Georg Kerschensteiner

Kerschensteiner, Georg


Born July 29, 1854, in Munich; died there Jan. 15, 1932. German educator and theoretician of the bourgeois vocational school.

After graduating from the University of Munich, Kerschen-steiner taught in secondary schools in various cities in Bavaria. From 1895 to 1919 he served as a municipal school councillor in Munich, and from 1921 to 1932 he was a professor at the University of Munich. Kerschensteiner is known for his reactionary theory of civic education. As expounded in The Vocational Education of German Youth (1901) and The Concept of Civic Training (1909), the theory essentially states that the school ought to “reconcile” the class contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. According to this theory the goal of public schools designed for the children of workers is the inculcation of diligence and the fostering of unconditional obedience and subordination to authority. Because the children of workers leave public school at the age of 13 or 14, begin to work, and often fall under the influence of “unhealthy” ideas propagated among the proletariat, Kerschensteiner advocated the creation of compulsory supplementary schools for working teenagers in the same trade. In these schools special attention was to be given to indoctrinating students in nationalism and chauvinism.


Betrachtungen zur Theorie des Lehrplanes. Munich, 1899.
Theorie der Bildung, 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1931.
Das Grundaxiom des Bildungsprozesses und seine Folgerungen für die Schulorganisation, 8th ed. Munich, 1958.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. soch. Moscow, 1915.


Krupskaia, N. K. “Narodnoe obrazovanie i demokratiia.” Ped. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1957.
Piskunov, A. I. Teoriia i praktika trudovoi shkoly ν Germanii. (Do Veimarskoi respubliki). Moscow, 1963.
Hohendorf, G. “Die Begriffe der staatsbürgerlichen Erziehung und der nationalen Einheitsschule bei Georg Kerschensteiner.” Pädagogik, 1954, nos. 5, 7.


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