Kämpfen gegen Windmühlen und reale Mächte: William Lottigs Tagebuch (1919-1921) als Ausdruck der politischen, pädagogischen und schulinternen Machverhältnisse in einer Hamburger Gemeinschaftsschule zu Beginn der 1920er Jahre

Grunder, Hans-Ulrich. (2014) Kämpfen gegen Windmühlen und reale Mächte: William Lottigs Tagebuch (1919-1921) als Ausdruck der politischen, pädagogischen und schulinternen Machverhältnisse in einer Hamburger Gemeinschaftsschule zu Beginn der 1920er Jahre. Paedagogica Historica, 50 (4). pp. 571-579.

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Normal 0 21 false false false DE-CH X-NONE X-NONE In his daily journal on the founding of the public experimental school, a “community school” at the Berliner Tor in Hamburg between Spring 1919 and September 1921, Lottig describes the everyday issues confronting the principal of the ‘new school’ at that time. These concern classroom instruction, teachers, parents, external pressures on the Berliner Tor-School, the relationship with the school administration, political issues prevalent in Hamburg at that time, ideological and philosophical debates as well as personal and family relationship problems, all of which Lottig describes in his journal. Lottig also noted the reasoning underpinning the development of the school experiments: the ‘old’ schools in Hamburg had been closed, and the state had in their place established experimental schools. The journal clearly records the difficulties, issues and successes of a principal of one of the newly established community schools ( Lebensgemeinschaftsschulen ) , which had been established as experimental schools . A perusal of the diary indicates that Jakob Robert Schmid’s sole and up to now only one known analysis of the journal comes off as biased and misleading. Schmid, professor of education at the University of Berne, had, at the beginning of the thirties, only perused and analyzed those portions of Lottig’s journal in which Lottig describes the rather turbulent if inspiring – and yet chaotic – operation of the community school in its first two years. While Schmid analyzed these portions, he did not consider Lottig’s other, more favourable and constructive comments. Schmid also did not explain his one-sided selection of journal passages. Schmid brands Lottig and his team of teachers as educational novices and classifies the Berliner Tor-School as an ‘anti-authoritarian’ institution, an experimental school like any other school experiment which overshoots the mark, not being educationally and institutionally meaningful. A more objective and principled approach in examining Lottig’s journal would have revealed that Lottig and his teachers were well aware of the main issue confronting the school, an issue that Schmid would also have found relevant: the relation of freedom and compulsion, within a setting that Lottig wanted to revitalize, to productively equilibrate without employing the customary disciplinary instruments. Lottig furthermore again and again points emphatically to the ‘growing pains’ of all alternative schools (even when regulated by the state as an experimental school), whose goal it had been, to establish, even under difficult circumstances, a ‘new school-type’ not utilizing the traditional instruments of discipline, instruction, and school management. This proves that Lottig was neither an educational ignoramus nor unaware of the basic issue of classroom instruction: how one can instruct with or without compulsion. Lottig’s goal had always been – and this Schmid also disregarded – to replace traditional, imposed, mandated or even self-imposed rules and regulations by new, commonly worked out rules. Lottig’s journal is a good example for the steadfast, unrelenting and energy-sapping aspiration of a school principal to balance the relation of school management versus a school’s self-development under the given circumstances. In addition, Schmid’s misinterpretation is a good example of how an observer, who hardly knew the Berliner Tor-School , would misuse this historical source by means of a biased interpretation to further his own views on scholastic education, views that Lottig himself would have preferred to provocatively examine – Schmid’s ‘authoritative pedagogy’, that goes beyond all authoritarian and non-authoritarian educational policies. What then would Lottig have recorded in his journal about a meeting with Schmid?
Faculties and Departments:08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Institut für Bildungswissenschaften > Fachbereich Pädagogik
08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Institut für Bildungswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Bildungswissenschaften > Pädagogik (Grunder)
UniBasel Contributors:Grunder, Hans-Ulrich
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Nov 2017 09:24
Deposited On:17 Nov 2017 09:24

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