School is one of the most focal institutions in modern society. It is largely through the institutionalized forms of education that modern society attempts to secure and maintain its social and economic well-being and its valuable cultural life forms. In addition to this, school is the essential institution through which the future of a society is defined. Thus, at least when understood traditionally as a pedagogical institution, the school stands at the center of historically and socially constructed cultural life forms and at the brink of an unknown future: the determination of that future characterizes the pedagogical task of the school. It naturally ensues then, that modern discourses of the school have always been intertwined with the critical question of how past, present and future can be linked in educational practices so that schools can foster (in ever better ways) the well-being of individuals, societies and humanity. The chapters in this volume, despite the variety of viewpoints, share this critical view. The purpose of the volume is not to offer definite answers; rather it is to stress that to understand the role and functions of school in contemporary society and to orientate its transition, a well-founded critical evaluation of prevailing pedagogical practices and policy trends is required. This evaluation is vital for the future of school and society.