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The interrelationship between the state and the local community in the German school tradition.
In: European Education,
, S. 62-82
Deutschland (bis 1945),
This article provides a detailed summary of the history and development of the German school system, from the birth of the modern German state to the present day. Through explaining various regional and national developments, shifts created by competing political ideologies, and the path of reform initiatives over time, this article illustrates the complexity of the state-school relationship that has characterized Germany since 1871. While the German school system has generally developed from above and in accordance with the sovereign interests of the state, on the regional level many interesting differences have always existed. Problems in the German school system were most recently spotlighted after Germany's relatively poor showing in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2002. (See European Education, Winter 2003-4, for a detailed analysis.) With German beliefs about the strength of its educational system shaken, an unprecedented public debate has ensued along with a vigorous review of the history of the school system and its development to the present day. This article contributes to that energetic discussion.