Nadine SonnenburgMagdalena BuddebergSabine Hornberg

The German school system in the COVID-19 pandemic era


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This article retrospectively reviews findings to date on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the German school system and discusses selected topics, i.e. general conditions of teaching and learning, didactic design and methodology, and the effects on educational outcomes. Like many other countries, Germany had to close its schools several times and switch to distance or alternate-shift learning, although the measures implemented by the federal states in this respect differed by region. In what follows, we first identify seven phases in the chronological course the pandemic took in Germany across the various ‘Länder’, or federal states. Next, we turn to a discussion of the medium- to long-term development needs of the German school system, based on the empirical findings available to date. Here our focus will be on the following issues: Fostering students’ selfregulated learning, making up for students’ learning losses, with special attention to inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic, and digitalizing the school system. Lastly, we address the future development of concepts for linking synchronous and asynchronous (digital) forms of learning and their integration into classroom instruction.

Sonnenburg, N., Buddeberg, M. & Hornberg S. (2022). The German school system in the COVID-19 pandemic era. Tertium Comparationis, 28(3), 332-355.