Abstract: The humanities and social sciences, and in particular the educational sciences, are facing major challenges in view of the current socio-political, economic and foreign policy upheavals. The authors characterize some of these challenges to education theorists and practical pedagogues against the background of the ideas of a “Humanization of Education” that emerged in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and led to the founding of the “International Academy for the Humanization of Education” (IAHE) in 1995. That humanization approach is still very relevant today. Here, the focus is on the current discussions of national identity, individuality and social responsibility, problems and tasks of inclusion and integration, as well as on the effects of digitalization on personality development. The influence of “Progressive Education” in the first half of the 20th century on the discussions centering on the “Humanization of Education” is taken into account, and the authors pose the question of the sustainability of such innovations in times of social upheavals.
Keywords: Humanization of Education, Progressive Education, national identity, nationalism, individuality, inclusion, integration, digitalization
摘要 (Olga Graumann, Reinhard Golz, & David Whybra: 育的人性化：在社会动荡时期的一项创新概念): 鉴于当前的社会政治，社会，经济及外交政策的动荡变化，人文社会科学，尤其是教育科学正面临重大挑战。对于教育理论家和实践教育者来说，其中的一些挑战，作者们是基于在苏联解体后，在俄罗斯兴起的“教育的人性化”的思想背景下，而导致的于1995年成立了“教育人性化国际学院”，并至今仍显得至关重要。重点是关于民族身份，个性，社会责任，包容及融合的问题与任务，以及数字化对于个人发展影响的当前讨论。二十世纪上半叶的进阶教育对关于“教育的人性化”讨论的影响有所涉及，并且作者们发问关于这一创新在社会动荡时期的可持续性。
摘要 (Reinhard Golz, Olga Graumann, & David Whybra: 教育的人性化：在社會動盪時期的一項創新概念）：鑑於當前的社會政治，社會，經濟及外交政策的動盪變化，人文社會科學，尤其是教育科學正面臨重大挑戰。對於教育理論家和實踐教育者來說，其中的一些挑戰，作者們是基於在蘇聯解體後，在俄羅斯興起的“教育的人性化”的思想背景下，而導致的於1995年成立了“教育人性化國際學院”，並至今仍顯得至關重要。重點是關於民族身份，個性，社會責任，包容及融合的問題與任務，以及數字化對於個人發展影響的當前討論。二十世紀上半葉的進階教育對關於“教育的人性化”討論的影響有所涉及，並且作者們發問關於這一創新在社會動盪時期的可持續性。
Zusammenfassung (Reinhard Golz, Olga Graumann, & David Whybra: Humanisierung der Bildung: Ein innovatives Konzept in Zeiten gesellschaftlicher Umbrüche): Die Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften und insbesondere die Erziehungswissenschaften stehen angesichts der aktuellen gesellschaftspolitischen, sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und außenpolitischen Umbrüche vor großen Herausforderungen. Einige dieser Herausforderungen für Bildungstheoretiker und praktische Pädagogen charakterisieren die Autoren vor dem Hintergrund der Ideen einer “Humanisierung der Bildung”, die in Russland nach dem Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion entstanden sind, 1995 zur Gründung der “International Academy for the Humanization of Education“ führten und bis heute relevant erscheinen. Im Mittelpunkt stehen die aktuellen Diskussionen über nationale Identität, Individualität und soziale Verantwortung, Probleme und Aufgaben der Inklusion und Integration sowie über die Auswirkungen der Digitalisierung auf die Persönlichkeitsentwicklung. Berücksichtigt wird der Einfluss der Reformpädagogik (Progressive Education) der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts auf die Diskussionen über “Humanisierung der Bildung”, und die Autoren stellen die Frage nach der Nachhaltigkeit solcher Innovationen in Zeiten gesellschaftlicher Umbrüche.
Schlüsselwörter: Humanisierung der Bildung, Reformpädagogik (Progressive Education), nationale Identität, Nationalismus, Individualität, Inklusion, Integration, Digitalisierung
Аннотация (Райнхард Гольц, Ольга Грауманн, Давид Вайбра: Гуманизация образования: инновативная концепция в эпоху общественных трансформаций): Гуманитарные и социальные науки, особенно педагогика, на фоне происходящих общественно-политических, социальных, экономических и внешнеполитических трансформаций оказываются перед серьезными вызовами. Некоторые вызовы, с которыми сталкиваются теоретики образования и педагоги-практики, авторы статьи характеризуют через идеи гуманизации образования, которые зародились в России после распада СССР; эти идеи легли в основу созданной в 1995 году «Международной академии гуманизации образования» и не потеряли своей актуальности и на сегодняшний день. В фокусе внимания – научные дискуссии на темы национальной идентичности, индивидуальности и социальной ответственности, проблемы и задачи инклюзивного образования и интеграции, а также влияние дигитализации на развитие личности. Рассматривается влияние реформаторской педагогики (прогрессивная педагогика) первой половины двадцатого века на взгляды по гуманизации образования; авторы ставят вопрос об устойчивости таких инноваций в период социальных трансформаций.
Ключевые слова: гуманизация образования, прогрессивная педагогика (реформаторская педагогика), национальная идентичность, индивидуализация, инклюзия, интеграция, дигитализация
The Idea of the Humanization of Education in the Post-Soviet Era
The following quote was part of a statement by about 100 participants of the founding conference of the “International Academy for the Humanization of Education” (IAHE: here forthwith “the Academy”) in the Russian Siberian city of Biysk in 1995, three years after the end of the Soviet Union:
The human sciences must put human values in the foreground in order to keep the ideal of a democratic society viable, because this depends to a great extent on the formation of the personality, the development of its self-determination. (…) ‘Humanism’ means an orientation towards individual freedom and social responsibility. (Resolutions, 1995, p. 2 f.; see also: Berulava, 1995, p. 20 ff.; Golz, 2012).
In Russia at that time, contradictory developments and socio-critical discussions intensified and in the field of educational science and pedagogical practice the idea of humanizing education increasingly became the subject of discussion. The Academy mentioned above was founded on the initiative of the Russian educationalist Mikhail N. Berulava. The participants of the founding conference came from Russia, some successor states of the former Soviet Union, from Eastern Europe, but also from Canada (Prof. Kas Mazurek, University of Lethbridge), and Germany (among them the co-author R. Golz). There was a growing international interest in educational developments in Eastern Europe and Russia, the region with the most serious social changes of the time. The focus was on the question of what happens to pedagogy in times of social upheaval and how its relationship to traditions and innovations is shaped in the national and international context.
The Resurgence of Progressive Education
Some of the “innovative” ideas were a partly unconscious “renaissance” of national and international education-political innovations from the time of the development of so-called Progressive Education around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. There were many similarities, e.g. the revived demands for a “child-oriented” as opposed to “teacher-centered” education, the relationship between individuality and social responsibility, productive activity and personality development, “learning by doing”, “cooperative learning”, the “project method” etc., to name but a few aspects.
Leading Western progressive pedagogical concepts put forward, for example, by the Americans William H. Kilpatrick and John Dewey, the work school of the German Georg Kerschensteiner, the alternative pedagogical concepts of the Italian Maria Montessori, the French Celestin Freinet and many others, had already to a certain extent been discussed in the Soviet Union. The early Soviet progressive pedagogues such as Stanislav T. Schazkiy, Anton S. Makarenko and Pavel P. Blonskiy should also be mentioned, and it is known that John Dewey had visited the Soviet Union as early as 1928 to advise on the introduction of the “project method” (Egorova, 2016, p. 73).
After the end of the Soviet Union, several progressive Russian pedagogues followed this up when it came to combining progressive and alternative pedagogical approaches with current educational needs. In this context also the innovative, so-called “schools of authors” (авторские школы) founded in the 1990s were and are typical of this.
In an interview, Alexander N. Tubelskij, the then director (and author) of the “School of Self-Determination” (Школа Самоопределения) (Tubelskiy, 1994) in Moscow and President of the “Association of Innovative Schools” in Russia, answered the question of the interviewer (R. Golz) about his school’s basic concern amongst other things as follows:
We know the work of Dewey (…), we use the concepts of the French Freinet, the Italian Montessori. (…) We use everything Progressive Education can give us. (…) As far as Russian educators are concerned, Lev N. Tolstoy is very important to me. (…) Among the foreign educators it is also the Polish progressive pedagogue Janusz Korczak.
(From a video of a conversation in Russian between A.N. Tubelskij and R. Golz from September 1995 – archived by R.G.)
Alexander Tubelskiy died in 2007, but his school and his idea live on.
In view of these and other examples of the recourse to international progressive education, it is not surprising that the topics dealt with in the Academy and its projects were often “open doors” for most Russian and other educators from former socialist countries.
Expanding Concepts of Progressivism
However, there were still controversial discussions on how to define the “humanization of education” as precisely as possible without neglecting the individual aspects already mentioned. As a result of several conferences organised by the Academy in Russia, Germany and other European countries, the German educationalist Rudolf W. Keck, the then president of the Academy at the turn of the millenium, developed the “Ten Principles of the Humanization of Education” as a framework for the reform dialogue, the essential hallmarks of which are reproduced here in concise terms of content and language:
In education there should be as much autonomy and freedom as possible, as much educational guidance and state control as a minimum will allow. (…) A pre-requirement for the pedagogical modernisation of school will therefore be a change in its legal, administrative and professional conditions. (…) The revival and restructuring of the humanisation of education can be seen as a renaissance of Progressive Education as part of the transformation process from modern to post-modern society. (…) The fostering of the individual in correspondence with social responsibility in the framework of a reflexive pedagogy which empowers the individual to self-organisation. (…) Preferences for open instruction and the institutional, curricular and methodological consequences thereof; creative education; learning by doing; teaching and learning as an opportunity to find meaning (instruction as communication) in combination with moral issues in school; cooperation between home and school and a variety of schools (…) (see in detail: Keck, 1999).
Subsequently, there was no longer a question of one-sided giving from the Western side, which was sometimes perceived as an arrogant tutorial (smart alecks) as was (see, for example, the statement of the Russian educationalist Nikolay D. Nikandrov, mentioned below) and partly still is the case in the context of the German-German dialogue even after 30 years of reunification.
In the meantime, there are contradictory new social challenges due to a threat of coexisting, even cooperating international nationalist party movements, and the irrational protectionist, foreign policy and economic developments in several countries. As a result, new terminological questions and tasks also arise for the “Humanisation of Education”.
National Identity vs. Individuality
The role of personal identity in times of social transformation has been examined using the example of the difficult and in part still ongoing process of the internal reunification of East and West Germany after 1989 (Born, 2004). In the following, we should like to deal in more detail with aspects of national and cultural identity in the context of the social upheavals of the present. Not only in Russia and some Eastern European countries (especially in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary), but throughout Europe, has the concept of identity, i.e. the formation or maintenance of a “civic identity” of children and young people within the framework of teaching and extracurricular activities, now been added and emphasized. In Russia, too, some educationalists call for a systemic, integrated and creative implementation of teaching and learning in the formation of civic identity in addition to individualization (Egorova, 2017). Meant is actually: national identity; and in other publications more and more often also with a nationalistic touch.
At a critical distance from this, other authors have determined on the basis of an analysis of Russian and American history textbooks that not only in Russia there are such tendencies to an (over-)emphasis on national interests:
Students in high school history classes (…) are subjected to curricula, texts, images, and symbols that promote patriotic and nationalist ideology (…) including the heroification of certain political and military figures (Tsyrlina-Spady, & Lovorn, 2015).
There is nothing to say against a “healthy” patriotic consciousness or national identity as long as it does not degenerate into nationalism which raises the question of whether and to what extent the original aspects of the Humanization of Education are sacrificed to certain political and economic usefulness considerations. The position of one of the leading Russian educationalists, N.D. Nikandrov, published in 2000, finds relevance among moderate advocates of a pronounced national orientation to this day:
The unchecked gushing in praise of everything which has come from other countries (…) does not educate our young people to be patriots. But at the moment patriotism seems to be gradually re-assuming its proper place (Nikandrov, 2000a, p. 41). (Elsewhere he writes:) The aim of socialization and education now and in future (… is) the Russian patriot who sets his priorities according to Russian national values – while respecting the values of other cultures (Nikandrov, 2000b, p. 266).
It is undisputed that experiences and positions from other countries should not be uncritically imported. Konstantin D. Ushinskiy (1823-1840), a classic figure of Russian pedagogy, had already stressed that each people has its own educational goals and methods, which result from its own national identity and individuality. Russia needed neither the diseases of other educational systems nor their medicine (Ushinskiy, 1960, p. 60; Kegler, 1991, p. 72).
However, today, it should be general knowledge and experience that “educational transformations without consideration of international experiences seldom last” (Golz, 2004, p. 7). And there are justified hopes for long-term scientific cooperation between Russian and Western educationalists who represent and put into practice the basic ideas of humanizing education in a contemporary way. Some Russian authors regard e.g. the activities of the Academy mentioned above as a resource for non-state-directed international continuing education, and as an international and intercultural space for the exchange of innovations in the fields of social sciences and education, and for securing the corresponding synergy effects (Pevsner, & Petryakov, 2015)
For some newer Russian pedagogical online dictionaries, too, the general human values and the social and intercultural competences of the individual are of central importance for the preservation and development of a democratic and humanistic society (see the entries for the tag “Гуманизация образования” [Humanization of education] in: https://pedagogical_dictionary.academic.ru/861).
It turns out that the humanist mission is emphasized despite (or because of) social and political uncertainties and upheavals, and as a result of increasing complications in international relations. In some countries intercultural and interreligious conflicts, xenophobic, racist, islamophobic, anti-semitic and nationalist tendencies are on the rise. Most disturbing are irrational protectionist, foreign political and economic threats of the present day.
All this makes the realization of the Humanization of Education more difficult, if one thinks, for example, of the balanced humanistic development of individuality and social responsibility. In the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union there was an overemphasis on individuality as opposed to sociality (collectivity), which was also to be understood as a turning away from Anton S. Makarenko’s supposedly exaggerated collectivist educational concept. At present, these two pedagogical demands are mentioned in a certain context, but under a new dictum of “national identity” there are also tendencies towards a new imbalance – in favour of a (national) adoption of the individual. Here and in the following the multi-functional tasks and challenges of humanizing education become apparent.
Inclusive and integrative education
In the context of humanization, the issue of inclusion plays a special role. The „International Academy for the Humanization of Education“ (headed by the former President, Olga Graumann from 2009 – 2016) together with colleagues from Russia, the Ukraine and the Baltic countries, has initiated and implemented various cooperation projects, e.g. inclusive educational curricula for Bachelor’s, Master’s, doctoral and continuing education degree courses.
An interdisciplinary perspective was fundamental, since educators in general education institutions are not exclusively concerned with certain diversities, i.e. only with children with a high aptitude, with a visual impairment, with a migration background, with a special need for support, but are, on the other hand, confronted with groups that reflect all the facets of diversity and the corresponding problems and tasks of inclusive and intercultural education (Graumann, & Pewsner, 2015; Graumann, 2018; Winzer, & Mazurek, 1998; 2017).
This became more than evident when contributions began arriving from authors in many disciplines and practical fields for a publication as a part of an Erasmus project headed by Olga Graumann. They came from Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus and ranged on topics from, for example, PTSD, charitable inclusion, teacher-parent cooperation and reformed, inclusion-based teacher education and training programmes (Graumann, Algermissen, & Whybra, 2016).
For the Ukrainian author Irina Demchenko, inclusive education is one of the most important paths to practical humanism and social justice. It means modern education for all, (1) regardless of age, gender or ethnic affiliation, but (2) serious recognition and differentiated practical inclusion pedagogy with attention to the individual abilities and developmental peculiarities of each person (Demchenko, 2015). This corresponds to the ideas of the Humanization of Education and the respective statements in the EU countries of Germany, Austria, Italy, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other Eastern European countries who have joined the UNESCO demand for inclusion in the field of education according to the „Salamanca Declaration“ (1994), the “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (CRPD) (2006).
Not only now, but also in the future, inclusion will be a humanistic task for educational institutions and their teachers and students. It is important to recognise that inclusion of children and young people in educational institutions can only be successful and meaningful if the necessary conditions are created, and that inclusion in schools is based on three pillars: framework conditions, professionalism and consideration of individual requirements.
(1) The personnel, structural and material framework conditions must be in place. This means that teams of teachers consisting of subject teachers, special and social pedagogues must be formed as required. The rooms must be designed and equipped according to the needs of the pupils. The learning groups may only be as large as individual learning is still possible.
(2) Teachers must have sufficient didactic and diagnostic skills. They must be able to reflect on their theoretical approaches and work in a team.
(3) Learning in a heterogeneous learning group does not make sense for every pupil and a special institution specifically geared to his needs is not conducive for every pupil. It is necessary to find the right school for pupils with special learning and living conditions (Graumann, 2018, p. 13 ff and p. 278 ff).
However, although school inclusion is a government priority in many countries around the world, there are also critical voices. Wolfgang Jantzen, a renowned advocate of the idea of inclusion in Germany, wrote as early as 2012: “The debate about inclusion has already taken on a dimension in many places that can only be sarcastically described as a new religion” (Jantzen, 2012, p. 36), and Otto Speck speaks of inclusion becoming an article of faith and that the proclamation of inclusion has sometimes taken on missionary features (Speck, 2010, p. 68). Scientists who have so far advocated inclusion are now in part strongly critical of the concept. Birgit Herz e.g. points out that the demand for school-based inclusion ignores the reality of society as a whole:
Here, contrary to better knowledge, the hope is nurtured that inequality structures and exclusion problems in society as a whole could already be overcome by school education programmes. (…) There is something alien about promoting inclusion as a vision if the economic and political framework conditions are not specified at the same time, which have hitherto prevented the realisation of ‘inclusive education’ both nationally and internationally (Herz, 2012, p. 47).
Despite all the controversial views, the inclusion debate must not be allowed to split into advocates and opponents, as is often the case at present. Humanisation of education means that the debates within pedagogy and educational policy must focus exclusively on which organisational form of teaching and learning and which didactic measures can be used to promote the development of the respective pupil in relation to his or her individual prerequisites. Inclusion at school cannot solve the problem of the social exclusion of people. Nevertheless, it seems to be possible that “a successful inclusive education could (…) contribute to a more tolerant and open society – towards people from another country as well as towards people with disabilities.” (Graumann, 2018, p. 282).
A disability is of course different from other forms of diversity and cannot simply be considered as a cross-cutting issue along ethnic and religious lines, language and culture, etc. (Winzer, & Mazurek, 2017, p. 225). The two terms inclusion and integration are often used in the same breath (integrative inclusion), and there is also talk of “Inclusion’s confusion” (Gilham, & Williamson, 2014). On the one hand, the independence of the two concepts is to be seen, on the other hand they stand in an original, undeniable connection to each other.
In the specific context of this article, we will deal further with aspects of (inter-)cultural integration, also with the increasing cultural heterogeneity, which since 2015 has been especially, but not only, valid for Germany and some other Central and Western European Countries.
Migration, integration and intercultural education
In addition to the processes of globalization, internationalization, social transformations, economic protectionism that are already taking place, migration movements pose a particular challenge in the context of humanizing education. Many people from crisis and war zones in Africa and the Middle East are still looking for help and protection in Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and other European countries. They hope for asylum, cultural and religious tolerance, and improved prospects. However, in the societies of the host countries they are often faced with populist right-wing movements, irrational intolerance, ignorance, xenophobia and even aggressive actions in particular against refugees (Golz, 2015, p. 132). Diffuse nationalist and xenophobic positions stir up sentiments mainly against an alleged “islamization of the occident”, associated with “a frightening lack of information (…) about the real cultural and ethnic composition of the population”. The alleged threat to national identity through cultural and extremist alienation and the frustration with social problems, etc. “is being exploited for blind hatred of anything foreign as well as refugees, asylum seekers and other marginalized people in society” (ibid.).
However, we also see that the overwhelming majority of the German population, for example, still advocates a reasonable immigration policy (e.g. following the Canadian model) and considers the reception of refugees and asylum seekers to be not only a humanistic duty but also an enrichment for an aging society and the commercial future.
Humanization of education is also peace education which should not just focus on schools, but uncover and not ignore the current social and economic causes of xenophobia and nationalism located primarily in the middle and older generations. There are new (gerontagogic) challenges, to empower older generations for contemporary and reasonable debate of cultural and religious differences (Marschke, 2005). The real socio-psychological, economic, media and other causes for ideological aberrations need to be explained comprehensively and the results of an open democratic discussion be used for the consolidation and the benefit of human, democratic societies.
We see, not only in East Germany after re-unification, the special responsibility and duty of all humanists and democrats (secular humanists, humanistic atheists, religious humanists and other humanistic and democratic actors and groups) to name similar positions at least on essential current issues in order to bundle their activities against misanthropy without reservations and fears of contact. It is important to make this life meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.
The humanization of education is also intercultural (multicultural) education, a theoretical and practical task
to create equal educational opportunities for students from diverse racial, ethnic, social class, and cultural groups (…), to help all students to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to function effectively in a pluralistic democratic society and to interact, negotiate, and communicate with peoples from diverse groups (Banks, & Banks, 1995, p. XI).
People who have immigrated from other cultures are rightly called upon to integrate themselves into a given democratic society. Some people talk about integration, but assimilation is meant; the differences are ignored. Integration means the acceptance by immigrants of the laws and lifestyles of the host country and the possibility of their participation in social life – without the pressure to completely abandon their own cultural identity. A demanded assimilation ultimately means a one- way process where the newcomers from different cultures give up their culture to adopt the ways of the majority culture or modify it to become acceptable to the given society. There are cases of intentional, voluntary assimilation among immigrants, e.g. of the Russian Germans, people who emigrated from Germany to Russia in the 18th century and re-migrated to Germany on a massive scale after the social upheavals of 1989. In slightly different ways, this also affects Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Germany (Golz, & Ostrovskiy, 2007/2008). But here too, rapid assimilation or identification with national and cultural aspects of life in the host country was often associated with difficulties. In general, a short-term expectation of assimilation is not only an expression of a lack of realistic insights and experience with migration policy developments, but also an inhumane imposition on immigrants – often leading them into segregation.
One of the most decisive prerequisites for the successful integration of migrants is and remains the acquisition of the language of the host country, which is particularly evident in countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy etc. However, this only works if the appropriate opportunities for linguistic qualification as well as social and intercultural contact with members and organisations of the host society are created, and if increasing importance is attached to foreign language teaching from primary school onwards at the latest. Here important aspects of the humanisation of education, e.g. intercultural-communicative empowerment, integrative and inclusive processes, can best be facilitated (Whybra, 2000, p. 153).
In this context a few remarks about the difference between “national identity” mentioned above and „cultural identity“ and their changeability in integration processes, not least for linguistic reasons. The feeling of belonging to a culture (or even to more than one culture) not only gives people a psychological orientation, it is also important for their ability to act in a complex and diverse society. However, the development of a cultural identity is often associated with change. From a cultural-universalistic point of view we are connected in society by an identity, a basic consensus, without which people cannot live together permanently in a given nation. From a cultural relativist perspective the question arises whether a community based on (national) identity is really a community, whether a society composed of variations of a universal and identical majority can exist in the long term. Humanization of Education means, in this respect, that one’s own identity and the identity of others must be accepted in their development (Masschelein, 1995; Demorgon, 1999; Golz, 2004, p. 14).
Digitalisation as the de-humanization of education?
One of the greatest challenges for the preservation of a humanistic educational concept now and in the future is undoubtedly digitialization. As quoted above and mentioned in the founding declaration of the “International Academy for the Humanization of Education” (1995), it has been said quite pessimistically that “The ‘tradition of humanism’ has almost fainted in the face of the omnipotence of technological development and global ecological catastrophes. Modern technology de-humanizes human relations.” (Resolutions, 1995, p. 2; see also: Berulava, 1995; Golz, 2012). It is amazing how similar this almost quarter-century old statement is to that of current scientists. Some of today’s educationalists see in digitalisation the danger of a de-humanisation and economisation of the education system in a way that contradicts humanistic principles. The educational and social scientist Ralf Lankau wrote:
Instead of economizing and digitalizing the education system, we need humanization and re-individualization in the humanistic tradition. Technology and control do not lead to knowledge and ability, (…) it is rather the dialogue between teachers and learners (Lankau, 2015).
Some of those quite critical remarks towards an increasing digitalisation of life, especially in school, may not represent the majority opinion of society, but can and should inspire reflection on how to deal with this issue in the future (see also: http://futur-iii.de/2017/06/01/falsch-zitiert-und-falsch-gemeldet/).
These discussions seem to be intensifying, which can be shown, for instance, by more current critical statements in an “Alliance for Humane Education: Criticism of the Digital School Pact: Potemkin villages of German education policy or: belief in technology as a pedagogical oath of revelation” (see: Bündnis für humane Bildung, 2019).
Just recently Götz Eisenberg stated that the ability to make meaningful use of digital media
is not acquired on the Internet or by wiping over tablets and smartphones. One learns to think through direct contact and exchange with people present in the flesh, through reading and the joint appropriation of what has been read (Eisenberg, 2019).
Mikhail Berulava, the then founder of the “International Academy for the Humanization of Education” mentioned above, is the current head of two universities in Moscow and Sochi, and a deputy in the Russian Duma. He was recently asked by the authors of this article how he would define the importance of the main ideas of the Humanization of Education now, in the age of massively increasing digitalization. A little later, after consulting with his colleagues, he replied in an e-mail to R. Golz from May 30th, 2019: “In view of the increasing aggressiveness in parts of society, the task of education is not only to develop technical internet competences, but first of all to provide orientation for human values, behaviour and communication.” And both Mikhail and Galina Berulava had recently called in an article for “a detailed philosophical, sociological, and psychological analysis of the role of modern electronic means for the formation of personality.” (Berulava, & Berulava, 2019, p. 53) This can at least be seen as a positioning of some Russian scientific and political actors, although it is not representative yet.
On the other hand, there seems to be no doubt that in most countries, including Russia, the majority of people who deal with the phenomenon of digitalisation would agree that
the pros outweigh the supposed and actual cons of digitalisation, whenever it is also clear that the role of the teacher-pupil relationship is extremely important for a flexible learning environment that breeds successful, collaborative and enthusiastic learning (Himmelsbach, 2019).
The American educationalist Marianna Richardson has also expressed herself convincingly in this sense and on the basis of her practical experience using the example of social media in the college classroom, entering upon both the challenges and advantages of digitalization in view of “students who could not previously afford it or who geographically had no access to it.” (Richardson, 2015, p. 209)
There are, of course, also absolutizations of the advantages of digitalization in educational institutions associated with a supposed reduction in the role of the teacher. However, humanizing education was, is and remains tied to the teacher-learner relationship. In this respect, it is perhaps not too far back in time but fitting to our subject matter when we reintroduce the position of Konstantin D. Ushinsky (1824-1870) mentioned above. He was convinced that a teacher must know the person as he or she really is, only then can he educate, and it was also his clear position that the personality of the teacher cannot be replaced by books, school materials etc. (Ushinskiy, 1963, p. 51). Perhaps he would have written today that the personality of the teacher cannot be replaced by the Internet … (see more about Ushinskiy in: Golz, 2003, pp. 43-46; Ellis, Golz, & Mayrhofer, 2015).
Irrespective of all useful, necessary, today and in the future indispensable technical innovations and irrespective of historical, current and future social upheavals and innovations – the main ideas of the humanization of education remain a permanent interdisciplinary task with ever new challenges, especially with regard to individualized and socially responsible as well as inclusive and integrative learning. This also includes the defence against over-emphasised national interests and other de-humanisation tendencies mentioned above.
And there is no shortage of other new challenges e.g. the huge and omnipresent problem of climate change and its implications for education. Due to the space available and the complexity of this topic we would just like to mention the worldwide youth movement “Fridays for Future”. Many pupils and young people all over the world continue to not go to school on Fridays but to demonstrate for concrete political measures to save the environment, and the politicians and teachers, once again, don’t really know yet how to deal with it … However, the support of this humanistic and democratic youth movement by the “Scientists for Future”, and a growing number of members of the older generations gives hope for further constructive and effective reactions in politics, society and innovative environmental education.
There are many unanswered questions, that’s life, and it will remain exciting, by the way, also with regard to the existence of the “International Academy for the Humanization of Education“ which is currently endangered for financial reasons as an organization. But what about its basic ideas and the further development of its content and terminology, especially in times of social upheaval? Can we only consider an innovation once it has finally proven its worth? (Ellis, 2005, p. 202; see also Ellis, & Bond, 2016, p. 171). Such and other imponderables are often the historical fate and significance of innovations.
- Banks, J.A., & Banks, C.A. (Eds.) (1995). Handbook on Research on Multicultural Education. New York: Macmillan.
- Berulava, G. A., & Berulava, M. N. (2019). A New Theoretical Platform of Personality Development (…). In International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, 1/2019. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/IDE-2019-1-full.pdf ,pp. 53-60.
- Berulava, M.N. (1995). Humanization of Education. Problems and Prospects. Biysk (Russia): Research Publishing Center.
- Born, A. (2004). Zur Rolle der personalen Identität in aktuellen Transformationen. [The role of personal identity in current transformations.] In Golz, R. (Ed.). Internationalization, Cultural Difference and Migration. Challenges and Perspectives of Intercultural Education. Münster / New Brunswick / London: LIT, pp. 169-194.
- Bündnis für humane Bildung. Kritik am Digitalpakt Schule (…) (2019). Technikgläubigkeit als pädagogischer Offenbarungseid (2019). URL:www.aufwach-s-en.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/01_buendnis_digpakt_09_2019_text.pdf
- Demchenko, I. (2015). Inclusive Education as the Way to Humanism, Spirituality and Social Justice. Concept (Cientivic-methodological electronic journal).URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/v/inklyuzivnoe-obrazovanie-put-k-gumanizmu-duhovnosti-i-sotsialnoy-spravedlivosti
- Demorgon, J. (1999). Erziehung und Globalisierung. Für eine Kultur der Kulturen. In Globalisierung: Perspektiven-Paradoxien-Verwerfungen. Jahrbuch für Bildungs- und Erziehungsphilosophie 2. Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, pp. 9-25.
- Egorova, E.V. (2017). Individualization in the Russian Education System as a Means to Foster Students’ Citizenship Identity. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IDE-2017-1-full.pdf, pp. 112-123.
- Eisenberg, G. (2019). Digital Idiots – Zur Kritik des “Digitalpakts für Schulen”. URL: https://hinter-den-schlagzeilen.de/digital-idiots-zur-kritik-des-digitalpakts-fuer-schulen
- Ellis, A.K. (2005). Research on Educational Innovations. 4. Edition. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
- Ellis, A.K., & Bond, J.B. (2016). Research on Educational Innovations. NewYork: Routledge.
- Gilham, Ch., & Williamson, J. (2014): Inclusion’s confusion in Alberta. In: International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18, pp. 553-566.
- Golz, R., & Ostrovskij, A. (Hrsg.) (2007). Probleme und Wege der Integration jüdischer Immigranten. (…) [Problems and ways of integrating Jewish immigrants. (…).]. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag. [also in Russian: Островский, А., & Гольц, Р. (2008). Проблемы и пути интеграции еврейских иммигрантов (…)]. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.
- Golz, R. (1998). A Component of Paradigmatic Shift in Education: The Renaissance of Reform Pedagogy (Progressive Education) in Central and Eastern Europe. In Humanisierung der Bildung. Jahrbuch 1998. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, pp. 189-206.
- Golz, R. (2003). European or National Education? K. D. Usinskij and Comparative Education. In Comparative Education in Teacher Training [Sofia, Bulgaria], Nr. 2, pp. 43-46.
- Golz, R. (2004). Integration of Migrants. Social and Educational Challenges in Processes of Societal Transformation. In Golz, R. (Ed.) Internationalization, Cultural Difference and Migration. Challenges and Perspectives of Intercultural Education. Münster / New Brunswick / London: LIT, pp. 11-26.
- Golz, R. (2012). The International Academy for the Humanization of Education (…). URL:www.reinhard-golz.de/home/international-academy-for-the-humanization-of-education and URL:www.uni-hildesheim.de/iahe/index.php/de/akademie/entwicklung-der-akademie(retrieved: September 30, 2019).
- Golz, R. (2015). The Foundation of Peace Education by Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670) and its Topicality. In International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, 2/2015. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IDE-2015-2-full.pdf, pp. 131-143.
- Graumann, O. (2018). Inklusion – eine unerfüllbare Vision? Eine kritische Bestandsaufnahme. [Inclusion – an unattainable vision? A critical inventory.] Berlin / Toronto: Budrich.
- Graumann, O., & Pewsner, M. (Hrsg.) (2015). Von Ideen zu Taten. Zehn Jahre Partnerschaft zwischen der Stiftung Universität Hildesheim und der Staatlichen Universität Nowgorod. Hildesheim: Universitätsverlag.
- Graumann, O., Algermissen, U., & Whybra, D. (2017). Inklusion im Bildungsbereich. Streiflichter aus Russland, Ukraine und Weißrussland. [Inclusion in Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus.] Hildesheim / Zürich / New York: Olms.
- Herz, B. (2012): Inklusion: Realität und Rhetorik. In: Benkmann, R.; Chilla, S., & Stapf, E. (Hrsg.): Inklusive Schule. Einblicke und Ausblicke. Immenhausen: Prolog-Verlag, S. 36-53.
- Himmelsbach, V. (2019). 6 Pros & Cons of Technology in the Classroom in 2019.URL: https://tophat.com/blog/6-pros-cons-technology-classroom/
- Jantzen, W. (2012). Behindertenpädagogik in Zeiten der heiligen Inklusion. In: Behindertenpädagogik. Vierteljahresschrift für Behindertenpädagogik und Integration Behinderter in Praxis, Forschung und Lehre. 51. Psychosozial-Verlag, S. 35-53.
- Keck, R.W. (1999). Ten Consensus Principles for the Humanization of Education in the East-West Reform Dialogue. In Humanisierung der Bildung [Гуманизация образования / Humanization of Education], Yearbook 1999. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, pp. 11-17.
- Kegler, D. (1991). Das Ethos der russischen Pädagogik. Sankt Augustin: Academia Verlag.
- Lankau, R. (2015). Gegen die Ökonomisierung des Bildungswesens: Digitalisierung als De-Humanisierung.URL: http://futur-iii.de/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/11/lankau_digitaldehuman.pdf
- Marschke, B. (2005). Was Hänschen nicht lernt, lernen Hans und Hasan. Interkulturelle Pädagogik für ältere Erwachsene. URL: www.diezeitschrift.de/22005/marschke05_01.htm.
- Masschelein, J. (1995). Wo wohnen Weltenwanderer? (…) In Koch, L., Marotzki, W., & Peukert, H. Erziehung und Demokratie. Weinheim: Deutscher Studien Verlag, pp. 117-122.
- Nikandrov, N.D. (2000a): Die Werteerziehung und die kulturelle Identität in Russland. In Golz, R., Keck, R.W., & Mayrhofer, W. (Hrsg.): Humanisierung der Bildung. Jahrbuch 2000. Frankfurt a.M. (u.a.): Peter Lang
- Nikandrov, N.D. (2000b): Russia: Sozialisation and Education at the turn of the millenium. Moscow: Pedagogical Society of Russia (Russ.)
- Pevsner, M. N., & Petryakov, P. A. (2015). Managerial aspects in education as a subject of international scientific discussion. URL: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/upravlencheskiy-aspekt-v-obrazovanii-kak-predmet-mezhdunarodnoy-nauchnoy-diskussii
- Resolutions of the First International Congress on the Humanization of Education, June 27-29, 1995 in Biysk/Russia, pp. 1-4. [Decisions of the 1st International Congress on Problems of Humanization of Education, 27-29 June 1995 in Biysk/Russia, pp. 1-4 (Working paper, written under the direction of R.W. Keck; private archive R. Golz)].
- Richardson, M. (2015). Social Media in the College Classroom. In International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, 2/2015. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IDE-2015-2-full.pdf, pp. 209-224 .
- Speck, O. (2010). Schulische Inklusion aus heilpädagogischer Sicht. Rhetorik und Realität. München und Basel: Ernst Reinhard Verlag.
- Tsyrlina-Spady, & Michael Lovorn (2015). A Curriculum of Ideology: Use and Abuse of Modern History Education in Russia and the United States. In International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, 2/2015. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/IDE-2015-2-full.pdf, pp. 161-171.
- Tubelskiy, A.N. (ed.) (1994). School of Self-Determination. [Тубельский, А.Н. (ред.) (1994). Школа Самоопределения]. Moscow: Polytext [Москва: Политекст].
- Ushinskiy, K. D. (1960). The Grammar School Pedagogy of Karl Schmidt. In K.D. Ushinsky’s archive of K. D. Ushinsky. Volume 2. [Ушинский, К.Д. : Гимназическая педагогика Карла Шмидта. В: Архив К.Д. Ушинского of K. D. Ushinsky. Том 2.] Москва: Изд.-во Академии Педагогических Наук РСФСР, стр. 9-62.
- Ushinskiy, K.D. (1963). Ausgewählte pädagogische Schriften. Berlin: VWVV.
- Whybra, D. (2000). Wird unter dem Einfluss des Humanisierungskonzeptes der Postmoderne ein Paradigmenwechsel im Fremdsprachenunterricht eingeleitet? In Humanisierung der Bildung, Jahrbuch 2000. Frankfurt/Main et al.: Peter Lang, pp. 153-170.
- Winzer, M., & Mazurek, K. (1998). Special Education in Multicultural Contexts. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey (USA).
- Winzer, M., & Mazurek, K. (2017). Diversity, Difference, and Disability: Conceptual Contradictions and Present Practice in Inclusive Schooling for Students with Disabilities. In International Dialogues on Education: Past and Present, 1/2017. URL: www.ide-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/IDE-2017-1-full.pdf, pp. 225-231.
About the Authors
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Golz: Emeritus, Historical and Comparative Education, University of Magdeburg (Germany); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Olga Graumann: Emeritus, General and Rehabilitation Pedagogy, University of Hildesheim (Germany); former President (2009-2016) of the International Academy for the Humanization of Education; e-mail: email@example.com
David Whybra: Former senior lecturer, University of Hildesheim (Germany), language consultant and editor; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org