Perspective of Wolfgang Klafki – education

The educative approach undoubtedly provides the basis for the teacher and it is my opinion that it is incredibly important, what attitude you have, in relation to work with different ethnic backgrounds. Especially in the work to decide the content of an education that for example was the case in my transmission project. Here it may be helpful to involve the German educator Wolfgang Klafki and the three educative (ordet “education” bruges i Klafki´s afsnit, som “Dannelse” og ikke “Uddannelse”) categories: material, formal and critically oriented education, which I will elaborate here.


Material education theories: In the material education theories it´s the teaching material that is in the center. Teaching substance, ie. the content that is being taught, becomes the aim and goal. It is this positions intention to educate to the profession and not educate through the subject. It is the cultures objective content and the “classic” which is the main content. Emphasis is placed on the amount and type of culture that is conveyed, ie. the students has to acquire a certain amount and kind of knowledge.

Didactics based on basic subjects: the teaching subject takes its content from one or more underlying basic subjects (usually a scientific discipline, but it can also be art or craft). A basic criterion for selection of the content is the basic discipline academic structures (related to the material education theories).


Formal education theories: In the formal education theories, it’s the students that are the references. The students will not learn anything already defined, but they should be formed to develop capacity for self-realization. This means that the students are brought up through music.

The emphasis is on educating and teaching activities, ie. on what teaching does to the students. Educational content is in a way less significant compared to promoting the thinking abilities, concentration and desire. Development of these skills is important because they can be transferred to all situations in life. This position allows spontaneity and improvisation, and use of “unconventional” methods.

Didactics based on everyday experience: didactics based on everyday experience, strives to make the subjective student interests to the starting point for teaching. As a student prerequisites and experiences can be very different, the key concepts in the context of this basic position teaching differentiation and action orientation (related to the formal education theories).


Critically oriented education: In the critical oriented education, the intention is to learn to relate to society and its dynamics to take action in possible changes of the circumstances. People must be political subjects. The Intercultural field is also something you can´t get around as it is the society’s reality and we must deal with it.

Didactics based on actual community provision: in this didactic raises questions about what it is that is important for us and future generations to gain and understand some concepts, meet and handle the challenges that await us in the future. This didactic will contribute to change the world, human consciousness and the future possibility to build up responsibility and competence to act (related to the critically oriented education).



Wolfgang Klafki and categorical education

The exemplary is the example that opens for the elementary and fundamental and thus the understanding of the world. That something is exemplary means that it is exemplary and therefore an important criterion for selection of educational content. The concept is old, but Klafki reformulate it and write about exemplary examples of teaching: “By means of general insights, skills and attitudes we can make larger or smaller groups of single phenomena and problems that have the same or similar structure, accessible and comprehensible. You can use the term “categorical” about the impact that the knowledge, skills and attitudes have obtained on the basis of a sample or a small number of examples[1]. ” Furthermore a requirement for the exemplary principle in education is that the substance you choose has to be “a mirror of the whole”. The exemplary principle is a principle that sets the stage for the fruitful deepening by selecting a topic (music, dance, improvisation), which is exemplary for the whole.

[1] Klafki, Wolfgang (2001), pp. 17

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *