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Marianne Soff

Summary

In this article, classical writings of Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) and Wolfgang Metzger (1899-1979) concerning education for democracy and tolerance are presented. Starting with a definition of „group” and the discussion of the meaning of groups for the individual life, especially the experimental studies of Kurt Lewin, Ronald Lippitt and Raph K. White in 1937/38 on different group atmospheres under the influence of „democratic” vs. „autocratic” vs. „laissez faire” leading style are presented again, in order to give an example for the meaning of atmosphere influences on personal development, creativity and aggression – all topics concerning actual school situations and the daily experience of pupils and teachers. The collection of writings concerning education for democracy and tolerance include some of Lewin’s writings on minority problems and Metzger’s fundamental thougts on political education as a special application of productive thinking in Wertheimer’s sense. Some possibilities of how to change prejudices and to develop tolerance in Lewin’s and Metzger’s sense are presented. As a conclusion, some ideas for actual school life and possibilities to make pupils tolerant and able to participate actively in a democratic society are developed.