Caught between Identification and External Perceptions: What Constitutes “School”?

Working Group Report

Every school must project a good image of itself and develop an appealing educational concept with which both teachers and students can identify. But how does a school’s image emerge and who is responsible for it? Why do schools find themselves in a tug of war between identification and external perceptions? Does this problem affect all schools in Berlin? We discussed these and other questions on the basis of two practical reports.

Meral El from the Jewish Museum Berlin led the working group with contributions from

  • Heinrich Meise of the Refik Veseli Secondary School, Berlin
  • Markus Schega of the Nürtingen Elementary School, Berlin
  • Dr. Michael Senn, director of the after-school center of the Nürtingen Elementary School, Berlin
  • Friedhelm Botsch, Hermann Hesse School, Berlin

Markus Schega: How Good Is a School?

The question of school quality can only be answered using objective criteria and is generally a well-researched topic. The regular reports of the School Inspection Authority in Berlin are based on current school research and provide useful data for these evaluations. Easy-to-read versions of the reports are published on the Internet. Using the inspection report about the Nürtingen Elementary School, Markus Schega demonstrated which areas the inspection authority examines and – with an eye toward the conference topic – questioned whether inclusion, diversity, and difference were adequately addressed.

Friedhelm Botsch: What Constitutes a Good School?

  • Teachers who see their profession as a vocation
  • Mutual respect
  • Students and teachers who listen to and learn from one another
  • Tolerance
  • The rejection of all forms of racism, antisemitism, and homophobia
  • A willingness to take responsibility
  • Small classes or study groups (15–20 students)
  • Sufficient spatial and material resources
  • School buildings that reflect appreciation for young people


Dr. Diana Dressel
Head of Education Department
T +49 (0)30 259 93 515

Conference Documentation: Schools and Museums Conference Working Groups (19)

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