Reform(ing) Education

The Jena-Plan as a Concept for a Child-Centred School

Ralf Koerrenz

"School as counter-public" is the hermeneutic key with which Ralf Koerrenz interprets the school model of the Jena Plan. Similar to the Dalton-Plan or the Winnetka-Plan, the Jena Plan is one of the most important concepts of alternative schools developed in the first half of the 20th century as part of the international movement for alternative education, the “World Education Fellowship”.

Peter Petersen's "Jena Plan" concept must be understood from his educational philosophical foundations. The didactic levels of action at school (teaching, learning) as well as the reflection of theory in pedagogical practice are made understandable by "school as a counter-public". Not least with a view to the today's Jena Plan schools, the question is asked for a context-independent core of what makes a school a Jena Plan school. The opportunities and ambivalences of the model thus become equally visible.

Freie Alternativschulen in Deutschland

Historische Kontexte und aktuelle Konzeptionen

Andreas Lischewski

Die „Freien Alternativschulen“ bilden in Deutschland einen reformpädagogischen Schultypus mit einem durchaus sehr eigenständigen Profil. Eine Beschreibung ihrer konzeptionellen Grundlagen im Spiegel empirischer Befunde fehlte bisher jedoch.
Der Autor ordnet erstmalig einige ausgewählte empirische Forschungsergebnisse historisch sowie systematisch ein und setzt diese in Bezug zum konzeptionellen Selbstverständnis der Freien Alternativschulen, wie es sich in den letzten 30 Jahren entwickelt haben. Welche zentralen Merkmale machen die Freien Alternativschulen konzeptionell für sich geltend? Wo lassen sie sich im deutschen Schulwesen verorten? Und in welche Richtung muss sich die wissenschaftliche Forschung bewegen, um Aussagen zu den Leistungen und Grenzen dieser spezifischen Schul- und Unterrichtsform zu gewinnen?

Edited by Ralf Koerrenz, Friederike von Horn and Friederike von Horn

The Lost Mirror traces cultural patterns in which the interpretation of learning and education was developed against the backdrop of Hebrew thought.

The appreciation of learning is deeply rooted in the Hebrew way of thinking. Learning is understood as an open and history-conscious engagement of man with culture. The consciousness of history is shaped by the motif of the unavailability of the “other” and the difference to this “other”. This “other” is traditionally remembered as “God”, but may also be reflected in the motifs of the other person or the other society. The Lost Mirror reminds us
of a deficit, which is that in our everyday thinking and everyday action, we usually hide, forget and partly suppress the meaning and presence of the unavailable other. The book approaches this thinking through portraits of people such as Hannah Arendt, Leo Baeck, Walter Benjamin, Agnes Heller, Emanuel Levinas, and others.

Ralf Koerrenz

Es gibt eine spezifisch hebräische Kultur der Bildung – das ist der Leitgedanke dieser Grundlegung. In dieser Kultur der Bildung spielt neben Aspekten wie Freiheit und Individualität ein bestimmtes Verständnis der Verantwortung des Menschen gegenüber sich selbst, der Mitwelt und der Umwelt eine entscheidende Rolle.
Dabei wird der Mensch als ein Wesen verstanden, das von der unaufhebbaren Gleichzeitigkeit von Entfremdung (Sünde) und Freiheit (als Befreiung) geprägt ist. Mit »hebräisch« wird dabei ein kultureller Überlieferungskontext bezeichnet, der sich in den Schriften der hebräischen Bibel gebündelt hat. Schöpfung und Sündenfall, Befreiung und prophetische Kulturkritik werden mit Blick auf das Bildungsmotiv anthropologisch ausgedeutet. Insgesamt entfaltet der Hebräische Humanismus nicht nur ein Verständnis von Kultur und Bildung, sondern kann insgesamt als eine bestimmte Ausprägung einer Kultur der Bildung verstanden werden. Der Hebräische Humanismus bildet die gemeinsame Grundlage für entsprechende Strömungen im Judentum, Christentum und Islam.

Euler Renato Westphal

The purpose of this study about theological aspects of culture and social ethics is to investigate the relation between the theological tradition arising from Luther and the cultural immateriality which is culturally expressed in material progress and work.
It is necessary to remember that it was Protestant theology itself that enabled this secularization process. Protestantism and modernity with its secularization proposal are processes that condition one another. Paul Tillich calls modernity and secularization the “Protestant Era” in the context of the Western culture of economic progress. It was mainly the theological tradition of the Enlightenment that separated the kingdom of the right from the kingdom of the left, law and gospel, creation and redemption, in such a way that the scope of creation became so autonomous that it dismissed the justification through the work of Christ, the gospel.

Critical Collaborative Communities

Academic Writing Partnerships, Groups, and Retreats


Edited by Nicola Simmons and Ann Singh

Writing comprises a significant proportion of academic staff members’ roles. While academics have been acculturated to the notion of ‘publish or perish,’ they often struggle to find the time to accomplish writing papers and tend to work alone. The result can be a sense of significant stress and isolation around the writing process. Writing partnerships, groups, and retreats help mitigate these challenges and provide significant positive writing experiences for their members.

Critical Collaborative Communities describes diverse examples of partnerships from writing regularly with one or two colleagues to larger groups that meet for a single day, regular writing meetings, or a retreat over several days. While these approaches bring mutual support for members, each is not without its respective challenges. Each chapter outlines an approach to writing partnerships and interrogates its strengths and limitations as well as proposes recommendations for others hoping to the implement the practice. Authors in this volume describe how they have built significant trusting relationships that have helped avoid isolation and have led to their self-authorship as academic writers.

The Language of Mathematics Education

An Expanded Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts in Mathematics Teaching and Learning


Shannon W. Dingman, Laura B. Kent, Kim K. McComas and Cynthia C. Orona

The Language of Mathematics Education: An Expanded Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts in Mathematics Teaching and Learning offers mathematics teachers, mathematics education professionals and students a valuable resource in which common terms are defined and expounded upon in short essay format. The shared vocabulary and terminology relating to mathematics teaching and learning, and used by mathematics educators is an essential component of work conducted in the field.

The authors aim to provide an overview of more than 100 terms commonly used in mathematics teaching and learning. Each term is defined and is followed by a short overview of the concept under discussion that includes several bibliographic references the reader can use for further investigation. In addition to terms specific to the domain of mathematics education, select key terms common across all fields of education (e.g., curriculum, epistemology, metacognition) are included. The goal for this book is to serve as a resource for those entering the field as they navigate the language and terminology of mathematics education and as an asset for more established professionals who wish to gain additional insights into these ideas.

Developing Teachers’ Assessment Literacy

A Tapestry of Ideas and Inquiries


Kim Koh, Cecille DePass and Sean Steel

Since the turn of the 21st century, developing teachers’ assessment literacy has been recognized as one of the key levers for improving instructional practice and student learning in light of the education reforms worldwide. A substantial body of literature is focused on teachers’ assessment literacy or teachers’ capacity in assessment, and teachers’ continuing professional development in assessment. As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, developing teachers’ assessment literacy needs to be more responsive to the need of both preservice and inservice teachers who come from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The authors concur that both preservice and inservice teachers in today’s complex educational contexts require a deeper level of understanding of assessment. Additionally, teachers are highly encouraged to appreciate the history of educational assessment in different sociocultural and political contexts, as well as to know how to determine the merits of a range of assessment practices best suited for their lesson planning and classroom teaching. In this book, the authors discuss significant aspects of developing teachers’ assessment literacy in different sociocultural and political contexts. Based on their respective educational backgrounds, academic experiences, and applied fields of study, each of the authors presents a critical response to the topic of assessment. Their accounts represent the complexity of the subject through a breadth and range of content and perspectives. By expanding the terms of reference regarding assessment, the authors have developed a book with a far richer panorama on assessment as a springboard for inquiry.

Research and Development in School

Grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory

May Britt Postholm

Research and Development in School: Grounded in Cultural Historical Activity Theory intends to give student teachers, teachers and school leaders research knowledge about which methodologies (research approaches) and methods (data collection and analysis methods) they can use as tools when researching the day-to-day affairs of school and classroom practice. Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) is presented as the framework. When grounded in CHAT the intention of the research will be to produce useful knowledge whether the aim is to promote development when the research is conducted or incoming development processes. The text is useful in connection with CHAT-informed development work research (DWR), where development work and research are combined in a common project, and in connection with on-going practices in school without the person studying them supporting the on-going development work there and then, but with the intention and understanding that the constructed knowledge can be used in subsequent development processes. This book is also useful for teacher educators/researchers who supervise student teachers or collaborate with practitioners in schools. The wish is that CHAT and its models will be able to contribute to the development processes we want to see in school, which in turn will promote the pupils’ learning outcome.

Share Engage Educate

SEEding Change for a Better World

Vinesh Chandra

There are no doubts that our world is becoming increasingly more connected through digital technologies. For meaningful participation in this environment, our children need to be digitally literate. Yet there are many children in developing countries who have yet to touch a computer because of social disadvantage. For these children, schools are the only place where they can build this capacity. However, many schools in these communities are under resourced. They do not have library books, let alone digital resources. As a consequence, teaching and learning strategies have remained unchanged for decades.

The field of critical pedagogy evolved through the initial work of Paulo Freire. This theory is underpinned by critical thinking about societal issues followed by action and reflection. When citizens are armed with such knowledge and skills, they can positively impact on the lives of the underprivileged. However, critical pedagogy is still struggling to find its meaningful place, particularly in higher education. This is largely due to the lack of effective models and critical educators.

This book is an auto-ethnography which presents accounts of the initiatives that were undertaken to promote print and digital literacy in rural and remote schools in eight developing countries. It highlights the experiences of school leaders, teachers, university staff and students, and globally minded citizens working alongside the local communities to enhance the quality of education for 15,000 to 20,000 children in these schools. The book showcases how critical pedagogy can unfold in the real world and how we can collaboratively make a difference.