New study with Klaus Hurrelmann lays out model to future-proof German schools

First-time study by publisher Cornelsen shows 82% of directors find school subject matter is outdated.

School administrators say the subject matter taught in German schools is outdated and needs an overhaul, and more attention should be paid to equal educational and digitalisation, according to a new study by publishing company Cornelsen Verlag conducted with Hertie School Professor of Public Health and Education Klaus Hurrelmann.

The study, published on 30 March 2022, shows that 82% of school directors surveyed think the subject matter needs to be fundamentally revised. 82% also say Germany needs to move to full-day schools, which is still not the norm in many parts of the country, where children traditionally go home for lunch. Equal educational opportunities should be a major focus (97%), as well as life skills (93%), digital education (92%) and democracy (88%).

The study was carried out in 2021/22, surveying 1,100 school directors at different types of schools across Germany about their expectations for schools in the future. The researchers conducted comprehensive interviews with 50 school directors.

“Who would have thought it? The majority of German school directors are reformers,” says Klaus Hurrelmann. “The directors surveyed do not deny that there are still fossilized structures in German schools that are deeply anchored in daily life. These need to be overcome.”

While the school directors were in favor of driving change in education, around half of them said they only have about three hours a week to spend on the topic of “school development”. Nevertheless, 54% said they spend 10 hours a week on the subject.

Find the full study here. (In German)

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