Why are we running this project?
For years now, studies have been warning about the increasing spread of misanthropic and extreme right-wing ideologies in Germany. At vocational schools, xenophobic – or in some other way discriminating – remarks are often par for the course. The "Strong Teachers – Strong Students" project will enable teachers to participate in a three-year qualification and coaching process to help them learn to deal with right-wing students.
What are our goals?
Within the framework of their lessons and classes, teachers at vocational schools have what may be the final opportunity to systematically reach young people with extreme right-wing views or who sympathize with inhuman ideals. Teachers often lack the needed self-assurance to handle these conflict situations. Teachers at vocational schools have been trained to prepare their students for particular careers. However, most of them lack up-to-date knowledge about the right-wing culture among young people. For this reason, we want to give teachers the decisive tools so they can better fulfill their roles in the day-to-day life at their schools, are strengthened in their ability to deal with anti-democratic attitudes and expressions, and thus can contribute to a democratic school culture.
How does the project work?
Over the course of several workshops, they will be given information on modern forms of right-wing youth culture. In addition, the participants will prepare individual strategies for their daily school activities with the help of their supervisors and external consultants. One focus area of the project is the networking of teachers among each other as well as with other players in established initiatives against right-wing extremism in Saxony. "Strong Teachers – Strong Students" was developed at the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s initiative in cooperation with TU Dresden. The pilot project will be carried out from 2015 to 2018 together with Saxony’s ministry for culture. In total, around 24 teachers will participate at eight central vocational schools in Saxony. Brandenburg has also been involved since 2021: Together with the Brandenburg Ministry for Education, Youth and Sport, the University of Potsdam and the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the project is being carried out at six professional upper-level centers. The project will be externally evaluated by academics from Leibniz Universität Hannover.
Together with the Federal Agency for Civic Education, we want to establish "Strong Teachers - Strong Students" in another federal state.