Press Release

German School Barometer: Every second teacher sees violence at their own school

  • Representative survey by the Robert Bosch Stiftung shows high level of emotional exhaustion among teachers in Germany.
  • Teachers currently see the greatest challenges in student behavior and dealing with heterogeneous classes. They say staff shortages and run-down buildings are the most urgent needs.
  • Compared to other countries, teachers receive considerably less continuing education for teaching skills and Germany lacks a systematic feedback culture.

Stuttgart/Berlin, April 24, 2024 – Nearly every second teacher in Germany (47% of those surveyed) sees a problem with psychological or physical violence among students at their own school. Schools in socially disadvantaged areas are particularly affected (69%). This is according to the German School Barometer published today by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH. The representative survey of teachers also shows that violence at their own schools significantly increases the risk of burnout and stress among teachers. More than a third (36%) feel emotionally exhausted several times a week, with younger and female teachers and elementary school teachers particularly affected. Although the vast majority (75%) of teachers are satisfied with their job, more than a quarter of those surveyed (27%) would leave teaching if they had the opportunity.

"We see the results as a snapshot of an ailing system," says Dr. Dagmar Wolf, Head of Education at the Robert Bosch Stiftung. "Teachers have long had to compensate for the consequences of the massive teacher shortage and are constantly coping with new burdens. As a result, people starting their careers don't even want to enter the teaching profession or quickly want to leave it. Some because they cannot cope with the pressure, others because they repeatedly find themselves at their breaking point and cannot help children and young people as they had imagined. In the future, professional well-being will be extremely important for retaining teachers and making the profession more attractive to young people once again."


Most urgent need for action at their own schools: Lack of staff and run-down school buildings

Teachers in Germany currently see the greatest challenges as student behavior (35%) and dealing with heterogeneous classes (33%; 45% in elementary school), in which students have individual learning histories, different cultural and family backgrounds, and may also require special support. When asked about the most urgent needs at their own school, they cite the need to address staff shortages (41%, 51% at elementary school), closely followed by investment in run-down school buildings and in technical and digital equipment (35%). 

Continuing education and feedback: Hardly any feedback on their own work

For the first time, the German School Barometer also sheds light on professional development in the German school system and compares the results with the international TALIS study (OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey, 2018). According to the study, teachers in Germany attend training courses on pedagogical skills (Germany: 23%; international: 73%) or individualized learning (Germany: 20%; international: 49%) significantly less frequently than in other countries. Informal training opportunities such as exchanges with teachers from other schools are also significantly less common in Germany (Germany: 21 percent; international: 41 percent). Just over a quarter (28%) receive direct feedback from colleagues at their own school. One in four teachers (24%) did not receive any feedback on their own work in the past year.

In Germany, teachers attended training courses above all on the use of digital media in teaching in the last year. Although two thirds of those surveyed (65%) have undergone further training on this topic, only half of the teachers surveyed (49%) currently feel well prepared for digitally supported teaching.

"The overburdening of teachers in their daily work is also evident when it comes to training," says Wolf. "In Germany, we need a culture of shared learning in which high-quality training is complemented by mutual observation and a systematic feedback culture. This also includes exchanges among different schools. Compared to other countries, our teachers are still far too focused on themselves."

Your contact person

Press contact
Michael Herm, Senior Expert
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Heidehofstraße 31
70184 Stuttgart
Phone+49 711 46084-290
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