Bernd Zymek

The Future of the Teaching Profession in Germany – What We May Know about It from History


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As an example for the research strategic model of the “national or cultural path dependency” of historical processes, this article broaches the issue of the history and the future of the teaching profession in Germany. Indeed, in an internationally comparative perspective, the teaching profession in Germany appears to be a profession with specific national design features, which have shown an astonishing dynamic and persistence in the history of education and in social history, but which have also lead to cyclically recurring phases of surplus and shortage in the vocational field of teaching. This contradictory historical development dynamic of the German teaching profession explains why – in the course of the Bologna reform agenda for higher education – the German model of basic and fundamental teacher education has been successfully defended against the staged Anglo-Saxon model. But this structural continuity will lead to the next cyclical crisis on the teacher employment market in the coming years.

teaching profession, path dependence, teacher employment market, cycles of crisis, teacher education