The pace of West German educational reform as affected by State politics


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The pace of West German educational reform as affected by State politics
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x, 229 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Nixdorff, Peter W., 1939-
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Education and state -- Germany (West)   ( lcsh )
Political Science thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Political Science -- UF   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: leaves 217-228.
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THE PACE OF WEST C' '. I EDUCA.,. 4 it -.

AS; i:E-.:''- BY STATE iUT!CS


TILh UNi8.i'Y O' it.l:Ci:
IN PAMT r uFILL 7,t T o' *i,' Rr..Q i.'i F in'S IF'r TIL



For guidance during my graduate education, I am indebted to my

teachers at the University of Florida, Professors Manning J. Dauer,

the late Gladys M. Kammerer, Ruth McQuown, Joseph S. Vandiver, and the

late Charles D. Farris.

I am especially grateful to Professor Arnold J. Heidenheimer, who

has provided insights and intellectual stimulation and whose comments

and critical suggestions have improved this dissertation.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...................... T ................. 11

LIST OF TABLES........................................................ vi

LIST OF MAPS... ................................................ viii

ABSTRACTS........................................................ ix

INTRODUCTION..................................................... 1


Characteristics of the Traditional School System..... 12

Status Defense of Upper Level School Teachers........ 13

Class Structure and Working-Class Deference......... 14

Authoritarian Traits in Politics..................... 16

System Supportive Education......................... 18

Hierarchical Structure and Social Aloofness of the
Schools.............................................. 19

New Thoughts on the School in a Democratic System.... 26

WEST GERMAN STATES ....... ........................ 31

Federalism and Jurisdiction over Educational Issues. 32

Two Public Primary School Systems................... 33

The Traditional Tripartite System.................. 35

Curriculum Reform................................. 43

State Expenditures on Education............................ 48


International Comparisons.......... ........ 56


Inter-State Ccaparisons......................... 59

Impetus of Rational Models........................ 60

Socio-Economic and Political Determinants of Policy
Outputs .. ............. ........................... 61

The Political-Cultural Climate..................... 69

IDATION OF PARTY SUPPORT........................... 78

The Constitutional-Administrative Context of the
Non-Reform Alternative............................. 85

The Partisan-Political Context of the Non-Reform
Alternative....... ....................................... 90

Conclusions ...... # ........................... ., 97


Rural School Consolidation........................... 111

The Extension of Compulsory Education................ 116

Attacks on the Tripartite System Itself.............. 117

Conclusion........................................... 126

AND REFORM COALITIONS.............................. 133

The Teachers' Union................................. 134

The Social Democratic Party......................... 137

The State Administration............................ 140

Social Democratic Special Constituency Efforts...... 141

Local Governments................................... 142

The Political Opposition............................ 144

Uncommitted Groups With Overlapping Commitments and
Loyalties........................................... 147

The CDU...................................... 147

The FDP...... ......... ...................... 150

The State Parents' Council.................... 152

ISSUES............................................. 160

The Concept of Responsible Political Parties....... 160

Expertise Reduces Polarization..................... 161

Polarization on the Floor.......................... 164

New Differentiations Within the Parties............ 166

Cycles of Polarization and Consensus............... 170


Conclusion...................................... 206

CHAPTER IX: CONCLUSION.......................................... 209

APPENDIX: LIST OF INTERVIEWS....... .......................... 215

BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................... 217

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................... 229



SYSTEMS ................................. **** ******** 36

REALSCHULE ...............................* ..*******. 38



INTERMEDIATE AND GYMNASIUM......................... ... 42

EIGHTH GRADERS IN 1963 ................................. 45

OR NO LATINUM.......................................... 46

LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION................................... 47



REFORM.................................................... 66




ISSUES................ .............................. 168



TABLE 18: INTEREST IN SCHOOL ISSUES ........................... 186





TABLE 23: REASONS FOR OPPOSING A 10TH YEAR....................... 194

SCHOOLS............................................... 197

DATED SCHOOLS......................................... 198






URBAN SOUTH.............................................. 72



Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Peter W. Nixdorff

December, 1970

Chairman Professor Ruth McQuown
Major Department: Political Science

The collapse of the Nazi regime in 1945 provided a new opportunity

to restructure and democratize the educational institutions in Germany.

The outlook for the realization of reform programs was best in the state

of Hessen, where the constitutional compromise of 1946 had settled the

religious issue and where the progressive Social Democratic party had

been in control of the state administration without a serious challenge

from the conservative opposition.

Nonetheless, the reform accomplishments in the field of education

in the state of Hessen had been modest and eclectic until the late 1960's,

and the reformers did not face the core problem of democratizing the

public school system.

With the focus on the state of Hessen, this dissertation explored

the causes for the failure of early reform programs and analyzed the

impact of this failure on the state's political culture.

In order to identify the political coalitions which made the

completed reform steps possible and the conditions which prevent more

extensive changes, the records of the state legislature and the state

legislative education committee were examined. In addition, mail

questionnaires and oral interviews with educational decision-makers

were utilized to assess elite attitudes towards reform. Unpublished

survey data were available to this researcher to measure the degree of

non-elite acceptance of and support for reform issues in Hessen.

The, results of this analysis showed that the failure of an early

educational reform in Hessen was a result of a policy strategy adopted

by the Social Democratic leadership which was conditioned by the socio-

political structure of the state. Instead of pressing for a politically

controversial reform early, the party leadership elected to grant prior-

ity to the consolidation of the party's electoral strength, especially

in the rural North and in Catholic districts.

Meanwhile, the limited nature of the early reform attempts helped

to broaden the reform coalition and made more far-reaching reforms feas-


By 1967-68, the political opposition was crumbling with regard to

educational issues, and non-elite support for reforms grew strong.

Our results suggested that the more costly strategy of non-planned,

non-comprehensive reform was indeed more functional politically. It

decreased the level of political alienation, especially towards the poli-

tical parties, weakened the ideological cleavages between parties and

interest groups and resulted in a more pragmatic style of political bar-



The development of democratic political institutions and norms

in the presence of non-democratic educational patterns has been a major

problem in Germany during the greater part of the 20th century.

When Germany's Imperial regime withered away slowly in the after-

math of World War I, leading pedagogues and progressive educational

administrators were convinced of the urgent need for substantial re-

form of the educational system. But the forces of educational reform

were not strong enough to significantly reorganize public education

during the Weimar years.

The defeat of Nazism in 1945 brought another opportunity to pro-

vide for educational structures in support of the new democratic

political institutions.

The situation in 1945 appeared substantially different. The

defeat of the old political regime was much more complete. The com-

bined strength of the military administrations and the reemerging in-

digenous political elites and the absence of groups which would defend

social structure which were in any way identified with the Nazi regime

made the opportunitica for a successful reform of the educational sti-uc-

tures seem much brighter.

Despite these nuch mcre favorable conditions for reform in 1.9115,

investigations reveal that the absence of status quo political groups

did not result in t)ie ilarmdiate acceptance and materializr.tion of

refcrn-i concepts. In fact, aside from tha presrnttiuon of refer.a ideas

by pedrqgogues and administrators, there war almost no activity towards

reform et the political aCd ad5-nistrative level.

In the aftermath of World 4akr II, the extensive destruction of

school fecilitjes, especially in urban areas, warranted immediate

attention and top priority was given to the reconstruction of the phys-

ical facilities. De facto, this implied the acceptance of those

structures of th.e past which had proved their incongruity with the con-

cepts of deaocerntic ed ucation. And, in the absence of an indigenous

central political authority prior to 1949 and with a Basic Law and a

federal structure which allocated the jurisdiction over education to

the individual jLy era strong, centrally-directed decisive effort

on the part of Uhe reform coalition was discouraged.,

In this study, however, the process of educational decision-

making at the levcl of one individual Land has been examined. In

fact, a Land h beueii selected in which the political conditions

favoring educational reform were more pronounced than anywhere else,

with the exception of the three city states. But even in the Land

Hessen, where the reform-minded Social Democratic Party has been in

control of the state administration uninterruptedly since the end of

the var, the take-off stage in the process of educational reform was

reached very late and the changes in the state educational system were

the results of eclectic steps rather than a centrally and uniformly

forged reform conceAt.

The traditional German school system, as it had emerged in the

course of the 19th century, did not suffice for the new Republican

regimes after 1918 end 1945. It did not facilitate the much-needed

process of social integration, It did not socializL t)h1 students into

a national political culture, but instead, socialized them into corn-

partmentalized sub-cultures. It divided students into three types of

schools, primarily on the basis of their social class background, and

divided elementary school students along religious-denominational lines

into two denominational public school 6iystems,

If one accepts the premises of students of political development,

such as suggested by Cutright's prediction equation, one would have

to either anticipate the fallure of democratic political institutions

or a rather rapid adjustment of other social systems, including and

particularly the educational system.

This relationship between social institutions and the process

of political development, conceptualized in terms of stable, p3ural-

istic, and competitive democratic instituticns, as stressed by stu-

dents of political development in tie early 1960's, suggests the

urgency of the prob.l.i of education 1 reform for West Germany after

World War II, particularly in view of the failure of the Weimar experi-

ment ii: the early 1930's.

Furthermore, the traditional school syatrm, because of its in-

ternal hierarchical structure, was not supportive of democratic belief

and behisvior patterns. Students of political socialization have pointed

to the striking discrepancy between democratic political institutions

and tht pre-democratic authoritarian order of the public school sys-


Within the czvntcxt of the Ger-;-:.n political culture and the con-

text of state political in Hesse, bc-e 'roiacns of educational reform

since 1945 was explored., /An ttemrpt ha, ieacn smnde to explain tha

absence of a serious rf'lor cc.:i;te>',' r.forv.. c policy by the

progressive political leadership in the stute during the 1950's and

early 1960's. And, simultPneoesly, an attempt was made to ascertain

the impact of the decision, not to carry out a politically controversial

comprehensive reform on the development of the political culture in

Eeasen and West Germany.

This analysis involves an examination of the socio-cconomic

environment of the state political culture as well as an analysis and

evaluation of the political strategies open to the state political

leadership during two and a half decades of post-war politics,

Results of this study suggest that the socio-economic structure

of the Land made the position of the Social Deemocratic party much more

precarious and uncertain than the length of its tenure would suggest.

This political insecurity of the SDP may have further diminished a

predisposition twrrards an ezrely and comprehensive reform effort,

On another level, this study then analyzed the style of interest

group politics. The educational issues after 19415 provided an interest-

ing focus on tbci interaction between voluntary and institutional in-

terest groups and political parties. In this section of the study, a

breakdown of rigid interest croup politics which had characterized

Imperial as vell as Weimar Gc-ri-.ry was Lcsted. This analysis permitted

a reexamination of the motion of thLe style of politics In post-war

West Gesrany within the context of iche er:neral, theoretical interest

group literature as wvol as thi copnraiiivo literature on Interest

group theory.

Changes in the style oum i;mtcrest group politics nd iritraction

arust be expected to affect other } Inoi.tuton and cctivities.

A more flexible, bargaining-oc.t.r "tye oC r.'o n -Woi-,r: could

substantially lover the level of partisan polarization. The impact of

the relinquished educational reform after 1945 on recent changes in

the pattern of party polarization was of particular interest. The

failure of the Social Democratic leadership to challenge the political

opposition with a comprehensive educational reform program may have

prevented a consolidation of the political opposition and, in turn,

contributed to a level of partisan flexibility which made it likely that

the FDP will continue to stress a position independent of the CDU, or

even enter a coalition with the SDP after the 1970 election.

And thirdly, at yet another level, the Pnalysis of non-elite

data permitted a study of a state political culture. The analysis of

cognitive and attitudinal patterns of non-elites allowed a critique

of the model of rigid ideological polarization. And the data are

unequivocal in that they clearly indicate greater flexibility and

fluidity than past characterizations of the German political culture

and political style would suggest.

As part of this reexamination of the West German political

culture on the basis of both elite and non-elite attitudes towards

the educational issues, an examination of the relationship between

elite and non-elite perceptions and attitudes within the context of

theories of representation and democracy was possible,3

This multi-level approach, utilizing a variety of data, re-

sulted in a composite picture of a state political culture. Utiliz-

ing primarily approaches and concepts developed in the party, interest

group and political culture literature, an attempt was made to present

such a composite vice of the political culture anr.d the style of political

culture and the style of political-decision-making in the late 1960's

with an emphasis on the changes and developments since the 1950's.

This involved the amendment and reformulation or even rejection of

several accepted propositions about post-war German politics. The

results suggested a number of striking changes in the process of

political development since the politics of the Weimar Republic and

the politics of the early Bonn Republic.

Political development and political change moved West Germany

away from a rigid, ideological imnobilism towards a much more pragmatic,

competitive bargaining style of politics. Along with the changes in

electoral behavior and the national party system which resulted in

the first partisan turnover in the 20-year history of the Federal Re-

public, these developments pointed towards increased compatibility of

political structure and political culture, which in turn would ulti-

mately strengthen the roots of democratic pluralism in West Germany.

Such an encouraging view of political development was confirmed by a

number of studies which have recently analyzed the significance of

the 1969 federal elections for the party system and the political

culture of the country.4

In coping with the multi-level approach to the problem of poli-

tical change in a Western system, a variety of date and a variety of

data analyses were utilized.

The official records of the Hessen state legislature cince 1946

were examined to ascertain changes in the party positions on major

educational issues. Primarily untli.e- were party statements during

the debates of major legislation or Jd.ring the debates of

educational u.pp.-opriatlons.


This examination waE supplemented by a study of the non-publirhed

records of the state legislative educational committee, kindly made

available by the director of the Laindtr administration.

For an evaluation of the reform positions of the various teachers'

associations, a content anal,)sis of the associations' official publi-

cations was made. The publications of both the teachers' union and

the professionally-oriented teachers' associations were surveyed.

To record more subtle attitudinal patterns among state legis-

lators and to measure contact and interchange with other institutions

in the area of public education, a mail questionaire was prepared and

mailed to all members of the legislative education comaittees in both

Hessen and neighboring Baden-Wuerttemberg. The instrument had been

preteated when administered to a random sample of the totcl Lantg

membership of the northern neighbor Lover Saxony. The expectation

of a high return rate for Hessen, bec.ise of its model reputation,

was met when 80 percent of the total sanrip returned their question-

aires promptly without a folloio-up letter. The return rate for the

deputies of th- three major parties shoved an even higher 86 percent

rat e.

The analysiE of mail questionnaires was followed up by personal

interviews, which varied in length from 30 minutes to more than three

hour,-, not only with state legislators, but also with officials of

the Department of Education in Hesaen, with local school administrators,

and iambers of the teachers' unions and state parents' association.5

The interviews were semi-structurcad. Occasionally, particularly

among members of the state barc-cveracy at the decj.icir'.naling level,

a somewhat ;x-b ri .no6 vi3Jincn:csat to cubi1t to percoxn1.l interviews by

a graduate student was encountered, which was a new experience to

most of these administrators.6 In general, however, cooperation was

satisfactory, and sometimes cordial. The interviews permitted a probe

of greater depth into the structuring of attitudinal patterns, par-

ticularly the strength of ideological belief patterns and the possible

weakening of these deeply rooted patterns.

In order to compare attitudinal changes among members of the

political elite with possible changes in the general population and

evaluate the extent to which such changes might have affected the

political culture, access to the survey data of the Institute of

Applied Research in Bad Godesberg which completed such a survey for

the state of Hessen in the late fall of 1967 was fortunately provided.

The use of these non-elite interview data provided the oppor-

tunity to ascertain whether the ideological rigidity, which had been

characteristic of elite attitudes until the early 1960's but which

has been slowly breaking down, showed a corresponding decline among

the general population. Initially, it was expected that marked dif-

ferences would be registered in the patterns of perceptions and policy

preference* between the supporters of the two major parties which

oppose each other in Hessen, especially since supporters of the two

major parties differed substantially in their social composition,

such as class and religion. This expectation, however, was rejected

by the data. A growing similarity in the social composition was

accompanied by a growing consensus on all educational issues tested.

Such results forced very serious reexamination of the notions of

rigidly compartmentalized sub-cultures which tend to shape rigid

ideological perceptions.

In Chapter I, ua attempt was made to suggest the extent of the

problem of educational reform, as it hPd been shaped by the social

institutions and established social behavior patterns which have rein-

forced the traditional German school system and make successful reform

initiatives very difficult.

In Chapter II, Hessen's educational achievements and problems

were placed in the context of the West German Federal Republic. As

expected, Hessen ranked well on all indicators of a progressive edu-

cational system. But contrary to expectations, Hessen does sot rank

appreciably above comparably structured Laender.

Chapter III explained the upsurge in issue awareness in the

field of education and educational reform in the 1960's and the grow-

ing popular mobilization for educational issues. Against this back-

ground, the socio-political variables were examined, as well as the

socio-political climate and the factors which shaped and influenced

.this climate.

The results of the analysis of the political culture of the

state permitted examination and explanation in Chapter IV of the formu-

lation of political priorities within the Social Democratic party and

state administration. It can be plausibly demonstrated that the specific

conditions vbhich dominated the state political culture forced the mod-

erate SDP approach to the problem of educational reform.

In Chapter V, the specific issues involved in the reform of the

educational system were identified. They are presented within the con-

text of a development as a continuum towards democratic educational

structures which vould provide support for democratic political in-

atitutions. The turning point in this discussion has been the experi-


mental introduction of the cmiprehensitve school, particularly in Hessen

and Berlin.

In the next two chapters, the changes in the German political cul-

ture were examined to the extent that they have been affected by changes

in the style of performance of political groups.

In Chapter VI, the changes in the style of interest articulation,

coalition-building, and political bargaining between major political

interest groups were examined which resulted in a breakdown of ideo-

logically-.conditioned group politics.

In Chapter VII, similar trends in the interaction between the

major political parties were traced. The decrease in polarization

between the two major parties confirmed similar findings resulting from

recent realignrents of the parties at the national level since the

early 1960's.

In the final chapter, an attempt was made to close the circle of

,the comprehensive evaluation of the German political culture. In

Chapter VIII, the extent to which ideological attitude patterns have

diminieshc and whether the trends outlined for the bargaining between

the parties and interest groups had also beer. accompanied by an in-

creased flrdibility of attitudes among the general population was



1. Phillips Cutright, "National Political Development: leasurcment
and Analysis," Amerlcna '.* *'- *Ir Reiview, XXVIII (April,
1963), 253-264.- -'-.. .-

2. Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba, 1. Livi Cu)th'- (Princeton:
Princcton University Preen, ii ,', ; r7.k.',7

3. Richard Rosa, "The Political Ideas of English Party Activists,"
American Political Science Review, LVI, 2 (June, 1962) 360-

4. CosmD:rativc f. 't:;.. IT, 4 (July, 1970), Special Issue on the
.-t, I... C.- L '-c l cf 1969.

5. Cf. Listi of Intervieiw, Appendix.

6. Karl Deutsch, et al., F' r:, C. *;. tr. t .1 :
A Stud: c.i' Lli At t .. n r. : l.*..,r tlic ].
York: Cr'-tr'.i ^" i .'.;', ;* .. ,



-',. o* r : of tbe Traditional. School Syt;-a

The traditional Gei.wau school system, as it was reconstituted in

1945, ws bnised on an enduring tripartite divir.ion This division pre-

sumably priovidcd scpUrate school types for the three major

groupings in cceicty. The Udiviion was very rigid and did not allow

for transfers from one type to another. As a result, it did not

induce social or occupatiaoal Lobility across class lines,

Both seconidary school types, the rhort form end the long form,

had a very E.all. enrollnicnt. Lees than 10 percent of rny age cohort

ever completed the long form of the secondary school. More than 85

percent c.apletei their Ccneretl education in the eight-grade el"-

mentary school.

Within the school, curriculum and social climate emphasized

discipline, order, nend authority.

The Reasin't the long fonr of the secondary school, enjoyed

the reputatioun of p>civdug a, quality education for the select few

who uere &Lle to attend, But tAhe curriculum foci.nCed on couise offer-

ings which seen,.! to have little relevance to the contemporary vorld.

In the following, ve Ehalll explore the restraints generated bt

the traditional EchSic2l itself as veil v,3 other eocial frto.tutioo,

which proved to be rijor liabilities for educational iefoyr tfte;-


Prc-var sclioolc in GCn acny had eetvcated rigidly scGerc3.tcd groups,

primarily those vho had carned a g nsj-iy education end those v.ho hrad

not. The hielrarchical t.utorlty structure within the e.ucaticnc.l pro-

ceas chaped the n0on-involved, rwubj{ct citimr.fn eand croitced the bat.s

for the cocial U'id political clcr.vcse betiroco reformers t.nd 6cfcniesrr

of "qiiality cduer.tiUon" for C, calhoen few.

Interview responses froe r Abern of the ccteuCtion cc'.ittce

of the states legislature strongly egCGasted a rclntionr.hi.ip bet\escn

easy accr.s to a university education tand v reluctance teo navosAte

reform of the csttlbljeihcd tr.ipnrtitc division of the school. ccttablieh-

zent.1 Thece resulted suggested (;n intcrent- and statuos-bo.ed bi-

polarity of parueptions cid Httitdeda, rniilar to h:at HNicichold found

in his unalysia of health ils'urance refonr:s in Uest Geaniry,2 Educa-

tionnl reforiu concepts have been genoratcd and supported by the "outs,"

* those rho have been excluded fro. cntering institutions of cocondery

and hi;lber Icarning and hzve been opposed by theo sttutvdcfending

politics of the "inn," those vho are defcn3ini a privilcged social

position. Most of the reformi of the Irate 1950's Mid cerly

1960'i., which h hnrdly, coiprbliensive reform plans and uhiclh uvcre

poorly coordinrvtcd vith other partners of n support coalition, vc-re

presented by representatives of the elementary chcool teanchrs, vub

received less pa.y, less recognition, aid less education then their

intermediate level 1nd G.iy i leave) colleagues.3 Elcieenta'ry school

teachers andl thlir trade unions csoclc.ted and iore easily

vrith the concUiicri of sclo3 cdca'ioi, nO:ily those sEtu

Att ilho in the pc.t for: thre:.rclve n a ci-cild r-cti;r' of fuornl

educational advancement. The link for a perceived common interest vaZ

the mutual benefit for both groups from a democratization of both the

internal hierarchical structure and the access routes.

The reform opposition was spearheaded by the T1hpM'e1.; raclV- :*i,

the professional organization of the ,r i teachers, vho continued

to defend the functionality of the given tripartite system in view of

social and occupational requirements. The arguments of this defense

made it necessary to reexamine the traditional school system, particu-

larly its impact on socialization patterns,

Class Structure and Vorkiin -claj .

In the following, we shall attempt to trace authoritarianism in

educational structures today, by examining authoritarian structures

in other social systeran and evaluating their impact on the educational

structure. Rigid class differences and full acceptance of each respec-

tive social position, even if it was a lorer position, established

the foundation for authoritarianism. Early regulations of the cities

of Kiel, from 1417, and Luebeck, from 1582, required overt manifesta-

tions of class differences and overt identifications with each social

class. These 15th and l6th century regulations prescribed and re-

quired the appropriate formal dress and the appropriate -redding cere-

mony for each social group depending on wealth and taxes paid to the

city.5 These early manifestations of class distinction are significant

for the student of educational cyctems, because the social position of

the urban elite wus aoon to be defined in terms of both health and

brewing. With the creation of elite schools, social distinctions

basC- on brecdirnc ecre foi calized iand cLemnted, But, in addition to

the existence of rigid class divisions and the educational monopoly of

one class, it was equally iginificant that the class structure wHa

rarely threatened. Despite appeals to clans consciousness, solidarity

and pride, empirical sociological research suggested that the working

class still accepted its place within a hierarchical structure. A

majority of the working class seemed to perceive the social situation

as a two-layer system, a situation of social polarity, and seemed to

have accepted the lower social position as a natural lay and as a

collective fate, either with some reconciliation or with resignation.6

White-collar employees received the same hierarchical structures, but

to them, they appeared less rigid and more fluid, since they tended

to experience a somewhat higher rate of social mobility.

As in other countries, subjective and objective criteria of

social class identification showed a high correlation in Germiny.

In a three-layer hierarchy of upper, middle, and lower class,

skilled workers tended to classify themselves as members of the lower

class, with the noteworthy qualification that "skilled workers Vp-

parently tend to classify themselves as middle class, if they have

received more than an elenanLury school education," i.e., nYre than

eight ynars. While, objectively, the educational monopoly cemented

class polarization, simultaneously, even a minor educational advance-

ment was subjectively perceived an a social advancement towards or

into the middle class. Lipset's work suggested that, even within the

working class and the labor movement in Weftern Europe, there is a

considerable willingness to accept a social elite on the basis of its

better edic-iticn and upbrirging. Data was presented which showed a

considerable working class deference towards elitist leadlerahip by

the upper middle class, as evidenced by the working class vote for

non-vorking elrss parties.8

In Germany, working clhbs authoritarianism manifested itself in

the reverence for traditional social and political elites, such as

the crown,,the military, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary-all those

structures which after 1919 continued to identify with Imperial pre-

war nermany. The degree of identification with these st-uatures was

substantial among the working class despite its more militant leader-


In West Germany, we found a continuation of this trend when

the illustrated weekly press gave extended coverage to former and

foreign royalties as a welcome substitute for the lack of such in-

stitutions in present-day Germany. The respect and trust placed on

the military uniform has been deaonstratud and caricaturaid by the

legendary iLtnmn won Ineinick, the et-convict who, with the aid

of a captain's uniform, found himself in a position to commandeer an

army detachment and seize city hall.

Judicial status and estein continued to be protected by ritual

and rules and was never seriously questioned until the 1967 trials

which involved members of the Berlin commune, which, in turn, resulted

in an outpour of popular anger and defensive support for such insti-

tutions, Still today, the older generation of German citizens, and

again, particularly working-class people, are likely to approach ad-

minictrative officials with respect and deference, The authority of

the state vested in them and the title structure ns outward signs of

this authority ensures this popular attit.sde.

Konrad Adenauer, the firct post-war chancellor of West Germany,

enjoyed a high level of public acceptance aed respect by symbolizing

the forces of experience, cool distance, and the authority of a

father.9 If we accept Bluecher's characterization of Adenauer, his

dominance of fifteen years of post-war politics is evidence of con-

tinued acceptance of authoritarian leadership.

Adenauer was nearly 74 years old when he was first elected

chancellor in 1949 and was 88 when he resigned from this position

in 1963, and, for the reason of his age alone, had the natural

authority of a father of the country. His style of running the c-bi-

net, which contributed to the early Heinemann resignation in 1950,

and his style of dealing with opposition and coalition parties alike,

which was not always in full accord with the constitutional ground

rules, only strengthened his position of authority. It certainly

did not diminish his image of a strong, capable and trustworthy

leader. As late as during the leadership crisis of 1959, when

Adenauer's prestige suffered the first serious cracks, CDU-affil-

lated university students would argue that it would be disrespect-

ful and ungrateful end show a lack of appreciation, if his own

parliamentary party would sufgest to the aging leader to give up his

position. The concept of elite responsibility towards the constitu-

ency is nk yet strongly developed, until recently, not even among

university students, the majority of whom will be future


Neither Willy Brnndt, VBo was generally characterized as a

young political clsder vhern .t the age of 48, i ,e a nominated as

his party's cidlidate for the ch ucellorship it 1961, nor Adenauer's

immediate succeesor, Ludui, Erihard, Vhose tore collective decision-

making style vas in striking contract to that of his predecessor and

contributed to his image of indecisiveness, ever approached the Ger-

man electorate's image of the ideal chancellor, with the natural

authority of a father of the country. At the state level, the most
revered political leaders shared the image of fatherly authority.

Such paternalistic leaders were accepted as statesmen, representing

the legitimate authority of the state and its institutions, and were

returned by a consistent majority of the voters, who "think of them.

selves as passive objects of a political system controlled by forces

beyond their influence."ll

Almond and Verba's concept of a subject political culture ;vich

has been .applied to Germany, was a reconceptualization, a more p:nar.-

tional conceptualization of the older concept of i r..f r r-' r .

The subject's orientation towards the output structures implied on

uncritical acceptance of political authority by formalistic, legal

standards, rather than a critical examination of its legitimacy in

terms of the political elite's responsibility to the electorate and

the individual political participant.

SydteA ...., t t' .0 Euc on

Until World War I, the school system maintained the popular

attitudes believed desirable by the political elite for the preserve

tion of r. authoritarian monarchy, In 189, Emperor Wilhelm II declared

an Imperial Order:

For soma til.e I have been occupied with the thought
of utilizing the public schools at all Isvels in
order to contain the exp:en.ion of end

Cotwnnist ideas. First of ell, the schools ruzt
lay the groundvmork for a healthy attitude toc;v'rds
political anad social condition by cultivating the
fear of God and lo,"c for the fathealard,12

Fo'ofanni citeO a standard reference book on public education in

Imperial CGermany %Aicl d;scr:ibcd tL. ediluc.;tioeal purpose of the ele-

mentary school as follo:s;

The youth is to be enabled. to sc:;-- their couiintr
as brave soldici; or industrious workers!13

Another citation froe a. textbook fo.' hjstora" teiacbrs gave an

exiaple for the vay in ahlrh the authorities ensured co.fntinuity of

the system by ieapl nting pride in the great national tradition, the

continuance of which could only be ensured by the rMnarVhy:

Tall, strong and handsome vcre the Caria; is3 old
times. White and clean war the color of their r skin;
in exuberant richness the goladyel c, nTair,
to the iane of a lion, flew doin.l

.. .', ; 1_ ',,'. ; -.* -, 'i of the- We ools

Teachers as prima.ys agents of political. soelihAio n traras-

mitted the nrtosphere of an authoritarian order into the elas oca,

Some of the channels used for this transmission sre discussed in the


Thu hierarchies! structure within the teaching profession and

within the faculty of each individual school van quite apparent, even

to the student. The extensive usege of titles in ray coaujrciitioi

between teacher and student and the submirsive behavior tcaurds

superiors and rerEssivet bhehfvwor tovardo infrrioru provided the stu-

dent with a first indicrtioa of the rnces in the social _tracture which

surrounded him.

History nii'ir::c.i: t, rmtil the crly 19601' in n".y in:tncesv ,

never advanced beyond 1890 .iid frequently caph,.izcd the hio;toricil

contributions of :gilitiry rose;, trandi.lionlly Glorified esr "the

-great." Hi-.tory tcnach'rs vcry frequently did not follow curriculum

instructions c.ndc 3s a rc\Eltl recent history received considerably

less attention thnn intended by political decli:ion-."AroersL and cduca.n

tional adminicErt or.:. Hel clth Leichtfsc' r Vepoited thnt, in 1958-59,

57 percent of all lIst-ycear ^:-- .- ctrudnts had not yet reached

1933 in their history cl.sSes the tir.a of the written final

' examinations soO four recks before the end of their secondeay school

education, even though thio pyi'iod vas to receive extcnnive atteition

during the last year in school.5

Ma!y corcer teachers felt uneasy nend uricomfontable about deuceu.s-

ing topics dealin; vith the "unconquere recent pas-t." An open a.nd

honest discussion r v, evaluation of the Nrzi iregiu' was often cup-

pressed by .n ovasive just~ icuati'n ca; the p:'.:t cf the involved

teacher who frequently tiLransmi'tt hi& re)i :rvtions and rcsentr.'cnts

Against the poet.-.o:ld War' II political institutions.

AEericpn teac.hcxrs vho ha.d been tseechinC viithin the erion Ey s

tem cs exychne teachers pi'scentcd a quitc: perceptive evaluation of

the Griinn school. They expressed serious concern about the school's

role in preparing the student for future political participation,

While they felt tha the A':eican systeln erllibasiecd chereter trdininA ,

creativity, and indep~t'i dcei in ter.s of Irv'ik and study '!obits, they

found a stri:inrt) Lsnce of there : r:;ie objectives in West Gsr.I)y.

Innteood, they di.tectc: t)!he r-2sist'C o of l t'i..t'itions v:hich

stressed written i:or.k c uvoh,:i:n.ation, cspcially in tXbject. s vch


the student did not perceive as very relevant to this life outside

the school, such as Latin and mathematics. As a result, the ex-

change teachers detected very little enthusiasm and motivation among
the C.rman students.

A school system which placed primary emphasis on order and dis-

cipline, on abstract subjects, on the glorification of the cultural

past, and on busy memorization, attempted to produce students vho

accepted the social order of the past. More systematic analyses and

treatments concurred that the German post-war school system found it

difficult to "restructure existing patterns of authority into new

patterns more appropriate to the social situation."17 Despite good

intentions on the part of many teachers, "the German school is still

predominantly authoritarian, i.e., repressive and demanding funda-

mental subordination of the student under the teacher, the teacher

under the principal, and the principal under the superintendent."18

The school today is still a model or a reflection of the authori-

tarian state and its administration which created it--a calculated

mechanism of forced learning without enthusiasm or cousitment and

with no escape.19 The psychologist, Helmut Kentler, argued that even

sex education, which is now part of the public school curriculum in

several states, with its emphasis on renunciation, obedience, and

discipline, contributed to the individual's incorporation into the

given hierarchical social structure.20

How did the educational system acquire its present character-


Students of the genealogy of secondary education in Ccrany' are

in disagreement on Wilhein von liunboldt's impact on the forulatlon

of general guidelines and the SGoYasiu l itself as it emerged during

the first half of the nineteenth century.21 This is not the place

to examine, criticize, or defend his contribution, but it secims that

others, active at the operational level, have had the responsibility

for far-reaching decisions,

The system of secondary education, as it was formulated and put

into practice under the leadership of Johannes Schulze (1786-1869), a

Prussian school administrator, must be characterized as follows.

Since the edict of 1837,. the normal currlcului vas a rigid,

inflexible offering of courses without regard to individual aptitudes

or preferences. All students, as an age group, were placed into one

grade end exposed to the standardd curriculumn2

Secondly, new subjects were continually added to the curriculum,

but no serious attempt was made to integrate the neo fields into a

comprehensive course. The educational principle remained encyclopedic.23

Thirdly, if there was a leitaotif in the C ,- curriculum,

it was that of a humnanistic education provided through the study of

classical lannguges and cultures. However, this degenerated into an

emphasis on Latin and Greek as the core subjects to which a symbolic

nymbus had become attached, '

During the period of industrialization, in the later part of

the 19th century, new fonrs of the w_ :., were introduced, which

allowed for iore emphasis on modern lannguges, mathematics, and sciences.

Still today, there are three major variants of the Gymnasium, the humran-

istic-classical type with L,~tin and Greek, the modern language type,

and the natheletical--nctural science type,25

In no vay did the rigd internal structure within the school

permit the student to assnue the role of a counterpart to the teacher,

who would acquire knowledge in a proccss of exchange and discussion.

On the contrary, the teacher was expected to lecture, the student ex-

pected to listen, and the learning process was conceived as a one-way

flow of information. The emphasis of sch a learning process was on

the transmission of tradition, and the msintennnco of the social and

political status quo. Accordingly, a statutory decree of 1819 ex-

plicitly required:

to prevent all unnecessary argunients and discussion
with the youth so that they learn early to abide by
the written laws without opposition, to subject
themselves to the existing authority, and accept
the existing social order through their actions.6

Subjection to the existing authorities was p))acticed and enforced

through a system of rigid discipline in the classrousn rbich wu facili-

tated by the fact that retired army personnel frequently suppleiented

the teaching, profession of public eleL entry schools. Furck reported

on an all-encompassing system of conduct reports, which made it possible

to trace down students for continuous evaluation, even after they hed

graduated from school. While the teachers checked on the students,

the principals checked on the teachers, and the Luperintendent checked

on the principals,27

One of the fundamental motivations for the introduction of instruc-

tion by age group, under which all students of the swae age group are

taught a rigidly structured course of all-compulsory subjects, was an

easier enforcement of classroom discipline.28 It also institutionally

forestalled any intellectual exchange between older and more advanced

students and beginners, an exchange ,hich *rould have lessened the

absolute character of the teacher's word,

At the GyM asium level, the eclecticism of some fifteen subjects,

many of them classical-historical, must be interpreted as an escape

on the part of the aduinistr'tion and the teachers into the abstract

world of a classical training vhich was cultivated without regard to

the social problems of the day. This lack of social relevance, how-

ever, did not imply an abdication fraoi the teachers' political social-

ization function and responsibility, By esc;zping into history, the

teachers merely helped to strengthen the leg.tim.Acy of the monarchy

and nationalism. Formally and inforimlly, the students were held to

a primarily passive role in their relationship to the teachers and

their attitude towards the solution of social problems facing the

classroom group as vell as the outside world. Social responsibility

and participant engagement was not encouraged Lnd was generally mis-

taken as ideologically hostile agitation which was to be suppressed.

For a long time, teachers, who as civil servants identified

with the regime, held the view that the pedagogy adequate to the Ger-

man national character rested on discipline and authority, Hans-

Herbert Stoldt discussed this point as late as 1959 and argued that

the present trend towards a more democratic school was the consequence

of the Americanization of the German school system and in contradic-

tion to the German character.29

The German data for the Five Nation Study were collected in 1959.

Even then, a majority of the respondents did not recall ever having

discussed or debated issues in school or ever having contradicted

their teachers. This patriarchical system, which survived World War

II with only minor chnages after World War I und during the 1930's,

did not prepare the student for an active role as a citizen, The stu-

dent was neither encouraged to critically observe nor comprehend

social and political phenomena, nor was he stimulated to take an act-

ive part in politics through the articulation of specific group intur-

ests. Despite a pseudo-democratic constitution which introduced general

and equal suffrage for all male citizens, the political process was

still very much based on the monarch's grace of God, representing the

general will of his subjects.

Through the teacher's withdrawal from political issues, the stu-

dents were taught to strive towards the values of a classical and

abstract world, which was quite detached from the social realities of

the day.

Two considerations have in the past characterized the educated

elite's attitudes towards politics.

As traditionally independent scholars, the educated elite hed

severed the ties which had involved them in politics since 1848, when

the educated upper middle class elite failed to establish a liberal

democracy in Germany. Ever since then, they had withdrawn in frustra-

tion, feeling only distaste for a challenge in which they had failed.

As teachers ad. civil servants, however, elite members owed their

loyalty to the state and the nonarch and the traditions he represented.

Partisanship and partisan politics, within this context, became equated

with divisiveness and destructiveness. As a result, partisan political

involvement was perceived as incompatible with the responsible discharge

of teaching responsibilities, and teachers tended to remain aloof with

regard to polities. They tr-nsaittcd an atttitude of dcttch.ment froia

politics to ithe students, especially at the. l-evel, which

accounted for the high level of factual information, but complete lack

of emotional involvement among the well-educated.30

New Thoughts on the I 1 in a Democratic yst.;

Today, the emphasis on the socialization function of public

education has shifted from maintenance fo the status quo to support

of the materialization of the democratic rules of the game professed

in the state and federal constitutions. Not without an external and

internal restructuring of the system of public education can the

attitudinal and behavioral requirements necessary to achieve congru-

ence between political culture and the existing constitutional norms

be achieved. Not without democratization of the educational structures

can democratic constitutional norms come to life. Not without a fund-

amental school reform can the subject be transformed into a participant.

Today, the state administrations have in principle accepted this

new emphasis. Their policy stattezents reflect this acceptance, when

they acklouledge that it is the purpose of education at all levels to

provide an understanding of, firstly, the values of the cultural tra-

ditions, secondly, the political and social requirements of a democre-

tic order, and thirdly, the requirements of a technological world.3

All other s:;ates acknowledged the necessity of reform in terms

of the socio-political as uell as economic-technological justification.

Baden-Wuerttemberg's Minister of Education considered "education as a
civil right,"32 a term coined by Ralf Dahrendorf. During the debate

over a school bill, the Social Democratic spokesman for education in

the Hesson state legislature, Ruth Horn, pointed out that

A democratic state whichh alvo>, 3culect. i~.s leader-
ship from within the mass of the p ropl, requires as


many responsible, knowledgob]o critics, who are
in a position to take a stand, as possible.33

Beyond the differences in emphasis, all official commentators

agreed on education as a general hnumn right which is or ought to be

independent of social background. Most also agreed on the great

potential of public education as an instrument for modernizing social

and political institutions, Only some, however, were determined to

press for utilization of this potential.


1. All those members of the legislative' education committee who pre-
fer the system to place greater emphasis on quality have
taken the direct route to hither education and have couneted
aC .,I...-I- 'l..n.:-1.ion, and. all but one have completed a. uni-
vrI .r1 ejc-.t .;'. Of those who prefer the :ystem to plee
greater emphasis on equality, 50 percent did not attend a

2. Frieder Naschold, i:1. -. -r **. .-- .r -. r --.-: t.
eine' Ti.*:r; b- --I'' '
pp. .-: l/.

3, In 1960, the National Teachiers' Uniun submitted the Eromer Plan;
in 3965, the Hessen state organization of the : i.'
Union adopted the Darrstadt resolution.

4. For the position of the i "i''.] ..,- cf. Deutscher Phi.olo-
genverband, ed., .r -, -- ( .ldndrf: Schvar.n,
1965), pp. 16-17. r.: ,. ,..-i..i. of the Pnti-reform
force:;, cf. Saul B, Hobinsohn and J. CaRnrr Kuhlrnann, "Tweo
Decades of ion-Reform in West German Education,' Comnatative
Education Review, XI, 3 (October, 1967), 323-327.

5. Both regulations are reprinted in Karl M. Bolte, :..._ -. esell-
schaft im Vandel (Opladen: Leske, 1966), pp. ..,-

6. A study by Popitz et al., based on interviews with 600 metal workers,
reports that'13 percent accept the social dichotomy as a col-
lective fate, another 1li percent accept it on the basis of a
somewhat more sophisticated analysis, another 1ll percent ac-
cept the division as the given order with the satisfaction
it has to offer, and only h percent share the views of the
militants. The other 31, percent view the system of social
stratification as channing slowly through bargaining and
partnership. Cf. H. Popit: rt 0_., Das oC -L.'-.- ft-i
des ,bertot- (Tuebingen, :.., pp. 'T5 n, Cf. ral.u karl
M. :i.!t.t, c cit., pp. 303-305.

7. Bolte, o,. cit., p. 308,

8. Seymour M. Lipset, 7- 1 M Man (Garden City: Doubleday, 1963),
pp. 273-278. '"r.:- ..... NceKenzie and Allan Silver, "Conserva-
tism, Industrialirmn, and the Workint Cls) Tory in England,"
in Richard Rose, ed., Studinc in Britisirh I (New York:
St. Martin's, 1968), pp. 21-33. Ai- 3ri ed.. Wt ien
*;,-, h hler in Westdeutsehl and (Villen. iinp, 1960) pp.
"'.l'.- J .

9. Viggo Graf Bluecher, Der Prozess der Meinungsildung dargeatellt
am Biiel der Bundestagsahl 1961 (Bielefeld: Emnid, 1962),
p. 43.

10. Popular leaders included Wilhelm Kaiser in Bremen, Hinrich Wilhelm
Kopf in Lower Saxony, and Georg-August Zinn in Hessen.

11. Lewis J. Edinger, Polities in Germany (Boston: Little, Brown, 1968),
p. 97.
12. Carl-Ludwig Furck, Das unzeitgemaesse Gymnasium (Weinheim: Belts,
1965), p. 55.

13. Hans Georg Hofmann, "Zwei Wege in der deutschen Schulpolitik und
ihre Ergebnisse," Vergleichende Paedagogik, Folge I (1962),
p. 12.

14. Vollstaendige Preparation auf den Geschichtsunterricht in Volks-
Buerer-, Mittelschuen (Langenslza: 1896), p. 44. Cited by
Hofmann, 2o. cit., p. 13.

15. Helmuth Leichtfuss, "A Study of the Present Situation Regarding
Contemporary History Instruction in the High School of Land
Hesse," Walter Stahl, ed., Education fob Democracy in West
Germany (New York: Praeger, 1961), p. 11.

16. N.n,, "Kritik am deutschen Schulvesen," Bildung und Erziehung
(1953), pp. 349-350.

17. Karlheinz Rebel, "Autoritaetsstrukturen und Autoriteatskrisen in
Vergangenheit und Gegenvart: ihr Einfluss auf Erziehung und
Schule," Robert Ulshoefer and Karlheinz Rebel, eds., Gymna-
ium und Sozialvissenschaften (Heidelberg: Quelle and Meyer,
19 7 p. 123.
18. d., p. 124.

19. Helmut Becker, Kulturpolitik und Schule (Stuttgart, 1956), p. 48.

20. Helmut Kentler, "Von Lust ist nicht die Rede," Die Zeit XXIV, 6
(February 11, 1969). Kentler, for several months immediately
following the student demonstrations in West Berlin in 1967,
served as a psychological advisor to the Berlin police depart-

21, Heinrich Hulme, "Gegenwart in Dasein: Wilhelm von Humboldt, geboren
am 22. Juni 1967," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 16-17,
1967. For the history of the Gymnasium, cf. Carl-Ludwig Furck,
Das unzeitgemaesse Gymnasium (Weinheim: Beltz, 1965); Fritz
Blaettner, Das Gymnasium: Aufgaben der Hoeheren Schule in
Geschichte und Gegenvart (Heidelberg: Quelle and Meyer, 1960).

22. Carl-Ludwig Furck, op. cit., p. 18.

23. biA., p. 31.
24. Karl Zeidler, Plaedyer uer die eShule (Braunschweigs Westerann,
1962), p. 84.

25. For the differences in curriculum, cf. Walter Schultse and Chris-
toph Fuehr, Schools in the Federal Republic of many. (Weinheim:
Belts, 1967) pp. 155-15.:-'

26. Furck, op. git., p. 43.

27. Ibid., p. 47.

28. Ibid., p. 46.

29. Hans-Herbert Stoldt, Die paedagonischen Kurse der Gegernart (Stutt-
gart, 1959).

30. Almond and Verba, The Civic Culture, p. 151.

31. Paul Mikat, Grundlaen, fga und chwermnkte einer kuentigen
Kultur- und Shulpolitik i Lande Nordrhein- talen Ratin-
gen: Henn, 19F5), p. 7.

32. Sehuleatvicklungaplan Baden-Wuerttemberg (Villingent Neckar Verlag),
P. 5.

33. Hessiacher Landtag, III. Wahlperiode, DS III No. 39, 1561.



Those familiar with the problems of public education in post-

war Germany are aware of the fundamental structural, sociological and

political differences between the educational systems of the two German

states. These differences have, in the past, discouraged efforts for

comparative studies,I while the ideological nature of the division has

discredited and prevented any beneficial impact of one system on the


Within the Federal Republic of Germany, we find rather striking

variations in individual characteristics of the eleven Ld or state

school systems. For the social scientist who is interested in emperical

analysis and theory building at the middle-range level, such a con-

trolled, intra-national-culture comparison seems more rewarding. This

seems a reasonable confinement, since it permits a focus on the varia-

tion in a few specific variables, while others can be held constant.

The eleven states of the Federal Republic share many common character-

istics, such as similar state constitutions, similar social and economic

systems and conditions, etc. Within the framework of a common post-war

West German political culture, we would expect to find that some sig-

nificant differences in educational dimensions among the different

states existed.

In this chapter, we will discuss the dimensions of public edu-

cation with special emphasis on thL variLncP between the Latnider.


This overview in me.nt to suggest the relative positions of the Lrcnder,

and particularly Hessoen, on these dixiensloun This will justify the

selection of Hlease cs on cxoiple for the st)idy of the politics of edu-

cational reform vithin the framewvrork of sti.te politics.

Fe .1, T'' T.- T 1. Over Education)jl Issues

Within the frwunweork of fcdere.l-state relations, public education

is a primary responsibility of the West GOerma- iRe id.r.. In Article 7,

the West GermEn Basic Law ofE 1919 prescribes only a few general prin-

ciples of public education',5 mnid Article 70, Section 1 provides that

the Laender have the power to legislate insofar as the Federal Consti-

tution does not confer leGislative powers to the federall Government.

Within the federal administration, there is no cabinet-level department

or agency that has any jurisdiction in the area of public education.

In 1961, the cabinet-level department of Water and Atomic EnerEy was

expanded into the Department for Scientific Research in the fields of

both research mid higher education. Public educr.tion at the primary

and secondary level, however, remained decentralized. A rather modest

attempt of coordination between the states wans institutionalized in

the "Permanent Conference of Ministers of Education of the La.onder in

the Federal Republic of GeConany," established in 1948. The coordina-

tion is modest, because only unanimous decisions can serve as recoa-

mendations to the state cabinets to issue executive orders or pass

statutory Irws to enforce the decisions on which the eleven ministers

of education have acreed,6

While the lack of euit)~rl cduec.tion'.l planning and political

declsion-nwJig has p.ccounlt:d for- cf the diffic; 'e'to.tion, the

divisions between the states which have become cemented during the

past two decades, have now generated a feed-back effect and discourage

more centralized decision-making beyond the present level. Especially,

the supporters of reform projects and experiments in the more progres-

sive states are concerned about the price their states would have to

pay for more uniformity.7

Two Public Prima School System

At the primary school level, the cooperation between state and

church has resulted in a peculiar structure for these schools. Vir-

tually all primary schools in all the Laender are state schools, i.e.,

they are state-financed and state-supervised, and offer a schedule of

courses prepared by the state departments of education. Some of the

Laender constitutions prescribe religiously-integrated schools in

which Protestant and Catholic children receive their education jointly,

with the exception of religious instruction. Other states, however,

an a rule, maintain two separate public school systems, one Protestant,

the other Catholic.

In addition to the three city states, the Laender Schleswig-

Hostein and Iessen maintain religiously-integrated primary schools only.

Saarland, on tih other hand, maintains no integrated schools. In the

remaining Laender, there is considerable variance, even within the Land.

After 1945, the proponents of separate schools won in the states

of Bavaria, North-Bhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and

Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern, and separate schools for the two major re-

ligions were established as the dominant pattern. Only when parents

took up the initiative and applied for integrated schools and were

able to receive the support of a sufficiently large portion of the

parent body, were such schools actually established, mostly in Pro-

testant areas and urban centers. The constitutions of the five states

of 1946-47 established separate schools as the norm in these states.9

Two arguments have been advanced by Catholic parents and educa-

tors in support of separate schools.

Catholic leaders refer to the Elternrecht, the parental right to

bring up children, which is generally interpreted to include the choice

of the type of school the child is to attend. This parental right in

various formulations has become part of the General Declaration of

Human Rights by the United Nations,0 the West German Basic Law of
11 12
1949,1 and most of the Laender constitutions.1 Those who have cited

the parental right in support of two separate school systems have as-

sumed that Catholic parents would follow church leadership and prefer

separate schools for their children.

A second principle cited in support of separate schools is the

principle of Ganzheitserziehungj i.e., a total education which would

socialize the young child within a religiously and philosophically

consistent environment, rather than expose him at this early age to

the conflicting attitudes, behaviors, and interests of a pluralist

society. It has been suggested that "the recognition and acceptance

of pluralism as a structural principle of the political community does

not and cannot mean that pluralism must also be the structural principle

of each individual school.13 In view of the research results in the

field of political sociralzation, the strong and total socialization

within a social and political sub-culture, with virtually no overlap

or contact, rust be judged dysfunctional for a pluralist political

system, In post-war West Germany, two groups with the strongest sub-

culture ties, Catholicism and trade-unionism, have translated the

social identification of their members into a strong political identi-

fication with a political party, and have contributed to the rigidity

and inflexibility of party politics, which has minimized the chances

for majority alternatives.

The Traditional Tr tte S

The most characteristic and problematic feature of the German

school system has been its vertical division. The division into Volks-

and Realschule and gmnasium, the lack of permeability between the

three types, the early and necessarily socially-conditioned screening

of students at the age of ten had been latent issues for decades, but

became focal points of controversy in the mid-1960's.

The Volksschule, also referred to as iiu hule since 1964, is

the basic elementary school which provides for the learning of such

basic skills as reading, writing, and arithmetic, for those who enter

vocational life at the age of 14 via an apprenticeship. Compulsory

elementary school attendance was introduced quite early in Germany.

The tiny principality of Sachsen-Weimar pioneered with its introduction

in 1619, the kingdom of Prussia followed in 1763. The Vol.jschule

remained the 'work horse' of the German educational system. Even

after World War II, it provided the only full-time education for more

than 80 percent of each age cohort.

The Realschule has been the )ong-estlblished, short form of the

secondary school, It offered a considerably wider variety of courses

than the old .. i :,.,il' most notably in the field of foreign language

instruction. This school type vas to prpcAri a relatively Emall group






Berlin (West)




Lower Saxcny





West Germany

Percentage of Children
in Schools
Intrate Seegated

83.6 16.h
















Number of



0 83.6


0 -100

53.8- 99.6

? 99.8

~_ __ _~__

of students for training and careers at the middle level of technical,

clerical white-collar positions.

The Gmnasium has remained the elite school of some 5 to 10 per-,

cent of each age cohort. It offers them a course which is centered

around the humanities, with special emphasis on classical languages,

history, end culture. The Gymnsium has successfully maintained its

monopoly as an access route to higher education. Any student is eli-

gible to apply for university admission only after passing the Gm-

nasium examination of maturity, a comprehensive examination administered

after the completion of the Gmnasium education at the age of 19. The

few lower middle class and working class children who gained entry

and successfully graduated from the ga i_:_ were socialized within

a middle class environment, and severed their ties with their old

social environment, their parents, and childhood peers.

The rate of gr-.-ir graduates as a percentage of all 18- to

21-year-olds varies very little between the Laender, while the percen-

tage of those who complete the intermediate level varies quite sub-

stantially from 7.3 percent in Rhineland-Palatinate to 28.7 percent

in Bremen. This significant variance is partially due to the longer

tradition of this type of school in the three city states Berlin,

Brenen and Hamburg, and Schleswig-Holstein,

Tables 2, 3, end 4 indicate the low level of secondary education

in West Germany, bt also demonstrate the consistently similar vari-

ation between the Laender, The city states, and Schlecwig-Holstein,

Hlessen, and Lover Saxony group around one end of the continuum, while

the Southern and Western Laender show lcver rate in secondary school




Realschule and
Gymnasium Equivalent

Laender 1966 1963 Total

Baden-Wuerttemberg 7.1 7.0 11.9 18.9

Bavaria 6.3 7.1 13.6 20.6

Berlin 10.6 10.0 23.0 33.0

Bremen 9.7 9.5 28.7 38.2

Hamburg 7.1 5.9 20.0 25.9

Hessen 9.6 9.8 16.8 26.6

Lower Saxony 7.5 8.0 17.5 25.5

North-Rhine-Westphalia 7.0 6.5 13.4 19.9

Rhineland-Palatinate 7.7 7.3 7.3 14.6

Saarland 7.2 6.6 8.3 14.9

Schleswig-Holstein 6.9 7.0 24.7 31.7

West Germany 7.4 7.4 14.8 22.2

(Hamm-Bruecher, p. 91; Statisches Material fuer die Hasu-
haltsberatungen, 1968 Hessicher Kultuminister 167)
mimeo, p. 7)




Baden-Wuerttemb erg

Bavari a





Lover Saxony





West Germany








































Gyas aaia













Realschule and













(Computed from: Staendige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Laender der BRD, Algemeinbildende
Schulen 1950 bis 1964: Statistische Material, 1965; cf. also Poignant, p. 73)

-- -- i --- -=- -_ -------~ --;--- -= -

The high rate of intermediate level graduates17 as compared to
the lower rate of students entering the intermediate type8 was ac-

counted for by a substantial number of elementary school graduates

who earned an equivalent to the intermediate certificate while attend-
ing a vocational school.1

The low rate of Gmnaium graduates20 compared to the higher

rate of students entering the Gymnasium21 was caused by a high drop-

out rate throughout the nine years in all the Laender. In Hessen,

in 1959, only 38.5 percent of those who had entered the first Gy-

nasiun grade nine years earlier actually graduated; 61.5 percent
dropped out during the nine years.22 In 1966, the comparable drop-out

figure had been reduced to 43.6 percent. The comparison of Tables 2,

3, and 4 suggests similarly high rates for the other Laender. In

those states where the intermediate level was less developed, the

drop-out rate was even higher. In Bavaria, for example, only 28.3

percent of those who had entered the Ganasium in 1951 graduated in

1960, which amounted to a drop-out rate of 71.7 percent. By 1965, it

had been reduced to 61 percent.23

Table 5 presents an overview of the access to the two secondary

school types. While, in 1960, more than 80 percent of all 16-year-
olds in the United States attended high school, only 20 percent of

the same age group in West Germany attended secondary schools full-

time. Secondary school attendance varied from a low of 12 percent in

the Saarland to more than 30 percent in Schleswig-Holstein.

In order to increase the portion of students attending a secon-

dary school, the Permanent Conference of State Education Ministers

voted, in 196's, to recommend an cxpa."eion of the V:~i; :1... to nine



In-,* Realschule I asiu Total

Baden-Wuerttemberg 8.9 21.6 30.5

Bavaria 15.5 18.8 34.3

Berlin 24.9 21.7 46.6

Bremen 24.1 19.2 43.3

Hamburg 18.8 21.7 40.5

Hessen 19.4 19.4 38.8

Lower Saxony 17.1 13.9 31.0

North-Rhine-Westphalia 15.1 18.9 34.0

Rhineland-Palatinate 6.5 21.2 27.7

Saarland 7.5 22.6 30.1

Schlesvig-Holstein 21.2 16.3 37.5

West Germany 14.8 19.0 33.8

*Grundschule = 4 years; in Berlin and Bremen, 6 years
(Staendige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Laender der BRD,
Algemeinbildande Schulen 1950 bis 1964: Statistische
Material, 1965; of. also Poingnant)



Lau; ir _.'l_ in r,:Jiton L ,.

Baden-Wuerttemberg 3.3

Bavaria 4.5

Berlin 9.0

Bremen 14.8

Hamburg 13.2

Hessen 9.5

Lower Saxony 10.0

North-Rhine-Westphalia 6.4

Rhineland-Palatinate 3.2

Saarland 1.2

Schleswig-Holstein 17.8

West Germany 7.0













(Carnap, F'ldi PDrr rlnti, cb,'rb'eueb in den Laendern der
B3 ii.i'z-. i (1-r." l urt': Difl 19c2.).













-r --. -------I~~~---- L*a-~i-^~ill-ronr~orl~r

years. By 1964, the Laender varied greatly in the extent to which the
compulsory ninth year had already been introduced.25 Virtually no

students attended a ninth year in Sarrland, Bavaria, and Rhineland-

Pfalz, while some 80 percent were already in attendance in Hamburg,

Bremen, Lower Saxony, and Schlesvig-Holstein. Table 6, however, pre-

sents only a point in time in a rather rapid development of expansion.

Since 1964, other Laender have also completed the expansion with the

introduction of a compulsory ninth year, for example, Hessen in April,


Curriculaum Reform

Characteristic for the recent upsurge in interest and concern

for curriculum reform has been the acceleration of curriculum research

sponsored by the Max-Planck-Institute for Educational Research in Berlin.

Discussion and research on the reorganization of public school

curricula focused primarily on two objectives. It was widely felt

that.the curriculum at all levels could be more relevant. Reformers

demanded more emphasis on the physical sciences, on modern languages,

and on the social sciences. For the Gnagsim level, this was an open

clash with the concept of the traditional masium education which

emphasized the more abstract humanities and classical studies.

Within the context of an industrial-technological society, the

value of a sound mathematics and physical science instruction does

not need emphasis. The urgency of such a reorientation was documented

by the results of the UNESCO-sponsored International Stua of Achieve-

ment in Mathematics: A Covgrison o3f "ive Countries, which showed

unexpectedly poor results for West Gernany. More foreign language

instruction is absolutely cu,-;ential for the success of growing inter-

national exchange and ecoopc-rtion efforts, especially withinn the Corn-

mon Market area. And political education can be expected to contri-

bute its ihare to.the strengthening of democratic norms.

In contrast, the traditional i is oriented tovards the

values of the past. As illustrated in Table 7,28 an overwIhelmin

number of Gymnasiu students in all L ender in West Germany earn a

special certificate in Latin. The Gro se Inatinu. requires 41 credit

hours of Latin,29 the Kileines o.atinoli ordinarily between 18 end 33
credit hours.

A still substantial, although declining, number of students

attend the classical Gy'isi, type vhich is even more strongly focused

on the classical world of Roloe and Greece, its languages culture, tnd

history. In addition to the classical slant in all subjects, students

are required to successfully cjoplete 70 credit hours in Latin and
Greek.1 While the percentage of *gygasiun students which attend this

type has dropped to some 10 percent in most states,32 the modern lan-

guage, the mathcmatical-nat.ural science types, andnost recently,

types which place particular emphasis on music, the arts, and even

physical education, have (roun rapidly.

In addition to sore relevancy, the second motivating force for

curriculum reform has been deumocratization. For the curriculum planners,

this required the slo.r destruction of the educational differential

between Vokhs-, he3lrschu'l.c, and Gyrnsivo.

For the -. '1 '.. o vlich has zl-ready been extended into a nine-

year, nnd, exparlontrly;, a ten-.yer institution, this required pru'-

ticularly the Jntroduiction and. cxp:.n!.on of foreign InjI'ngcuce instruction.



Laender V







Lower Saxony

North-Rhine-Westph .lia




West Germany

(Allgemeinebildende Schulen, p.














------~- -- I I_


Laender Grosses Latinum Kleines Latinum 7- Latir.,- Total Number

North-Rhine-Westphalia 100 13,089

Hamburg 86.3 12.3 1.4 1,769

Hessen 86.2 10.0 3.8 6,629

Schleswig-Holstein 82.2 8.6 9.2 2,540

S-arland 73.2 1.2 25.6 840

Rhineland-Palatinate 66.5 5.3 28.2 3,166

Bavaria 63.2 13.3 23.5 9,460

EDaen-Wuerttemberg 51.4 9.2 39.4 7,903

Lover Saxony 49.5 11.2 41.3 7,774

Berlin 38.6 39.5 23.9 3,492

Bremen 33.2 28.9 39.9 1,016

(HLZ, XVII, (1964), p. 17; see also Kultusminister-Konferenz zum Umfang des Lateinunterichts,
Dokumentation Nr. 8, Bonn, 1963).



Laender Percenta Rank Order

Hamburg 39.6 4

Bremen 44.1 3

Berlin 73.6 1

North-Rhine-Westphalia 3.4 10

Baden-Wuerttemberg 9.1 8

Hessen 28.1 5

Bavaria 6.0 9

Lower Saxony




(Edding, p. 324; see also Picht, P.



Until the mid-1960's, few elementary school students outside the three

city-state school systems had any foreign language instruction.33

Since then, very rapid progress has been made, and the new Hauiptsehule

is on its way of becoming an educational institution which is truly

parallel to the Realschule.34

State r,%r litur,' on Education

An indicator widely used to measure the weight given to specific

programs is the allocation of funds. Within the framework of state

politics, the general conditions facing the state legislatures with

regard to the issue of education were quite comparable. The general

expectations on the part of the constituents and consumers were quite

similar, and institutionalized coordination prevented wide scatterings35

The figures presented include state expenditures on education per

student and total school expenditures as a percentage of the state GNP.

The figures reveal that the financially weak states Lovei: Saxony,

Schleswig-Holstein, and Rhineland-Palatinate, spent a substantially

higher percentage of their state GNP in order to provide an average

per student funding.

The data presented in Tables 1 through 9 make it clear that

there are substantial differences in the emphasis each Land has given

to particular aspects of public education and educational reform. On

almost all of the variables presented, Hessen ranks in an upper middle

group which includes the states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.

It is not surprising that Heseen cannot compete successfully

with the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and ~ iaoburg, since Hessen

faces nany additicial problems not fcced by the city-states. It is,

however, unexpected to find that on mLost of th. qu1.ntitative indicators,











Lower Saxony




Total School
Expenditures for Expenditures as
Volksschule Students Percentage of GP

74h.- 1.87

638.- 2.13


471.- 2.26

481.- 2.52

510.- 2.56

48o.- 2.70

517.- 3.07

557.- 3.53

449.- 3.13

(Edding, p. 3211)

_IP~ II___ II_~
~I_ Ir~ I~~s~~ll~ ~I~

Hessen does not rank appreciably higher than the other two North-

western states. As a result, the focal question to be answered in

subsequent chapters in not how to explain the achievements of educa-

tional reform in Hessen, but to explain why Hessen has not done better.

A higher ranking could have been expected because of the politi-

cal characteristics of the LanB. Except for the tiny city-state of

Bremen, Hessen has been the only state which has been administered

continuously, ever since the first state election in 1916, by ea SDP-

led cabinet. Hence, Hessen has been the only Land, where both of the

two conservative, non-Socialist parties--CDU and FDP--formed the opposi-

tion, uninterruptedly, for 20 years. SDP dominance of Hessen state

politics, the proclamation of Hessen as a model state, and the com-

mitment of the national SDP to a progressive policy of educational

and research mobilization, particularly since the 1956 party congress

in Munich, would have warranted such an expectation.


1. Such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel P. Huntington, Political
Power: USA/USSR (New York: Viking Press, 1964).

2. Hildegard HamB-Bruecher, Auf Kosten unserer KinderT (Hamburgs
Nannane, 1965), pp. 127-128. Hildegard Ham-Bruecher,
Affbruch ins Jahr 2000 oder Erzie hung im technischen Zeit-
ter Hamburg: Rooht, 967 5. Helmut Klein, Poy-
technische Bildung und Erziehung in der DDR (Hamburg: Rowohlt,

3. Cf. Harry Eckstein, "A Perspective on Comparative Politics, Past
and Present," Harry Eckstein and David E. Apter, eds., Com-
parative Politics (Glencoe: Free Press, 1963), p. 25; Gunnar
Heckscher "eneal Methodological Problems," ibid., p. 41.

4, For studies of inter-state differences in the U.S., cf. Richard E.
Dawson and James A. Robinson, "Inter-Party Competition,
Economic Variables, and Welfare Policies in the American
States," Journal of Politics, XXV, 2 (May, 1963), 265-289;
Thomas R. Dye, "Malapportionment and Public Policy in the
States," Journal of Politics, XXVII, 3 (August, 1965), 586-
601; Herbert Jacob and Kenneth N. Vines, eds., Politics in
the American States (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965).

5, Article 7 establishes the supervisory authority of the state over
education, the right to establish and operate private schools.

6. The opposition of Bavaria, e.g., defeated the proposal to uniformly
change the beginning of the school year from September to
April in the early 1950's.

7, This general sentiment was widely expressed by SDP state legisla-
tors on both mail questionnaire and in interviews.

8. Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern became an administrative district of the
newly established Land Baden-Wuerttemberg in 1952.

9. Cf. Paul Seipp, ed., Schulrecht: Ergaenzbare Sammung der Vorschrif-
ten fuer Schule und Schulverwaltun (euwied: Luchterhand,
195T- 77.

10. Article 26, Section 3.

11. Article 6, Section 2.

12. The constitution of North-Rhine-Westphalia of 1950 provides in
Article 8, Section 1: "Each child has a right of education
and training. The natural right of the parents to determine
the education and training of their children constitutes the
basis of the educational and school system. The state must
insure that the school system meets the cultural and social
requirements of the Land."

13. Deutsches Institut fuer Bildung und Wissen, ed., Gutachten zur
Bekenntnisschule (Frankfurt: Hirschgraben, 1966), p. 32.

14. Walter Schultze and Christoph Fuehr, Schools in the Federal Republic
of Germay (Weinheim: Beltz, 19 67, p. 6

15. Cf. Table 2.

16. For international comparisons, cf. Raymond Poignant, Das Bildu
swesen in den Laendern der EWG (Frankfurt: Diesterweg, 1966).

17. Table 2.

18. Table 4.

19. Hesaischer Kultusminister, ed., Schule in unserer Zeit: Bildungswege
in Hessen (Offenbach: Brint-Dohany, 1965), p. 52.

20. Table 2.

21. Table 4.

22. Hessischer Kultusminister, Statistisches Material fuer die Hasuhalts-
beratungen 1968, p. 6.

23. Hans Lohbauer, "Der vorzeitige Abgang begabter Schueler von Gymnas-
ien und Realschulen," Bayern in Zahlen, No. 10, 1966, pp. 331-

24. Poignant, p. cit., p. 105

25. Table 6.

26. Hessischer Kultusminister, ed., Informationen und Mitteilungen, No.
64/65, 5 October, 1965.

27. Not all of the Laender report the breakdown of student figures by
Gymnasium branch. Cf. Hans Scheuerl, Die Gliederung des
deutschen Schulwesens (Stuttgart: Klett, 1968) p. 68.

28. Cf. Table 7.

29. Walter Schultze and Christoph Fuehr, Schools in the Federal Republic
of ermany (Weinheim: Beltz, 1967), p. 155.


30. Ibid., p. 156.

31. Ibid., p. 155.

32. Hessen: 7.7 percent; Baden-Wuerttemberg: 10.2 percent; North-Rhine-
Westphalia: 13.1 percent. Cf. Hans Scheuerl, Die Gliederung
des deutschen Schulwesens (Stuttgart: Klett, 198), pp. 68-

33, Cf. Table 8.

34. The percentage of 5th graders with English instruction increased
in North-Rhine-Westphalia from 6.5 percent in 1964 to 70.7
percent in 1965. Ursula Springer, "Recent Curriculum De-
velopments at the Middle Level of French, West German, and
Italian Schools" (U.S. Office of Education Report, 1967),
p. 98.

35. Cf, Table 9.



Throughout the 1950's, the reform of public education was a

rather minor public issue in West Germany. The political decision-

makers at the state and local level were primarily occupied with the

reconstruction of the physical facilities destroyed during the war.

Even though the Laender jurisdiction in cultural affairs was treated

as sacrosanct, educational issues were not manifest in many of the poli-

tical campaigns for elections to the state legislatures. Two leading

studies on West German state politics do not even mention education

in their examination of the issue content of political c~ampIOgn.

In many of the state campaigns in the late 1950's, the national )er.d-

ership of all parties fought campaigns over foreign policy issues, and

the press perennially declared each state election as a test for an

upcoming national. Bundestg election,

During the early and lid-1960's, quite suddenly education became

an issue. Newspapers, periodicals, and magazines began to devote reg-

ular space to the discussion of school issues, and the trend rapidly

gained momentum.

Georg Picht published a series of articles in the independent

Protestant weekly, nrist und welt, in 196h ond vwarned of the imminent

educational catastrophe. Hildegard Hcx-l-Bruccher wrote a series. for

the highly respected, liberal DI Zeit, co ;irilng her ihc pressions of

soee school proble.,s in the eleven ct.t Cer':; ),.n ;er, and Ralf

Dahrendorf, now a member of the Common Merket executive in Brussels,

also, in a series of articles in Die Zcit, postulated education as a

'civil right,' which necessitates educational encouragement of those

who have not fully participated in the educational process, namely

working class children, children frio rural areas, and female students.

Beginning during the same year, a wave of book publications on the

topic, mostly in paperback, appeared on the market, most of them point-

ing out the deficiencies of the present system and demanding reform.2

Earlier, the Federal skeleton plan of 1959 had been published

by the German Commission for Education, the main innovation of vhbich

was the Foerderstufe, a two-year preparatory level which would prepare

and tutor socially disadvantaged students for admission to a G~mnasium.

In 1959-1960, the Social Democratic party held numerous meetings and

published a substantial amount of data and suggestions in its own

plan, "Plan Z: Conquer the Future," an early attempt to mobilize pub.

lic interest in educational issues and capitalize on an intensification

and activation of the issue.

Two issues were instrumental In crystallizing widespread ecti-

vation of the general public.

An increasing majority of the population refused to accept the

complete, costly duplication of public school facilities for Protestant

and Catholic children, which has been practiced in Bavaria, Rhineland-

Palatinate, North-Rhine-Weetphalia, Saarland, and the districts of

Osnabrueck and Oldenburg in Lower Saxcny and Suedwuerttermberg-Hohetn-

zollern in Baden-Wuerttemberg, all of which have substantial Catholic

majorities. As early as 1953, 63 percent of th~ We.t Ger.ans, and

53 percent of all Catholics, opted Ccr ar integrated. school system for

both religious denominations. 4 By 1964, this majority had increased

to 74 percent of all West Germans and 61 percent of all Catholics.5

As early as 1954, even in Bavaria, where more than 90 percent of the

public school population attended segregated schools, almost two-

thirds of the respondents approved of an integrated school system.7

The second issue centered around a controversial decision of the

Hessen state supreme court of October 27, 1965, which reversed an

earlier administrative decision of the state school administration and

permitted parents to ask for cancellation of school prayers. The court

based its decision on the basic right of freedom of faith, conscience,

and creed in accordance with the constitution of the state of Hessen.8

The decision permitted a minority of parents to demand the can-

cellation of the morning prayer for a class group, and subsequently

resulted in a controversial issue and an activation and polarization

of the public on this and other educational issues. A survey taken

after the court decision revealed overwhelming support for early morn-

ing school prayers, and strong disagreement with the court ruling.

A majority supported majority decisions of those affected rather than

decision-making by minority veto.10

International Comparisons

Beginning in the late 1950's, an increase in comparative inter-

national studies of educational dimensions made data available which

permitted the relative evaluation of educational accomplishments in

the light of their economic and social development. Many of the earl-

ier studies were sponsored by OECD, or were direct results of OECD

conferences in Paris and Washington. The necessity of educational

expansion and targets was justified in terms of demands for education

by the expected economic growth of the coming decades, characterized

by Dahrendorf as economic sociologism or statistical determinism.11

A first comparative study of the content and results of school

instruction resulted in the publication of the results of mathematics

instruction in twelve countries.12 Husen and his co-workers measured

the results in terms of mathematical tests which would do justice to

each country's curriculum. Other comparisons of educational coverage

have prompted Dahrendorf to point out that West Germany frequently

finds herself in the company of countries such as Portugal and Yugo-
slavia rather than Britain and France.1 This may give cause for

some concern and reflection, even though the figures as such do not

provide the argument for change that is so often implied.l1

Hami-Bruecher's Aufbruch ins Jahr 2000, a journalistic compari-

son of educational achievements of a number of European countries,

the United States, end the Soviet Union, is a similar attempt on a

more popular level, meant to produce the same stimulus for change and


The countries of Western Europe, especially the six Common Mar-

ket countries and Britain, have reached a stage of economic development

which makes them comparable on a number of social indicators as well.

Measured in terms of employment in the primary, secondary, and ter-

tiary economic occupations, all seven countries have reached approxi-

mately a level of 42 to l8 percent industrial employment, and 39 to

4T percent in the tertiary sector with only France and Italy lagging

slightly behind.16

Comparing the relative school enrollcnit of both the 14-year-olds

and the 17-year-olds, all Common Market partner countries ranked con-

siderably higher than West Germany. Even more important was the fact

that the rate of increase in school enrollment was also higher in all

of the other Western European countries, including Britain. The in-

crease for the decade of the 1950's in school enrollment of 17-year-

olds ranged from 160 percent in Italy to 51 percent in Belgium, con-
pared to a 30 percent increase in West Germany. The small increase

for West Germany is not a result of a high absolute figure for West

Germany in 1950. On the contrary, even in the early 1950's, Germany's

school enrollment figure for 17-year-olds was below average with 12.6

percent, compared to 21.4 percent in the Netherlands, 25.9 percent in

Belgium, and 14 percent in France. As a result, in 1960-61, West

Germany ranked lowest among the six.18

In view of the growing economic and political cooperation be-

tween the Western European countries, which also involves the creation

of a free Western European labor market, West Germany, which ranks

last in the increase of educational coverage, must be concerned about

the prospect of not making full use of its labor resources by recruit-

ing fewer and fever people into the top occupational categories. Econ-

omists were the first to look upon education, and particularly higher

education, as an investment and insufficient recruitment by a national

educational system as a malinvestient, especially in view of the grow-

ing economic markets.19 August Eucker, a former Bnvarian minister of

education, mentions particularly the need for a reorientation of the

separate educational systems towards greater European unit. Educa-

tional platform planks of the political parties dwell on the educa-

tional lag of West Germany in comparison with other Western European

nations and its disadvantages in light of the growing economic and

political cooperation and integration.2

,ter. tate Ccn.partror.

West German data which would permit a duplication of some of the

research in American state politics, emphasizing either politico-cul-

tural differences or substantive policy output, are still rather sparse.

Most recently, Edding and Carnap have quantitatively compared educational

efforts and results of the Laender and compared them to their social

and economic potential.21 Regular publications of the Permanent Con-

ference of Ministers of Education provide few data for limited compari-

sons. Even its biennial reports make comparisons on all dimensions
of educational systems difficult. Each of the Laender submits an

individual Land report, and even though some general standards are

applied, each state tends to present figures on those dimensions where

it ranks highest. The high degree of differentiation within the tra-

ditional school system makes it likely for each state to rank high

on at least one variable of the dimension of interest. Dahrendorf

has illustrated this point in a discussion of what he termed the

'Hamburg paradox' and the 'Bavarian paradox' in those two state systems.

Hamburg, which is considered one of the more progressive systems, has

a rather high enrollment in special education classes, it has a progres-

sive elementary education system with the highest per capital expendi-

tures on education, and has no one-room, one-teacher schools. At the

same time, Hamburg has a comparatively underdeveloped secondary school

system, which has prompted Dahrendorf to characterize it as 'social-

conservative.' Bavaria's elitist-conservative educational policies,

on the other hand, have produced a system which offers auch to a

a privileged few in the yi.nasi um population, but little to the many

in the elementary school population.23

Impetus of Rational Models

The technological and social complexities of 20th century systems

have made the feeding of independent research findings into processes

of political decision-making indispensible. The traditionally pres-

tigeous position of the academic community has frequently resulted in

the consideration of independent, scholarly expertise. Proponents

of educational reform have cited the objective conditions and objec-

tive requirements as cause for change and reform.25 In pointing to

such objective criteria, researchers are talking of an expansion of

the educational capacity by creating more schools for more students

at the secondary level, both short and long form, and thereby extend-

ing educational coverage, and by introducing a compulsory tenth, end
as a long-range goal, a compulsory eleventh end twelfth years.

Since there is very little of a supra-departmental consensus

on the appropriate curriculum for each age level, the curriculum has

been merely the product of a bargaining between departments, none of
which is willing to give up one or two weekly class periods,

A number of plans and target projections, prepared by or with

the aid of scholarly commissions, have been published by educational

administrations. At the federal level, the Permanent Conference of

Education Ministers published first target figures for student enroll-

ment, need for teachers, classroom facilities, and funds for the

decade of the 1960's.28

In 1966, the department of education In BPden-Wuerttemberg pub-

lished a model study for educational planning on education and onomic

growth.29 Based on an analysis of the economic and social develop-

ment with particular attention to the relationship between economic

development and the needs for skilled workers, the Baden-Wuerttemberg

study has formulated target figures for 1980, which would require an

increase in the quota of Cynnasium graduates from 8 to 15 percent,

and the quota of intermediate level graduates from 16.4 to 40 percent

of each age level.30 The figures are justified in terms of an educa-

tional-economic supply and demand model.

Hessen's Grosser Hessenplan of 1965 provided target figures,

which, however, have to be understood primarily as political rather

than economic targets. They were not based on similarly complete

studies of economic and population growth patterns within the state.3

Not all such target projections which are expert statements of

objective requirements are valuable for the educational decision-maker.

Some of the published figures are neither based on the socio-economic

realities, nor are they based on a consistent conception of educational

reform as part of a socially responsible policy. The projections of
the Permanent Conference of Education Ministers do neither.3

Socio-economic and P'olr r. ninsr,'s o Policy Output

The early and mid-1960's have seen a rapid expansion and accept-

ance of the economics of education. Research institutions have been

opened and chairs for the nov field have been established. Friedrich

Edding's pioneering work has been particularly stimulating with regard

to both content "nd methodology.

Subject to UF.SCO- and OECD-sponsored research, Edding and his

school loch upon education as an econon.mic investment. As such, their

approach is both quantitative and comparative, The cross-national

comparison has been reapplied by Edding to a comparative analysis of

the GCrnan Lacnder. Edd-ng goes beyond a strictly economic analysis,

when he recognized that, 5n addition to economic potential and re-

sources, the attitudes of the populace of legislatures and bureaucra-

cies help to account for the differences in school attendance figures

between the Laender.34

The explanation of educational policy output at the state level

cannot limit itself to an analysis of the state's economic resources.

A comparative analysis of Laender policies suggests that economic

variables such as GNP, taxes collected per capital account only for a

rather small portion of the total variance in educational output.

The contribution of the economists of education has been very

suggestive, also for the political scientist, when modified as follows.

Economic resources is too narrow a concept to explore substan-

tive differences in educational reform policies between the Laender.

We propose to extend the concept to socio-economic resources, which

would permit the inclusion of religious-denominational, and urban-

rural compositions. Such a dimension would then characterize the

entire spectrum of the socio-economic environment of educational de-

cision-matking in each state.

In addition to such a broad environmental dimension, we would

have to tike into account the priorities of allocating resources to

individual progeacms within each state. The allocation of resources

is the very core of authoritative political decision-making, and

political variables, therefore, are very important intervening vari-

ables which can be expected to contribute towards the explanation of

eductitonal policy ouutplts.

In addition to substantive reform achievements, two allocative

decisions are of importance and will be included in an aggregate data


The first would be the allocation of funds for educational ex-

penditures as a percentage of all state expenditures, i.e., educational

expenditures in relation to all other non-educational state expenditures,

such as welfare expenditures.

The second decision would be the allocation of funds for individ-

uol educational programs and priorities within the educational appro-

priations. Resolved must be the priority of elementary education,

intermediate level and ~isiu level secondary education over one

another. And as our data presented in Chapter II have shown, the

priorities set by individual state administrations vary very consider-


Educational policies in the state must primarily be interpreted

in terms of the basic social divisions within each Land. The rank-

order correlation on Table 11 based on the data presented in Table 10

demonstrates that two indicators of the socio-political dimension are

more closely related to our educational reform indicators than all

others, These two indicators are the religious- enominational composi-

tion of the state population3 and the relative strength of the more

progressive political party.3

These two variables are highly inter-correlated3 and seem to

measure an underlying social dimension which creates a favorable climate

for a positive attitude towards social change in the field of education.

The religious-denominational variable measures two aspects of the at-

titude towards change. First, Catholic group norms in the past have

tended to be in conflict with ideologies of social reform end the

church,only with some time &e, has began to face these issues.

Secondly, the percentage of Catholics is Ulso an indicator of the

degree of interdenominational mixture. Areas which are still over-

vhelmingly Protestant or overwhelmingly Catholic have been less ex-

posed to the problems of industrialism, urbanism, and their popula-

tion has not yet been challenged to face these problems cognitatively,

attitudinally, and ideologically.

The second variable which measures the relative advantage of the

more progressive party is a behavioral expression of the underlying

attitudes towards change and reform. The size of the SDP vote in re-

lation to the CDU vote is an aggregate measure of the extent to which

a community or a region has been faced vith challenges of a social

nature and the extent to which adaptation or change has been accepted.

If a Land ranks high on this aggregate index of willingness to

accept political reforms, the Land also ranks high on each of the
following variables:

a. the degree of religious school integration,39

b. the openness of access to intermediate level secondary


c. the extension of the compulsory elementary school with

the addition of a ninth year,

d. the adjustment of traditional elementary school curricula
to criteria of relevance, and
e. expenditures per elementary school student.

Only three of our educational reform variables have a consistently

lower correlation coefficient vith thl dimension of attitude towards

social reform:





BavarI a





Lower Saxony





Per Capita
GP. 1961












State and
Federal Tax
Receipts, 196.





4,373 ('63)



















SDP Vote/
CDU Vote












SDP Cabinet
Leadership/ Participation/
CUD Cabinet CDU Cabinet
Leadership Participation
1945-1967 1945-1967

.10 .64

.22 .46

17.03 1.23


h.67 1.28


7.68 1.69

.21 .41

0 .21

0 .41

.19 .21

__ I __ I~

~ _~ __ __



State and
Per Capita Federal Tax
GNPI 1964 Receipts. 1964

Realschule Graduates
Gymnasium Graduates
13-Year-Olds in Gym
13-Year-Olds in Real
Gymnasium Transfers
Realschule Transfers
16-Year-Olds in Gym
16-Year-Olds in Real
9th Graders
Grosses Latinum
Foreign Language
Expense per Volks-
School Expenses as
% of GNP**










SDP Vote/
CDU Vote




SDP Cabinet
Leadership/ Participation/
CDU Cabinet CDU Cabinet
Leadership Participation
1945-1967 1945-1967







*Saarland not included.
"Saarland and Berlin not included.



State and
Per Capita Federal Tax
GNP. 1964 Receipts. 1964

Per Capita GNP, 1964 .855

State and Federal Tax
Receipts, 1964 .855 -

Percent Catholic Population .337 .291

1945-1967 .564 .309

SDP Cabinet Leadership/
CDU Cabinet Leadership
1945-1967 .604 .454

SDP Cabinet Participation/
CDU Cabinet Participation
1945-1967 .755 .609







SDP Vote/
CDU Vote




SDP Cabinet
Leadership/ Participation
CDU Cabinet CDU Cabinet
Leadership Participation
1945-1967 1945-1967

.6o0 .755


_ _

a. access to a s i education

b. exposure to a traditional clasicil education, and
c. school expenditures as a percentage of GNP.

The educational variables which are most strongly related to the social

and political climate in the Lend are the most essential for a compre-

hensive reform. In addition to the integration of separate Catholic

and Protestant public school systems, they include the extension of

compulsory as well as non-compulsory educational opportunities.

Elementary schools have introduced a compulsory ninth year and

are experimenting with a tenth. The demand for 'secondary education

for all' has been reflected most dramatically in the increase in Real-

schule enrollment, the short form of the secondary school. The expected

increase in attendance of the Realschule during the next decade is sub-
stantially higher than the increase expected for the Gymnasium. The

expansion of the short form of the secondary school enjoys a higher

priority among reform-minded Land administrations, because there is an

immediate need for expanding school enrollment. This need could not

be served by the nam because of the traditional distance between

the majority of the population and the -2 as an elite school.

As a result, the expansion of the short form is more strongly corre-

lated with the socio-political variables than the expansion of the


The fact that the two variables of the socio-political dimension

explain a consistently higher portion of educational policy decisions

and program achievements than the variables which measure partisan con-

trol aiod participation in the Land admj.l istl'tion emlphbsi:es the ex-

planiatory value of the socio-political climate f6~. substantive decision-

making. Apparently, the cu:tural-politlcl3. climate which underlies

the state political system has a greater effect on educational policy

achievements than who or which party or party coalition happens to run

the state administration. This point is illustrated by the rather

limited scceuss of state cabinets which have been formed against the

strongest party in the state legislature. The anti-CSU four-party'

Bavarian coalition of SDP, BP, GB/BHE, and FDP failed in 1957 after

only three years in office, and the anti-SDP administration of CDU[

FDP, and DP was defeated overwhelmingly by the Hamburg voters in 1957.

Within a hostile political environment in the state legislature

and the Land constituency, it has been extremely difficult for such

administrations to initiate or carry out major reform programs. The

Bavarian SDP-led Hoegner cabinet, in office from 1954 until 1957, was

unable to redirect educational policies. An examination of the rural

school situation shows that the percentage of elementary school child-

ren who attended rural one- or two-room schools actually increased

until 1960, independent of whether the CSU or the SDP led the state

ihe victory of the anti-SDP coalition in Hamburg in 1953, after

a campaInri in which progressive school policies played a major role,

dampened the Social Democratic party's commitment to school reform

policies in this Land and has instead led the party to "progress in

details," such as beautiful school buildings.4

lb.: :' 1;t c. i-r. ,it.... Climate

The stetibtical analysis of the dita in Chapters II and III sug-

gests th
tional refcrm achievements. While hlthe economists of education suggest

that the variation in ecovrcric resources explains most of the differ-

ence in educational police es between the states, the results of our

own computations suggest two things.

Neither economic resources alone, nor the political commitment

of a narrowly based state administration, suffice to explain the inter-

Laender differences in educational achievements. Instead, it is the

relative strength of the two political parties which have dominated

post-war politics in West Germany, which accounts for the way in which

available economic and financial resources have been allocated. The

relative electoral strength of the more progressive party seems of

greater weight than the relative length of time during which thc- SDP,

as the more progressive party, has exclusively or partially controlled

the state administration. We suggest that, in measuring the average

relative strength of the two major parties over a period of more than

twenty years, we are, in fact, measuring the political-cultural climate

which is either conducive or obstructive to progressive reforms.

The results of this quantitative analysis lead to a more detailed

qualitative analysis of educational reform politics within the context

of the socio-economic environment of state politics, and the structures,

strategies, and tactics of individual political actors and groups. In

focusing a qualitative analysis on the aspects of the state political

culture, we anticipate meaningful conclusions about the functionality

or dys"functionality of reform activities and initiatives by groups or

agents measured against their own aspirations as well as the maintenance

of the systems.

He&sen has generally been considered one of the more progressive

La n'r in the fii1ld of educatior. rnd quite possibly the most progressive

of the larger states. And the indicator which we have presented in

Chapter II tend to partially support this view.

Hessen's administration has been activee in experimenting with

new programs and has made headlines nationally on initiatives and ex-

periments despite the diversity in the social and economic structure.

Hessen's economic structure is mixed, with most of Northern and

Central Hessen primarily rural and agricultural, while the Rhine-Main

district in the Southern part of the state is more densely populated,

highly urbanized,50 and highly industrialized.51 Most of the cities

and counties in the state are predominantly Protestant, with a few en-

claves, notably the diocese cities of Fulda and Limburg, where the

Catholic population is in a strong majority.

Hessen's position of leadership does not stand for all indicators,

even though it does rank above average on almost all, and usually di-

rectly behind the three city states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hauburg.

For the following reasons, Hessen has proved particularly attractive

as a focus for a study in Gernan state politics.

Firstly, Hessen is faced with most of the problems other states

are faced with, because of its heterogeneous social and economic struc-

ture. The administrators and other participants, however, have faced

the challenges and have developed a greater variety of early initiatives

and ection~s that can be dealt with.

Secondly, Hessen's reputation for leadership, also in the field

of education, has increased the willingness of all respondents, includ-

ing members of thi political opposition, to provide information and

'nirdly, the div-rme social -.d ccounoic rtrli ;tiv~ provides


( -- __

..,_ / i \
l.. S- '^ .>.- ,<., .

; /^--^ -\s,- --

,-' "- l /
..>' / );- I..--*
^E., j 0// 'V yL*

--- .
S---- --- --- \ Y .- \. .

< 'C _=-r-'^:' r'-v- '^- I

r (------ .. "; ...+'7'_ _

"t .-ie ""---- 2 "- -- 7- -'''
-- -- -T-- ...

Sr -

.. .......iT cd aras : I
1. /I2-^ -.~ ""t ~ """^:. '

1----17--C- '-;-

.... .- -...-..

^--- population density 500 per sbu ai m:ie
and oroe

examples of reform issues in a variety of Acttings, namely rural areas

with previously underdeveloped school systems and an extremely low

rate of secondary school attendance, urban areas with less rigid divi-

sions among the three school types, and new suburban residential areas

which are most open to reform projects because of the lack of estab-

lished st-uctures end the absence of teachers in fear of status decline.

Fourthly, the early solution of the religious issue, even though

the stlte is religiously rixed, has greatly simplified the identifica-

tion of the other issues.

And fifthly, for an analysis that focuses on the socio-political

variables, it seemed meaningful to limit the investigation to one Land,

in which political stability and the continuity of partisan and per-

sonal leadership permit the characterization of any long-term strate-

gies of initiating groups and actors.


1. Heinz Joseph Varain, Parteien und Verbaende: Eine Studie ueber
ihren Aufbau, ihre Verflechtung und ihr Wirken in Shleswig-
Holstein 5- (ologne: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1964).
Wlfgang Leirich, Politik in einem Bundesland: Die Landta-
wahl vm 8. Juli 1 ordrhein-Westfalen (Cologne:
Westdeutscher Verlag, 1988).

2. Cf. Balf Dahrendorf, Bildung ist Buergerrecht (Hamburg: Nannen,
1965); Hans Dichgans, Erst Mit Dreissig'in Beruf? (Stuttgart:
Klett, 1965); Friedrich Edding, Bildung und Politik (Pfull-
ingen: Neske, 1965); Karl Erlinghausen, Katholisches Bildungs-
defizit (Freiburg: Herder, 1965); Hildegard Hamm-Bruecher, Auf
Kosten unserer Kinder? (Hamburg: Nannen, 1965); Georg Picht,
Die deutsche Bildungskatastrophe (Munich: DTV, 1965); August
Rucker, B unsplanung: Versagen such inder Zukunft? (Diessen:
Tucher, 1965); Hildegard Hamm-Bruecher, Aufbruch ins Jahr 2000
(Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1967).

3. Deutscher Ausschuss fuer das Eaziehungs- und Bildungswesen, ed.,
Empfehlungen und Gutachten des Deutschen Ausschusses: Gesamtaus-
gabe (Stuttgart: Klett, 19657.

4. Elisabeth Noelle and Erich Peter Neumann, eds., Jahrbuch der oeff-
entlichen Meinun 1947-1955 (Allensbach: Verlag fuer Demo-
sk6pie, 1956), p. 224.

5. Jahrbuch IV, 1965-1967, p. 345.

6. Cf. Table 1, Chapter II, p. 36.

7. Jahrbuch I, 1947-1955, p. 225. Sixty-three percent for and 29 per-
cent against an integrated system.

8. "Faith, conscience and creed are free." (Article 9). "No one must
be forced or prevented from participating in a denominational
activity or festivity or religious exercise or the administra-
tion of a religious oath." (Article 48, Section 2).

9. Sixty-seven percent for, 9 percent against school prayer.

10. Seventy-seven percent to 10 percent; Jahrbuch IV, pp. 347-348.

11. Ralf Dahrendorf, Bildung ist Buergerrecht, p. 17.

12. The study reports that West Germany ranks seventh in average

student achievement, and eleventh in average student
achievement for the top I percent of each country's
student population. Torsten Husen, ed., International
Study of Achievement in Mathematics: A Comparison of
Twelve Countries (New York: Wiley, 197). For a report
of the German research team, cf. Walter Schultze and Lothar
Riemenschneider, "Eine Vergleichende Studie ueber die Ergeb-
nisse des Mathematikunterrichts in zwoelf Laendern," Mitteil-
ungen und Nachrichten (Deutsches Institut fuer Internation-
ale Paedagogische Forsehung), 46/47 (April, 1967), pp. 1-34.

13. Dahrendorf, op. cit., p. 17.

14. Ibid., p. 18.

15. Hildegard Hamm-Bruecher, Aufbruch ins Jahr 2000 (Hamburg: Rowohlt,
1967). For a summary of some of the work sponsored by inter-
national organizations, cf. Hans Peter Widmaier, ed., Bildun
und Wirtschaftswachstum (Stuttgart: Neckar-Verlag, 1966, p.
21 ff.

16. Raymond Poignant, o2. cit., p. 18.

17. Ibid., p. 12.

18. bid.

19. August Rucker, Bildungsplanung Versaen such iider. ZukunftT
(Diessen: Tucher, 1965), p. 112 ff. Staendige Konferenz
der Kultusminister der Laender, ed., Bedarfs ststellung
61 bis 1970: Dokumentation (Stuttgart: Kle t, n.y.), p.
3. For a good overview on the economics of education, cf.
Friedrich Edding, Oekonomie des Bildungswesens (Freiburg:
Rombach, 1963).

20. Bildungapolitische Leitsaetze der SDP (Bonn, 1964), p. 13.

21. Roderich von Carnap and Friedrich Edding, Der relative Schulbesuch
in den Laendern der Bundesrepublik (Frankfurt: Institut fuer
International Paedagogische Forschung, 1962).

22. Staendige Konferenz der Kultusminister, ed., Kulturpolitik der
Laender 1965-1966 (Bonn, 1967).

23, Ralf Dahrendorf, .p. cit., p. 31-32.

24. In West Germany, the problems of reapportionment and redistricting
are being solved rather smoothly through the aid of scholarly
and technical expertise.

25. Helmut Becker, "Bildungspolitiker schlagen Alarm," Die Zeit (Novem-
ber 3, 1967).

26. Our interviews of state legislators suggest that such targets are
perceived, if not accepted, by decision-makers.

27. Illustrations for such difficulties are the lengthy attempts to
integrate contemporary history and history into a new social
science course and the strong opposition against an integrated
sex education course, which would rely on biology, religion,
and other individual disciplines.

28. Staendige Konferenz der Kultusminister, ed., Bedarfsfeststellung
1961 bis 19T7 (Stuttgart: Klett, 1963).

29. Hans Peter Widmaier, ed., Bildun und Wirtschaftswachstum (Stutt-
gart: Neckar-Verlag, 1966).

30. Ibid., p. 29.

31. Hessischer Ministerpraesident, ed., Der Grosse Hessenplan (Wies-
baden, 1965), p. 36-43.

32. Dahrendorf, op. cit., p. 16. Most of the research relevant for
educational decision-makers in West Germany has been prepared
or sponsored by the following institutions:

a. the German Institute for International Pedagogical Re-
search in Frankfurt is the oldest and most conventional
in orientation and research output, with strong admini-
strative-legal and historical research interests.

b. the Max-Planck-Institute for Educational Research in
Berlin is a newly established institution, which is
strongly oriented towards the social sciences.

c. the Pedagogical Center in Berlin, also a recent creation,
is primarily a service institution to the city's educa-
tional administration, in sparking and preparing the
ground for reforms within the system. Cf. Carl-Ludwig
Furck, Aufbau und Funktionen des Paedogischen Zentrums
(Berlin, -1966) .

d. a number of research institutions sponsored educational
research in the 1960's: the Institute for Social Research
in Frankfurt sponsored a project evaluating the role of
political education in public schools in a number of
states (Becker/Herkommer/Bergmann, 1967; Teschner, 1968);
the Department of Geography at the University of Frank-
furt (Geipel, 1965; Geipel, 1968), and the Department of
Sociology at the University of Tuebingen (Grimm, 1966;
Peisert, 1967).

33. Friedrich Edding, Oekonomie des Bildungswesens (Freiburg: Rombach,
1963). Roderich von Carnap and Friedrich Edding, Der rela-
tive Schulbesuch in den Laendern der BundesrepublikTFrank-
furt: Institut fuer Internationale Paedagogische Forschung,

34. EdAMng, o. cit.. p. 343.

35. Column 3, Table 2: Catholics as a percentage of total population.

36. Column 4, Table 2: ratio of average SDP vote over average CDU vote
in state legislative elections 1945-1969.

37. Rank order correlation coefficient .755 (Column 3 and 4, Table
38. Cf. Table 2.

39. Cf. Table 2, row 1.

40. Cf. Table 2, row 2 and 5.

41. Cf. Table 2, row 10.

42. Cf. Table 2, row 12.

43. Cf. Table 2, row 13.

44. Cf. Table 2, row 3 and 4.

45. Cf. Table 2, row 11.

46. Cf. Table 2, row 14.

47. Baden-Wuerttemberg, for example is preparing an increase in Real-
schule graduates from 16.4 percent in 1964 to 40 percent in
1980, compared with an increase from 8 percent in 1964 to
15 percent in 1980 in Gymnasium graduates (Schulentvicklungs-
plan Baden-Wuerttemberg, p. 8-9).

48. Bayrisches Staatsministerium Fuer Unterricht und Kultus, ed.,
Kultur, Staat, Geselsschaft: Haushaltsrede des bayrischen
Staatsministers fuer Unterricht und Kultu Dr. Ludvig Huber
vor dea Bayrischen Lndtag, am. 1 Maerz 195', p. 76.

49. Hamr-Bruecher, Auf Kosten unserer Kinder?, p. 21.

50. Four of the five largest cities are located in the southernmost
corner of the state: Frankfurt (667,000), Wiesbaden (260,000),
Darmstadt (140,000), Offenbach (117,000).

51. Chemical, metal, machine, and automobile industry. Cf. Herbert
Lilge, Hessen in Geschichte und Geenvart, 8th ed., (Frank-
furt: Diesterveg, 1965), p. 50. Cf. map.



In this chapter, we will attempt to determine the political priori-

ties that were established in the 1940's and 1950's and have since af-

fected the course of educational reforms for the entire post-war period.

Compared wish other larger states, the reconstitution of the edu-

cation.l syste L after the collapse in 1945 won an s.arly headstart in

Hessen. It becoiie the only Land with a substantial Catholic minority1

which ebolicihd. the dual public school system. The constitutional

cc.prcise of 3.946 vbich provided for an integrated public school sys-

tem for both Prote -tnt and Catholic students was accepted by the

deputies of thu three largest parties against the opposition of only

the tmall Free DX)M:Arcratic party.2

The state constltutio;n itsef, and legislation subsequently

passed by the state legislature, provided for extensive parent partici-

pation in educational decision-making, going far beyond that guaran-

teed in oth'wr stpte coantitutions.

Nonetheless the first 15 years after 19l5 did not see a mater-

ialiaation of any pioneering reform visions. Ideas were presented,3

and some experiments were initiated, but their irmediats impact upon

the formulation of educational policies were negligible. For 15 years,

the educational structures of the past were merely rebuilt and consoli-


Politically, it seemed to many, the setting in Hiesscn wau favorable

for and conducive to reform experiments. 1hc Social Democratic party

won the first state election of 1946, and maintained and solidified

its position as the state's dominant political force, without ever

being seriously threatened by the conservative forces, which were al-

most evenly split between CDU and FDP. Since the Social Democratic

party remained in the role of parliamentary opposition for same 20

years in Bonn, it would have been logical to expect that the SDP

would attempt to provide a striking contrast in the only non-city state,

where it maintained itself in power uninterruptedly for so long.

Instead, the school bills of the 1950's provided for an organi-

zational consolidation of the traditional school system, with no dra-

matic changes in the 1950's or the early 1960's, and only small and

modest changes beginning in the mid-1960's. Changes introduced in

other states since, however, have been more spectacular and more dra-


The enduring SDP hegemony of Hessen state politics have created

some distorted stereotypes about the state's social and economic struc-

ture. Even though Hessen has five large cities with a population of

more than 100,000 each, Hessen is basically dominated by small and

medium-sized towns. With a population of only 5.2 million, it has

more incorporated municipalities than North-Rhine-Westphalia, which

has a population of more than 17 million. Some 43 percent of the

state population live in towns with a population of less than 5,000

compared to only 33.7 percent for West Germany as a whole.8

Even though the agricultural population in Hessen is not above

the national average, there is a distinct regional pattern apparent

from the figures. In Northern hessen, the percentage of the agri-

cultural population Is almost three time s high as the state and
national average.

As one of the four states which shares a common border with
Communist East Germany, Hessen was one of the Laender with a high

percentage of refugees and expellees in the early post-war years.

The total percentage of refugees in the state has not substantially

declined since then, but there have been shifts within the state.

Many of the refugees who had found a temporary home in rural districts

in Northern and Central Hessen, relocated themselves in the more in-

dustrialized South where they were more likely to find work.

This small-town dominance in Hessen makes the Social Democratic

hold on the state less strong than it would seem from a superficial

acknowledgement of continuous SDP control since 1946. The ecology of

the Land does not necessarily reinforce or strengthen the Social Demo-

cratic position in the state. On the contrary, the party has faced a

serious dilemma in its strategy of maintaining its powerful hold on

the state administration. The party leadership and policy could have

responded primarily to the perceived demands of the party membership

in the more popular, more urbanized, and more industrialized South.

This would presumably be an uncompromising policy of active social

and economic reform as aspired to by the activist working class seg-

ment of the party. Alternatively, the party could give priority to

strengthening the party position by not waging any controversial

experiments, but instead, providing a popular, moderate, statesman-

like leadership, acceptable to all regional and social segments, in-

cluding those not traditionally sympathetic te the SDP,

Several conditions present seemed to mrke the second alternative

the more attractive of the two and seemed to predispose the party to-

wards it.

Firstly, early organizational meetings in 1945 and the first

local and state elections in 1946 made it apparent that the SDP could

build on the continued traditional loyalty of the majority of the in-

dustrial working class, especially in the urban centers of Frankfurt

and Kassel.ll Early voting results suggested that the party had much

more nearly reached its potential vote in those industrial areas.

Secondly, the all-party anti-Fascist coalition cabinets of the

immediate post-war era tended to emphasize areas of agreement rather

than disagreement, and may have helped the more moderate wings with-

in each party, including the SDP.

Thirdly, it became increasingly clear that the SDP would have

to compete for votes primarily with the parties of the right. The

Communists emerged as a weak fourth party and disappeared totally

after the state elections of 1950.

Fourthly, during a period of increasing party polarization of

national politics after Konrad Adenauer had assumed the federal

chancellorship and leadership of the CDU, it was only logical to com-

pete for the Protestant votes of the national-liberal Free Democratic

party, which had not yet been attracted to the rapidly growing party

of the Chancellor. The FDP had an extraordinarily strong base of

support in Hessen, particularly in rural Northern and Central Hessen.12

Support for the two policy alternatives within the SDP had, in

fact, been, to soae extent, polarized along regional lines. The

Social Democratic party in Hessen is organized in two district organi-

zations, IHessen-North and Hesssen-South. Even though the Southern

district has a population three times that of the Northern district,

and even though the Southern district organization has two and one-

half times as many members ae the North, the more moderate and com-

promising Northern faction has determined Land administration poli-

cies for the past 20 years.

Minister-president Georg-August Zinn, in office for some 20

years, has simultaneously held the office of chairman of the Hessen-

North party organization since 197.13 Despite his state-wide popu-

larity, and his proven vote-getting ability, Zinn was under increas-

ing criticism from within the party organization, Hessen-South, which

ultimately resulted in his resignation after a serious illness in late

1969, and the selection of a "Southerner," Albert Osswald, as his


The early decision to consolidate the electoral position of the

party with a special appeal to those voters who did not share a tra-

ditional allegiance to a socialist party, necessitated the abandonment,

or at least the postponement, of reforms with which the courted seg-

ment of the electorate would not identify.

The thrust of Social Democratic administration policies was

subsequently directed towards visible advances in molding a new rural

life. Early administration planning within the context of the Hessen-

n focused on the cultural reconstitution of the state's rural com-

munities. Two primary instruments of this policy became the cultural

community centers in the villages and a program of rural school con-

solidation which was to provide more equal educational opportunities

for rural children. Both projects had to overcome soie early political

opposition, but soon became objects of pride for the rural population.

The decision in favor of this substantive and personnel alterna-

tive proved indeed successful in the state legislature elections of

the 1950's and 1960's. The SDP achieved its primary goal of maintain-

ing itself in power at the state level while simultaneously expanding

its electoral base. In the 1966 state legislative elections, the SDP,

for the first time, received twice as many popular votes as the strong-

est opposition party, the CDU,15

The results of the state elections in the 1960's also proved

correct those who had argued that the largest potential gain of votes

was in the rural Northern and Central section of the state, where

the party had been weakest in the elections of 1949 and 1950. In

many of the rural constituencies in northern and central Hessen, the

SDP increased its share of the vote much more dramatically than in

the urban centers of the South.1

These figures suggest that the decision to emphasize highly

visible state programs which would primarily serve the floating vote

between FDP and SDP in Protestant northern Hessen did pay off for the

SDP. The opening ceremonies for each new consolidated school and

each new cultural community center were indeed highly visible, since

they received much coverage in the local and state press, and were

regularly publicized by press announcements of the state administration

in Wiesbaden.17

These conclusions, however, raise a second question. After the

Social Democratic state administration under Zinn's leadership had

proved its ability to maintain itself in power with increasing popular

majorities, the party still did not move tovardr a more rapid, consis-

tent and comprehensive reform of educational. structures. hy the late


^ ___ J_____ -T

Catholic maioritiesn
--- ---- '- :- '"- '-
'I "

z-- above state average k

jjjll Catholic majorities


intri.ction of a ninth compulsory year? Why the late experimenta-

tion with the FoerderstufeT Why the even later discussion of a more

comprehensive move towards the Gesamtschule?

In Chapters VI and VII, we will deal with the administrative,

interest-group, and partisan constellations which checked speedy re-

form policies.

And in Chapter VIII, we will examine the psychological and cul-

tural obstacles in the general population, particularly the rather

hostile attitude towards expanded secondary education among the work-

ing class.

The Constitutional-Administrative Context

Of the o r.,-^fr,. Alternative

Apart from relatively minor differences, constitutional provisions

and state legislation dealing with the area of public education shared

much the same aims and provided for similar organizational and finan-
cial structures in all states. One of the early issues in the recon-

struction of public education after World War II was the religious-

denaminational issue, which affected two areas of school organization.

First of all, it raised the issue of integrated or joint educa-

tion. Should Catholic and Protestant children be educated jointly in

co-denominational public schools and exposed early to a heterogeneous

cultural and normative environment? Or should elementary school child-

ren be raised in a more protective, homogeneous environment, within

the context of a denominational school, either Protestant or Catholic?

In the South and West of the Federal Republic, the dominant Cath-

olic church advocated and succeeded in its demands for separate public

school systems. ~ The demands were justified in the interest of a more

homogeneous environment which could provide the strength of absolute

moral and cultural norms for the young student and prevent his early

perception of conflict between home and school.

In the diaspora of Northern and Central Germany, denominational

school integration had never been a major issue, since the Catholic

population, especially in rural areas, was simply not large enough

to maintain a separate school system. Most of the Western and South-

ern Laender, however, did provide for separate public school systems
in their respective state constitution.9

Since the Catholic population comprises a minority of less than

one-third of the total population,20 the integrated co-denominational

school system has never seriously been challenged. In fact, in the

early 1960's, the integrated, co-denominational public school system

celebrated its 50th anniversary in what was formerly the Duchy of

Nassau,21 and now almost identical to the administrative district of


The constitution of Hessen of 1946 provides in Article 56, Sec-

tion 2:

In all schools in Hessen, children of all faiths
and creeds are, as a rule, educated together (in
co-denominational schools).

The constitution and this article were supported by both major

parties in Hessen, the SDP and the CDU, as a result of the 'constitu-

tional compromise' between these two parties,

And secondly, the denominational issue was intertwined with and

has affected the issue of religious instruction in public schools.

Article 57, Section 1 of the Land constitution rules that:

Religious instruction is part of the regular curricu-
lum, independent of the ni.'l'- supervisory authority,
in religious instruction, the teacher is bound by the
teachings and the order of his church or religious

Only in the city-state of Bremen was religious instruction not

part of the regular curriculum for public schools. And the federal

Basic Law of 1949, which also made religious instruction mandatory for

public schools,23 had to incorporate the so-called Bremen clause in

Article 141, which permitted those states without mandatory religious

instruction to continue their practice even after 1949.

-In the summer and fall of 1945, when public schools all over

Germany prepared for the resumption of class work, as well as during

the following years, when the Laender began with the reconstruction

of the organizational and financial framework for operating schools,

primary emphasis was given to the reopening of the system as such,

rather than questions of reorganization. The immediate opportunity

to move into the vacuum with bold and imaginative reform approaches

was not seized, and the traditional school system began to reestablish

itself. And from then on, any serious reform movement had to face a

considerable segment of the teaching profession, which had reestablished

itself as a traditional elite, ready to maintain and defend its posi-

tion of social status.

Consequently, the number of school bills passed by many Land

legislatures in the early 1950's, regulated primarily the technical-

administrative aspect of the public school system without attempting

major reforms of the reestablished structures. Bills passed by the

state legislature in Hessen regulated the following issues in educa-

tional administratlon.

Municipalities or associations of municipalities were granted

the power to maintain public schools. More specifically, they had

the right to establish, maintain, change, and close schools, and to

provide for the administration of the physical plants and the financ-

ing of all non-personnel expenditures.24

Almost without exception, teachers were granted the legal status

of Land civil servant, and thereby subject to civil service legisla-

tion, as regards both salary and promotions.25

The financing of schools is shared by both local and state gov-

ernments. The state funds personnel costs, the local government funds

all other expenditures. Frequently, however, local governments con-

tribute to personnel costs, while the state government aids local

governments in the funding of non-personnel expenditures, such as the

construction of buildings.2

The state has a general supervisory power over public education,

which is carried out by the Department of Education and through state

officials at the district and county levels.27

Several Laonder provide for parents' participation in educational

decision-making through the State Parents' Council, with veto powers

in sore and advisory powers in other more or less specifically defined


Some provisions in the school legislation of several Laender,

including Hessen, were perceived by larrmakers as contributing to or

spearheading a reform by democratising the decision-making of school

and educational affairs modestly. Such provisions allowed for parent

and student participation in limited areas of decision-making, largely

a response to the highly centralized decision.-mak-nge of the 1930's

and the authoritarian school. and administrative structure before 1918.

None of the bills passed in the late 1950's and early 1960's

which provided for the administrative framework for the state school

system attempted to fundamentally alter or modify the traditional

school structure. The tripartite division, the social selectivity of

secondary schools, and their function of maintaining the social and

political pre-democratic status quo, were not challenged.

But there were some educators in 19h5 who suggested that signi-

ficant changes and reforms could and should be implemented immediately

after the final collapse of the Nazi regime. In the state of Hessen,

as well as elsewhere, the consideration of alternative models was not

limited to members of one political party. Leading Social Democratic

school administrators point frankly to the contribution of Erwin Stein,

the CDU Minister of Culture and Instruction in the first cabinet after

the 1946 elections.29

The series Hessische Beitraege zur Schulreform, which began pub-

lication in the late 1940's, presented a great many reform proposals

for discussion. But it seems that most of them were passed over by

a reestablished traditional system, and disappeared from sight for

some 15 years. Some of the issues discussed then included the very

high rate of Gymnasium drop-outs, the social bias in the student

selection, the continuation of the educational monopoly of the pro-

pertied groups, etc.30

In Hessen, in particular, the U.S. military administration was

active in promoting reform ideas, as part of the more general attempt

of education for democracy. Promoting democracy as the basis for the

school and classroom situation, methods for group and teem work and

class discussion instead of straight lecturing were encouraged, while

at the same time, the systematic formal study of democracy was not to

be neglected. With a somewhat naive optimism, grading sheets which

were to measure democracy in environment and society were employed.31

With U.S. financial and moral support, the Schuldorf Bergstrasse

opened in 1954 with new ideas especially in the field of an integrated,

comprehensive education involving all age levels and students of all

three traditional types of schools.32

The Partisan-Political Context of the Non-Reform Alternative

In terms of partisan control, Hessen has experienced a high de-

gree of executive stability since 1945.33 Despite the federal CDU

dominance during the Adenauer era, the Social Democrats have continually

won state and local elections in Hessen. Since the first election to

the state legislature in 1946, the SDP has been by far the strongest

party, and in four of six elections, has won 50 percent or more of the

seats in the state legislature. Since the opposition vote was split

between CDU and FDP and minor parties, there has never been a serious

challenge to the SDP leadership in Wiesbaden, even when the SDP failed

to win a clear majority of the seats.

In addition to this strong continuity in party composition,

there has been an equally strong continuity in the personal leadership

of the Social Democratic cabinet, a continuity that has been charac-

teristic for a majority of the West German Laender cabinets since 1945.

The head of the Land administration, Minister-president Georg August

Zinn, has served in this capacity continuously from January, 1951,

until his resignation in late 1969. One of his cabinet colleagues

has served four four-year terms, two others have served three four-year

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