Metamorphoses of pedagogical autonomy in German school reforms. Continuities, discontinuities and synchronicities illustrated by empirical studies on school development planning, school profiling and school inspection.
Autonomie; Lehrer; Schulentwicklung; Schulinspektion; Schulprofil; Lehrer-Schüler-Beziehung; Unterricht; Didaktik; Deutschland
This contribution begins with an analytical differentiation of three different forms of autonomy that appear in the German educational research discourse. Based upon the Enlightenment’s proposal of an autonomous subject as the ideal objective, the pedagogical interpretation of this concept postulates the idea of the autonomous nature of the child, which is discussed in contexts of reformed pedagogy. In the pedagogical process, which is considered to be a dialectic process within the medium of autonomy and heteronomy, the inevitable result of the autonomous nature of the child is the autonomy of the teacher. Teacher autonomy appears necessary in order to handle the dialectical nature of this process. This freedom of the teacher is itself tied to the manoeuvring room institutionally provided within a given educational system. As a consequence, the autonomy of the school as an institution becomes necessary. After presenting these three different forms of autonomy, the article will discuss their continuities, discontinuities and synchronicities against the background of Germany’s various stages of educational reform in the last 40 years. This will be achieved through the means of brief insights into empirical studies on school planning development, school inspection and school profiling. Finally, the consequences of these different forms of relating to the question of autonomy for the discourse on school reform and school development are discussed. (Orig.).