendt som forbud mod indoktrinering) og princippet om at lægge vægt på elevernes interesser (princip for engagement og handling). I denne artikel diskuterer vi Beutelsbach-principperne sammen med prin­cipper for kontroversialitet taget fra den engelsksprogede pædagogiske teori. Disse inkluderer et emotionelt princip og et psykologisk princip blandt andre. De forskellige principper diskuteres med to cases, en fra Danmark og en fra Tyskland. I diskussionen viser vi hvordan disse principper er relevante som teoretiske red­skaber i analysen af disse cases. Det er en vigtig opgave for lærere og skolen at give eleverne muligheder for at engagere sig i deliberation om kontroversielle emner, men det er ikke nogen enkel opgave at beslutte hvilke emner der er relevante og kontro­versielle, og i hvilken henseende. Diskussionen viser også at den engelsksprogede diskussion af kontroversielle emner og den tyske tradition for politisk dannelse diskuterer lignende emner og kunne drage udbytte af mere interaktion. Som en konklusion peger vi på relevansen af Beutelsbach-principperne som et redskab, ikke blot for didaktikken, men også for eleverne hvis idealet om en demokratisk (ud)dannelse skal opnås.

Nøgleord: kontroversielle emner, undervisningsstrategier, religionsundervisning, samfundskundskab, klasseværelsesobservationer, Beutelsbach-konsensus

Publisert
2020-12-08
Hvordan referere
Christensen, A. S., & Grammes, T. (2020). The Beutelsbach Consensus – the approach to controversial issues in Germany in an international context. Acta Didactica Norden, 14(4), 19 sider. https://doi.org/10.5617/adno.8349