Online ISSN : 2187-5278
Print ISSN : 0387-3161
ISSN-L : 0387-3161
Historical Recinstruction of the Landerziehungsheim Movement : Focusing on the Foundation and Activities of"the Association of Free Schools in Germany"
Takanobu Watanabe
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2000 Volume 67 Issue 3 Pages 322-332


The objective of this paper is:(1)to trace the process of foundation of"the Association of Free School(Landerziehungsheime and Freie Schulgemeinden)in Germany"and the activities in its early stages, giving attention to consciousness of actors in this Association;and (2)to present, through such tracing, a new interpretation of the Landerziehungssheim movement, an interpretation different from that of the Nohl School. First, I give an outline of the spread of the free schools of Landerziehungsheim until the 1920's and their interrelations. Second, I point out that each school was confronted with the common economic problem of inflation after World War I, which led to the networking of these schools through a yearly conference. Then, I describe the foundation of"the Association of Free Schools in Germany"in the third conference at the Odenwaldschule in October 1924. Third, I consider the congress in May, 1925, named"the Landerziehungsheim", which was held jointly by the Association and the Central Institute(Zentralinstitut fur Erziehung und Unterricht)in Berlin. I then clarify how the network of the free schools of Landerziehungsheim started to function and was widely introduced to the society. Finally, from the above study of the foundation and activities of the Association, I draw a conclusion about the Landerziehungsheim movement in the following two points:(1)As to the formation of the movement;according to the traditional interpretation of the Landerziehungsheim movement by the Nohl School, the"criticism of culture"("Kulturkritik")at the end of the nine-teenth century was regarded as a decisive factor for the movement, with the movement beginning with the founding of a first school of Lietz. However, assuming that self-consciousness of belonging to their own group as"Landerziehungsheim"and a social recognition as such were indispensable to the movement, the fact that those schools were increasing in number until the 1920's is insufficient, if indispensable, as conditions for the movement to come into existence. It was the foundation and activities of the Association that formed the driving force for motivating, developing and substantiating the movement. (2)As to the unification of the movement;Nohl believed that the Landerziehungsheim movement was firmly unified. However, I analyze that, by the foundation of the Association, an ambivalent feeling of togetherness was formed among the free schools. On one hand, in the process of the foundation, the members of the Association came to realize that they formed their own unique group distinguishable from public schools and other private schools. On the other hand, in the situation where they became conscious of each other and made mutual comparisons, they also became aware of differences between themselves, which caused friction. In other words, the foundation of the Association brought two kinds of self-consciousness, namely, unification against outsiders and differentiation within their group.

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