West German Student Journals From the 1950s and 1960s. Student Journals as Artefacts of Secondary School Cultures (PAUSE)

The DFG-funded project “Student journals of the 1950s and 1960s in the Federal Republic of Germany: Artefacts of school culture and their change of relevance” focuses on student journals from 1949 until 1968 from the stock of the BBF | Research Library for the History of Education. Descriptive-statistical analyses succeeded individual case studies querying how the student journals were established, how they influenced and changed school culture in post-war times.

Project Description

While historical studies of school macrostructures for the Federal Republic of Germany of the 1950s and 1960s were already available, a micrological perspective for individual schools and their culture was often still lacking.

This was the starting point of the research project, Which focused on the individual schools from a source that simultaneously reflects the students’ perspective. To this end, the project team evaluated the issues of the years 1949 to 1968 from the comprehensive Collection of student journals at the BBF. The first task was to carry out a quantitative evaluation of the entire stock, to determine forms and numbers of publications as well as thematic focal points, and to systematically describe the stock. For the first time, it was thus possible to provide an overview of the scope of West-German student journals in post-war times.

In qualitative individual case studies, it was then asked how student journals had established themselves and changed in the specific culture of individual schools during the period under study. The focus of interest was on aspects of everyday school life and how it was perceived by pupils: How was the production and distribution of student journals handedl? What affect did this have on the design of the student journals? What significance did the production of these journals have for the pupils involved? As who and how could they show themselves?

In a cultural-historical approach that also paid attention to the materiality of student journals, the journals were understood and analysed as artefacts of school cultures that provide information about the significance of school for the "skeptical generation" (according to sociologist Helmut Schelsky) and how adolescents’ forms of expression gradually made room for themselves and promoted the development of the school towards more participation and liberalism.

Connected Projects


The project was funded by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).


  • Kabaum, Marcel (2018): Jugendkulturen und Mitgestaltung in westdeutschen Schulen der 1950er und 1960er Jahre. Schülerzeitungen als historische Quellen der Schul- und Jugendforschung. Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Diss. (Online: urn:nbn:de:0111-pedocs-166806)
  • Kabaum, Marcel/Gippert, Markus (2016): „Die Schülerzeitung geht alle an!“: Aus der Arbeit eines Forschungsprojektes der Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung“. In: Zeitschrift für Museum und Bildung 79 (2015), S. 99–113.
  • Kabaum, Marcel (2017): Der Blick westdeutscher Schüler und Schülerinnen in den 1950er und 1960er Jahren auf Jugendkultur und die USA: Ein Vergleich ihrer Darstellungen in Schülerzeitungen“. In: Hüser, Dietmar (Hrsg.): Populärkultur transnational: Lesen, Hören, Sehen, Erleben im Europa der langen 1960er Jahre. Bielefeld: transcript, S. 49–78.
  • Kabaum, Marcel (2017): Schülerzeitungen als Werkzeug der Demokratisierung (1945–1970). In: Das Archiv: Zeitschrift für Wolfsburger Stadtgeschichte, Nr. 5/Mai 2017, S. 4–5 (Online: https://redaktion.wolfsburg.de//~/media/wolfsburg/statistik_daten_fakten/izs/das-archiv/izs_dasarchiv_ausgabe_5_20170510_1.pdf, letzter Aufruf 23.08.2019)
  • Kabaum, Marcel (2017): Schulische Artefakte zwischen 1950 und 1970 – Die Gestaltung und Herstellung westdeutscher Schülerzeitungen. In:  Stiller, Jurik/Laschke, Christin (Hrsg.) (2017): Herausforderungen, Befunde und Perspektiven interdisziplinärer Bildungsforschung. Frankfurt a. M.: Lang, S. 35–73.(Berlin-Brandenburger Beiträge zur Bildungsforschung; 2017)
  • Kabaum, Marcel (2017): Zwischen Partizipation und Zensur: jugendeigene Presse und Meinungsfreiheit in der Schule während der 1950er und 1960er Jahre. Mit einer Darstellung der derzeitigen schulrechtlichen Situation. In: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik 63,6,  S. 783–802.
  • Reh, Sabine/Scholz, Joachim (2012): Schülerzeitungen der 1950er und 60er Jahre als schulkulturelle Artefakte. In: Casale, Rita/König, Gudrun M./Priem, Karin (ed.): Die Materialität der Erziehung: kulturelle und soziale Aspekte pädagogischer Objekte. Weinheim: Beltz, (Zeitschrift für Pädagogik; Beiheft 58), p. 105-123.

Project Management

Project Details

Completed projects
11/2012 – 01/2016
External funding
Department: BBF | Research Library for the History of Education
Contact: Prof. Dr. Sabine Reh, Deputy Executive Director of DIPF