Implementing antisemitism studies in German teacher education


  • Georg Gläser
  • Gudrun Hentges University of Cologne
  • Marcus Meier Kölnische Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit



Anti-Semitism, teacher education, social sciences, political education, Germany


  • The integration of antisemitism as a topic for teacher education is urgent, especially in the social sciences
  • Education regarding contemporary antisemitism must be combined with an analysis of racism and historical-political perspectives on the Shoah to succeed in post-migrant society
  • Slight changes of the curricula are a reliable base for further development
  • A nexus between schools, universities and actors of civil society is needed in order to target antisemitism
  • International summer schools, German-Israeli study groups or collaborative workshops are exemplary pilot projects in order to establish competence regarding education critical of antisemitism


Purpose: Following the current rise of antisemitism globally and in Germany, this paper examines the current situation regarding Antisemitism in teacher education. The paper aims to make a contribution for the demand of an implementation of education critical of Antisemitism in teacher education.

Approach: Combining experience from university teacher training and the field of extracurricular political education we appoint perspectives for a sustainable implementation of education critical of antisemitism in teacher training via best practice examples. We evaluate the potentials of field trips, international study groups and networks between university and agents located in civil society.

Findings: The revised curricula for Social Sciences in the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia (and formerly Berlin) name current antisemitism for the first time, indicating an urgent need for professionalization in Social Science teacher education where the facets of antisemitism only play a minor role. Hence, expertise and existing resource must be stabilized, a structural implementation and funding is needed in order to target the challenging topic of antisemitism.

Research limitations/implications: This paper functions as a preliminary research in order to examine the given shape of Social Science teacher education and Antisemitism in Germany. A comprehensive, structured analyses of all teacher training facilities as well as extracurricular agents working in the field of education critical of antisemitism could be useful in order to pool expertise. Nonetheless this paper encourages local collaborations between university and civiliety actors.

Author Biographies

Georg Gläser

Georg Gläser, M.A., studied Social Sciences and History for teacher education and Sociology in Cologne and Berkeley. He currently works for the U. C. Berkeley Sociology Department as well as in the project "Anytime again – Against Anti-Semitism" of the Cologne Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation. Fields of research: The far-right, Anti-Semitism, critical political education, materialistic state theory and utopias in social movements. He is co-editor of the edited volume "Democracy in the Sign of Corona" (2021).

Gudrun Hentges, University of Cologne

Gudrun Hentges, PhD, is a full professor at the University of Cologne. There she heads the teaching and research area of political science, educational policy and political education. In the summer of 2018, she taught as 'Sir Peter Ustinov Visiting Professor' at the University of Vienna. Her research focuses on political education, (refugee) migration, populist and extreme right, antisemitism research, racism analysis and theories of democracy. She is co-editor of the Journal for Research on Right-Wing Extremism and co-editor of the edited volume "Democracy in the Sign of Corona" (2021).  

Marcus Meier, Kölnische Gesellschaft für Christlich-Jüdische Zusammenarbeit

Marcus Meier, PhD, political scientist, he is currently the managing director of the Cologne Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation and a lecturer at the University of Cologne. He was active for many years in the political education work of the Industrial Union Metal, the German Trade Union Confederation and the Anne Frank Youth Meeting Center. Various publications on the topics of racism, Antisemitism and right-wing extremism, mostly in the context of political education work. Latest publication: "Educational work against antisemitism. Basics, Methods and Exercises".  


  • Abstract
  • PDF
Further information





Special Topic Articles