Politische Bildung. Citizenship Education in Germany from marginalization to new challenges


  • Steve Kenner Leibniz University Hanover



Purpose: The aim of this paper is to describe the state of current citizenship education in Germany with the focus on education in schools. The term ‘education’ in this paper refers to the concept of Bildung. It not only describes how to teach, but also the ability of self-determination of the individual.

Methodology: The main focus of this article is to discuss the current state of citizenship education in Germany while taking into account various methodologies. Amongst these are findings of qualitative studies, which for example relate to the legal anchoring of citizenship education or to political action as a learning opportunity. In addition, a comprehensive analysis of the state‐of‐the‐art research on the basic principles of citizenship education is provided. Finally, current challenges are discussed, taking into consideration existing socio-political discourses, such as the question of neutrality.

Findings: The article shows that the relevance of citizenship education is increasing, also in regard to current socio-political phenomena, such as the growth of right-wing populism and digitalization. At the same time, the results indicate that in various federal states the subject is marginalized and threatened by current debates about the alleged neutrality of citizenship education.


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How to Cite

Kenner, S. (2019). Germany:: Politische Bildung. Citizenship Education in Germany from marginalization to new challenges. JSSE - Journal of Social Science Education, 19(1).