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The Quest for Modern Vocational Education – Georg Kerschensteiner between Dewey, Weber and Simmel

Georg Kerschensteiner between Dewey, Weber and Simmel


Philipp Gonon

Vocational education that includes both in-company training and schooling is a highly successful educational model – in fact, it has come to be considered the most effective kind of youth education to date. The development of this so-called Dual System is often attributed to Georg Kerschensteiner (1854-1932).
In this book Kerschensteiner’s work is presented in the context of modernization processes in Germany at the beginning of the 20 th century, when the urgent need was felt to balance general education and vocational needs. The corresponding discourse was influenced by modern thinkers like Dewey, Weber and Simmel.
This book thus offers new insights into the reform of vocational education and into educational thinking more in general.
Contents: The Pedagogue Georg Kerschensteiner: A Brief Biography – The German Concept of Bildung and School Reform in the 19th Century – Joy in Work - Germany’s Educational Debates in the Industrial Age – Georg Kerschensteiner’s Concept of the ‘Arbeitsschule’ - A Plea for Work as a Foundation for Education – Kerschensteiner as the ‘Pestalozzi of Our Time’ - A Pedagogical Hero and His Tragedy – School Reform and Pragmatism: John Dewey’s Ambiguous Impact on Modernisation in Germany – Education as Self-guidance - Max Weber’s Alternative to Liberal Education – Georg Simmel’s Discourse of Life and Form as a Blueprint for Georg Kerschensteiner’s Theory of Education – Apprenticeship, Vocational Education and the Rise of the Dual System – Efficiency and Vocationalism as Structuring Principles of Vocation-oriented Education in the USA – The Development of Vocational Pedagogy in Germany.