Political education is an essential component of a free and open society, as it strengthens a defensive and contentious democracy. Political education has developed into an independent field of activity in the course of the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Political education has the following goals:
- It is intended to impart knowledge and skills to citizens with which they can form their own judgment and make self-determined decisions.
- It should enable citizens to reflect on their own situation, to recognize personal responsibility and responsibility for society, to take them over and to influence processes in a creative way.
Political education in Germany is impartial, but not value-free. The basis is the understanding of values and democracy of the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law. Political education should begin precisely where the cohesion of society in a free democracy is at risk.
At the same time, political education must also decisively promote the tolerance of people, criticism, and conflict capabilities – and thus the plurality of society.
The most important framework for political education in Germany is the so-called Beutelsbach Consensus, which defines the generally accepted minimum conditions. According to this, political education must be based on three basic principles.
Three basic principles of political education in Germany
- The prohibition of indoctrination
- The requirement of controversy and balance
- The principle of addressee orientation
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What is Federal Agency for Civic Education?
The Federal Agency for Civic Education is a division authority of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs. According to their edict, their task is to promote understanding of political issues, to consolidate democratic awareness and to strengthen the willingness to participate politically.
In the form of the federal and state centers for political education, there is a state support system which, among other things, provides learning materials and further training offers in all practical fields of political education and supports projects and events by providers of political education through grants.