Orientation Courses for Migrants in Germany: Between Civic Adult Education and Neoliberal Tendencies


Migrants coming to Germany are obliged to take part in ‘integration courses’ in order to obtain residence titles. The curriculum proclaims these orientation courses as ‘value-based political education’. This paper analyzes the perception of the impact of the courses from the perspective of participants and teachers, focusing on neoliber-al fixations in tradition of the ‘Chicago School’ of Economics on efficiency and on ‘forming’ useful citizens as a shift in orientation of civil society. Adult education roots, however, in the ideals of emancipation and the Enlightenment. Political programs of migration and political education as well as the Concept for a Nationwide Orientation Course along applicable legal regulations were examined. The qualitative research design contains a partly standardized empirical survey among participants and tutors of the described orientation courses, based on a documentary analysis concerning the legal regulations and a thematic analysis. The data analysis is carried out with a coding scheme with subcodes in relation to the objectives. The results allow the conclusion that, within the framework of the orientation courses, the rules of the local society are taught, so that the participants are expected just to accept them. Policy analysts argue that the ongoing neoliberalization is a ‘critical juncture’ in times of transformation, which provides risks for individuals and societies, e.g. losing the philosophy of solidarity. Lifelong learning as part of new work in an agile society gets instrumentalized against a humanistic, learner-centered approach. The performance goals and efficiency-trimmed conditions should therefore focus on individual development of the learners.

Author Information
Christian Schachtner, IUBH University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2020
Stream: Education & Difference: Gifted Education

This paper is part of the ECE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Schachtner C. (2020) Orientation Courses for Migrants in Germany: Between Civic Adult Education and Neoliberal Tendencies ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2020: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1162.2020.26
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1162.2020.26

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon