Page 1 – "Even a little Nazi can be a good skilled worker"
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Nazi treats in the classroom, T-shirts with far-right symbols,
a Hitler salute on school trip, racist swear words in the break, a student who
build a circuit and make it look like a swastika. Who in Saxony teacher
has to be prepared for a lot. In the ranks in front of him could be one or the other
right-wing or even right-wing students sit. Most educators are unsure
they are subject matter experts, know how to solve equations and explain photosynthesis, but have
never learned to deal with extreme political attitudes.
Especially in a federal state such as Saxony, where Kurt Biedenkopf once said that his inhabitants are immune to right-wing extremism, but teachers are deceived, teachers need help, political equipment, so that they confidently engage in argument with their students, instead of shying away from xenophobic slogans , It was this idea with which the Robert Bosch Foundation, together with the Saxon Ministry of Culture, launched the model project "Strong Teachers – Strong Students" at nine vocational schools in November 2015.
It was the time when Pegida in Dresden and Legida in Leipzig stoked fear of immigrants and brought Islamophobic vocabulary among the people. And a little later, in 2016 and 2017, the results of the Sachsen-Monitor shocked those who still thought that right-wing thought was only a marginal phenomenon: a majority of Saxons stated in the polls that the Federal Republic was at a dangerous level because of too many foreigners "alienated" was. No group of respondents showed such dissatisfaction with democracy in Saxony and the Federal Republic as the young people – who were the least interested in politics.
For a long time, Saxon politics had not been interested in those who familiarized the younger generation with the rules of a democratic society. Nowhere else in Germany there were so few lessons in civics. Nowhere else was the motto that politics had no place in school.
But now the Bosch project should train and train 26 VET teachers over three years to develop strategies for dealing with far-right students, broadening their knowledge of youth culture and scenographic manifestations, networking with professionals and initiatives – and finally into the to influence not less than the political culture in their schools.
This article is from TIME no. 45/2018. Here you can read the entire issue.
Three years later, on a wet and cold Monday in October, the final report on the project will be presented in a few days, sitting three vocational school teachers and a social worker in the unadorned room 246 at the Institute of Political Science of the TU Dresden and consider how it goes now. Of the original 26 participants, there were still 21 in the project at the end, but these four are the only ones who now want to pass on their knowledge. Many of her colleagues have given up, let themselves be braked by the hostility and lack of support at their own school.
The Saxonian education policy wishes that the work on the model schools continues and that other schools also learn from their experiences. Therefore, in the next school year, the four remaining will give further training courses all over Saxony, confronting foreign teachers and telling them what it means to finally take political education seriously – that they are not afraid and do not always have to remain neutral.
What have you learned yourself in the last three years? Facts, arguments, strategies, tools, the final report speaks of "professionalization effects". When most teachers rated their own knowledge about right-wing extremism as "rather low" at the beginning of the project, a majority of the participants described it as "rather comprehensive". The participating teachers felt safer in their actions and appreciated their own skills much more positively.