Education, Culture, and Politics in West Germany by Arthur Hearnden

By Arthur Hearnden

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The "Jena Plan", first put forward in 1919, reflected his concern to promote equality of opportunity which he interpreted in a meritocratic sense, guaranteeing the promotion of the interests of the more able within the comprehensive framework. This plan, famous throughout Germany, was particularly influential in the state of Thuringia where a comprehensive school system was operated in the period from 1922 to 1924. The interests of the teachers as a whole, particularly those in the Volksschule, were represented by the general secretary of the German Teachers Union (Deutscher Lehrerverein), Johannes Tews.

However, nationalistic feeling impelled him to join the army and he served till the end of the war with France. It was then that he determined to devote his life to teaching. In 1816 he gathered together sufficient children to found a boarding school in Thuringia, 1 Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel, translated by E. Michaelis and H. K. Moore, London, 1886, p. 79. Traditions in Education: Thinkers and Practitioners 27 initially in Griessheim and moving in the following year to Keilhau. There he remained for fourteen years during which time he worked out his educational ideas and published them in a book called The Education of Man (Menschenerziehung).

26 Education, Culture, and Politics in West Germany was particularly apparent in Germany and Switzerland. Ironically the same Pestalozzi whose school at Burgdorf inspired Herbart was also the inspiration for those innovators who sought to develop a view of education that was the antithesis of the somewhat inflexible regimentation of the orthodox German schools. The most ardent of Pestalozzi's followers in Germany was Friedrich Froebel. He was born in 1782 in the village of Oberweissbach in Thuringia, the son of a pastor.

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