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Orientations of Teachers With Regard to Democracy Education at School

The doctoral thesis presents an analysis of group interviews with teachers on the subject of their action orientations concerning democracy education at school and democratic school development.

Project description

The doctoral thesis of this work originates from a EU project, “The development of active citizenship on the basis of informal learning at school“ (INFCIV). This project aimed at a reconstruction of informal learning at school and the identification of learning opportunities for democratic competencies therein. Hence, semi-structured group interviews and individual interviews were conducted in case studies at six schools, focusing on the subject of predominant aspects of respective school cultures.
The analysis of data from the German INFCIV contribution is continued here in a more focused manner: the interpretations of teachers are analysed with regard to their own potentials and norms for action as to democratic education at school. These analyses are grounded in the reconstructive sociological paradigm. Hence, the method of data ascertainment and assessment is qualitative.
These interpretations of teachers, which may be characterised as orientations for actions, are viewed as part of their professional ethos. The connection between these orientations of teachers  and the pertinent school cultural contexts will be assessed. The EU project itself dealt with the description of school cultures and the findings are available in case studies. In a final step, the teacher interpretations are correlated with the debates on their mandate and the underlying institutional and individual requirements discussed in this context.
The thesis thus intends to deliver a contribution to analysing the normative principles of school relations where teachers are right at the centre. It can thus contribute to determining the requirements of the democratisation of school education on the one hand, and of education for democratic citizenship at schools on the other hand.


 Dr. Heiko Breit (Saarbrücken)


  • Breit, H. & Huppert, A. (2008). Demokratie in der Schule. Zwei Fallstudien zu Schulkulturen und der Etablierung von Demokratie in der Schule. In: Lohfeld, W. (Hg.): Gute Schulen in schlechter Gesellschaft. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S.149-169.
  • Abs, H. J., Breit, H., Huppert, A., Schmidt, A., Müller-Mathis, S. (i. Dr.). Germany. In: Scheerens, J. (Ed.), Informal Learning at Schools for Active Citizenship – An International Comparative Study in Seven European Countries. Dordrecht (Springer).
  • Döring, T.; Eckensberger, L.H.; Huppert, A. & Breit, H. (2007). Risk Management And Morality In Agriculture. Conventional And Organic Farming In A German Region. Culture and the Changing Environment. Uncertainty, Cognition, and Risk Management in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Edited by Michael J. Casimir: pp. 79-106. Oxford & New York: Berghahn.

Selected Presentations

  • Abs, H. J. & Huppert, A. (2008): Die Bedeutung der Lehrerpartizipation für die Schulentwicklung. Vortrag gehalten auf der GFPF-Tagung in Mainz am 25.09.2008.
  • Huppert, A. (2008): Results from German case studies. Vortrag gehalten auf der DGfE-Tagung “Kulturen der Bildung”, April 2008, Dresden.
  • Huppert, A. (2008): Präsentation von Ergebnissen der EU-Studie: „The development of active citizenship on the basis of informal learning at school“ (INFCIV). Vortrag gehalten im Arbeitskreis Berufsmoral, Januar 2008, Jena.
  • Huppert, A. (2007): Report on results from German case studies. Presentation at the third project meeting, 25 and 26 April, 2007; INFCIV: The development of active citizenship on the basis informal learning at school.

Project management

Lutz Eckensberger

Project details

Completed projects
Project type: Doctoral / postdoctoral projects
last modified Nov 25, 2013